Acrobat Music & Media has a series related to individual artists and some year-by-year multi-artist compilations called Jukebox Hits, my initial experience with which was the Lucky Millinder 1942-1951 volume. That led to the purchase of those dealing with The Clovers (1949-1955), Erskine Hawkins (1940-1950), T-Bone Walker (1943-1952), Buddy Johnson Orch featuring Ella Johnson (1940-1951), Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five (1942-1947), Andy Kirk & His Clouds Of Joy (1936-1949), Joe Liggins & His "Honeydrippers" (1945-1951), The Johnny Otis Orchestra (1946-1954), Jimmie Lunceford (1935-1947) and Lionel Hampton (1943-1950)
I have also found these in the series: Roy Milton, Amos Milburn, Wynonie Harris, Cab Calloway, The Dominoes, Ella Fitzgerald, Ruth Brown, Count Basie, Muddy Waters, Billy Eckstine, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Nat "King" Cole, and multi-artist year compilations for 1942 to 1944, 1947, 1953 and 1955. I'm sure there are probably others.
This Ivory Joe Hunter volume starts off with his first hit single, Blues At Sunrise, which reached # 3 on what then passed for the R&B charts (The Harlem Hit Parade) in late December 1945 on the Exclusive label and billed as "Ivory" Joe Hunter with Johnny Moore's 3 Blazes. The next seven tracks were cut in 1946 and 1947 and sold to Pacific Records who released them as singles, with only Pretty Mama Blues reaching the charts, but in a big way, reaching # 1 R&B (Most Played Juke Box Race Records by this time) and staying there for three weeks in the summer of 1948. It was also released on 4-Star Records.
By 1948 he had hooked up with King Records, and his first hits there were Don't Fall In Love With Me (# 8 R&B also in the summer of 1948) and What Did You Do To Me? (# 9 R&B that October). Unfortunately, neither is included in this set. But his next, I Like It, is here, a # 14 in December 1948, as is Waiting In Vain (# 5 in the fall of 1949). Around the same time, 4-Star pulled another Pacific cut out of the vaults and saw Blues At Midnight reach # 10, followed later that fall by his first double-sided hit, Guess Who (# 2) b/w Landlord Blues (# 6) on the King label.
His next was his initial crack at a C&W tune (a genre he would stay with as well as R&B to the day he died on November 8, 1974) and it was a success as his version of Jennie Lou Carson's Jealous Heart hit the # 2 spot that December. His next # 1, I Almost Lost My Mind, then followed early in 1950 on MGM, spending 24 weeks on the charts, including FIVE at the top position, and featuring Taft Jordan on trumpet. It would be covered by Nat "King" Cole that same year (# 7 R&B) and by Pat Boone in 1956 (# 1 Billboard Pop Top 100).
On the heels of that release, King put out I Quit My Pretty Mama which, featuring Johnny Hodges on alto sax, peaked at # 4, and even while the last two were still appearing on the charts, MGM put out S.P. Blues which got to # 9, again featuring Taft Jordan. The last track here, I Need You So, became his third # 1 when released by MGM, peaking in the early summer of 1950 and spending 21 weeks on the charts. A cover by Don Cornell reached # 25 Pop that September, and in 1957 Elvis Presley recorded it and had it released on his # 1 LSP Loving You, and # 2 EPA Just For You. In 1965 another cover by Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown would reach # 98 Billboard Pop Hot 100.
The sound quality is decent and in the insert are 7 pages of background notes, including track-by-track comments, written in 2006 by Bob Fisher.
Ivory Joe Hunter is long, long overdue for some sort of recognition by the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame.