IVORY JOE HUNTER
Ivory Joe Hunter (his full given name) was playing piano and developing his velvet voice around Beaumont Texas when he was recorded as a teenager for the Library of Congress in 1933. When he moved to Oakland CA. in 1942, he set up his own Ivory Records and his ‘Blues at Sunrise’ was a national hit in 1945. That label folded, but he set up Pacific Records and promptly went to No.1 in the R&B charts for three weeks with ‘Pretty Mama Blues’. When the impressive 6ft 4 singer signed for King Records in 1949, he repeated the chart-topping trick with ‘I Almost Lost My Mind’ and then scored again with ‘I Need You So’ for RCA Victor. Ivory Joe was a regular visitor to the upper reaches of the R&B charts in the early 50s on a variety of labels with his smooth West-coast Blues ballads, and when he signed for Atlantic in 1956, he took ‘Since I Met You, Baby’ to No.12 the Billboard Hot 100. Many of Ivory Joe’s compositions were taken into the pop charts by Elvis, Pat Boone and many others.