Arthur Neal Gunter, b. May 23, 1926 in Nashville, TN, d. March 16, 1976 in Port Huron, MI, blues guitarist and musician, active 1950s - 1970s. He was best known for his song "Baby Let's Play House", which was later a hit single for Elvis Presley. Gunter was born in Nashville, Tennessee, United States, a musician from an early age; as a child, he was in a gospel group with his brothers and cousins called the Gunter Brothers Quartet. In the early 1950s, he played in various blues groups around Nashville, and began recording for Excello Records in 1954. In November 1954, Gunter recorded "Baby Let's Play House" for Excello (2047), which not only became a local hit, but peaked at number 12 in the US Billboard R&B chart. It became better nationally known later that year when Elvis Presley recorded a version for Sun Records. "Elvis got that number and made it famous. But I didn't get a chance to shake his hand," Gunter would later say. His first royalty check, received that same year, was for $6,500. Gunter continued to record for Excello until 1961. His regular band broke up in 1966 and he moved to Pontiac, Michigan, performing only occasionally thereafter. He died of pneumonia in 1976, aged 49, at his home in Port Huron, Michigan.
by Steve Kurutz
As a recording artist for the Excello label in the early '50s, singer Arthur Gunter scored the imprint's first national hit with "Baby, Let's Play House." Born in Nashville, Gunter was a regular at the record shop owned by Excello chief Ernie Young and the association led to his short-lived recording career. In fact, possibly the most interesting thing about Gunter's recorded output is that Elvis Presley cut a version of "Baby, Let's Play House" early in his career. All of Gunter's work could easily fit on a double cd and a 1995 set issued by Excello does much to compile the bulk of his recorded output.