Hi, Ivory Joe Hunter was an R&B singer/songwriter and pianist. He was born in Kirbyville. Texas on October 10, 1914. He developed an early interest in music from his father, Dave Hunter. He first recorded (a cylinder record) for the Library of Congress in 1933. He signed recording deals with King Records in 1947 and MGM in 1950. He charted 14 Top 10 R&B hits between 1945-50. He owned his own records label, Ivory Records and Pacific Records.
After signing with MGM Records he recorded “I ALMOST LOST MY MIND” which was a #1 R&B hit in 1950. Later in 1956 Pat Boone would record his version of Ivory Joe Hunter’s hit and take it to #1 on the Billboard Top 100. By 1954 he had recorded over a hundred songs and moved to Atlantic Records. His first song to cross over to the pop chart was his classic recording of “SINCE I MET YOU BABY”. It entered the Top 100 on November 17, 1956 and just missed the Top 10 peaking at #12 and staying on the chart for 22 weeks. “Since I Met You Baby” was a #1 song on the R&B chart and held the top spot for 3 weeks. His classic recording has been covered by many artists over the years, his remains the ultimate version.
In April of 1957 he had a hit with “EMPTY ARMS” a song that would be a #43 hit on the Top 100 and remain on the chart for 16 weeks. In the late 1960’s he recorded country music and made regular appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.
Hunter was a prolific songwriter, writing many hits for other artists. Elvis Presley put two of Ivory Joe’s songs on the charts, “MY WISH CAME TRUE” and “AIN’T THAT LOVING YOU, BABY”. It is estimated that he wrote thousands of songs during his long and fabulous career. Ivory Joe Hunter died from cancer in November of 1974 at the age of 60. An R&B giant…a rock and roll pioneer and part of the “Golden Era of Rock and Roll”.