Earl Grant

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Grant in 1967.

Earl Grant (January 20, 1931 – June 10, 1970) was an American pianist, organist, and vocalist popular in the 1950s and 1960s.


Grant was born in Idabel, Oklahoma. Though he would be known later for his keyboards and vocals, Grant also played trumpet and drums. Grant attended four music schools, eventually becoming a music teacher. He augmented his income by performing in clubs during his army service, throughout which he was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas.[1][2] Grant signed with Decca Records in 1957 and his first single "The End" reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Ebb Tide, released in 1961, was his first album, which also rose to number 7 on the Billboard 200. The single "Ebb Tide" sold over one million copies, gaining gold disc status.[1] He recorded five more singles that made the charts, including "Swingin' Gently" (from Beyond the Reef), and six additional albums (mostly on the Decca label) through 1968. He also recorded the album Yes Sirree and the instrumental album Trade Winds, single-tracked on the Hammond organ and piano, featuring the love theme from the film El Cid and Chaplin's "Eternally". This album featured some realistic sounding "tropical bird calls" produced by his electric organ. "The House of Bamboo" was another big-selling single. In all, Grant recorded 30 albums for Decca.[2]

Several of his albums featured tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson.[citation needed]

Grant also made a few appearances in film and television, including Tender Is the Night (1962), Juke Box Rhythm (1959), and The Ed Sullivan Show (1961).[3]

Grant sings the title theme for the 1959 film Imitation of Life in a way very close to an imitation of Nat King Cole

He died instantly in a car accident in Lordsburg, New Mexico, at the age of 39[1] when the car he was driving ran off Interstate 10.[2] He was driving from Los Angeles to an intended destination in Juarez, Mexico. His 17-year-old cousin was also killed in the accident.[4]

Select discography[edit]

Posthumous releases[edit]

The songs on this album were recorded days before his death, with arrangements by Bill Holman and Don Peake.

Charted Albums[edit]

YearTitleChart positions
1961"Ebb Tide"7
1962"Earl Grant at Basin Street East"92
"Beyond the Reef"17
1964"Just For A Thrill"149
"Fly Me To The Moon"139
1965"Trade Winds"192
1968"Gently Swingin'"168
1969"Winter Wonderland"14

Charted singles[edit]

YearTitleChart positions
1958"The End"716
1959"Evening Rain"63
1960"House of Bamboo"88
1962"Swingin' Gently"44
"Sweet Sixteen Bars"559
1965"Stand By Me"75
1969"Silver Bells"3


  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 135. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ a b c "Earl Grant Killed in Auto Crash". The News and Courier. 11 June 1970. p. 13A. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  3. ^ IMDB.com
  4. ^ "Auto Accident Kills Earl, Grant, Organist-Singer". Meriden, CT Journal. 11 June 1970. p. 10. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 

External links[edit]