Ivory Joe Hunter's music is a blend of various styles including pop, country and jazz as well as blues, the category most commonly used to describe it. Ivory Joe looked more like a geek than a singer, but don't let appearances deceive you. This man had a wonderful voice that was ideally suited to slow songs, but he could pick up the tempo to good effect when required.
Although he had a couple of R+B hits at the start of the fifties (I almost lost my mind, I need you so), this particular compilation covers his Atlantic years from 1955 to 1959. It therefore omits those early hits although there is a trach here (I need you) that could be a re-recording of I need you so, but I can't be sure.
Ivory Joe Hunter didn't write all of his own material, but he wrote the vast majority of the songs that he recorded. Even if you've never heard any of his own music, you may recognize some of the songs via cover versions. Covers by the McGuire sisters (It may sound silly), Teresa Brewer (A tear fell, Empty arms) and Jerry Vale (Heaven came down to earth) all did much better in the charts than Ivory Joe's original recordings of these same songs. Of course, Ivory Joe wrote two and co-wrote another of these songs, while the fourth (A tear fell) was written for him. Ivory Joe had one major hit, Since I met you baby, that made the very top of the R+B charts and also did well for him in the main American pop charts, outselling at least three cover versions.
Apart from the singers already mentioned, Elvis Presley and Solomon Burke each recorded several of his songs. It is therefore no surprise that Ivory Joe eventually directed his main attention to song writing.
Ivory Joe Hunter's music is well worth investigating if you enjoy fifties music. While this compilation doesn't cover his whole recording career, it contains most of his important recordings and is therefore a good place to start.
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