Ivory Joe Hunter Biography
Ivory Joe Hunter, best known for his 1956 hit Since I Met You Baby, was singer and songwriter who came to prominence in the 1950’s. During this career he published 2 albums and 77 singles between 1945 and 1971. Ivory Joe charted 21 times on the Billboard R&B, 17 in the Top 10 and 4 and No. 1. He wrote 18 of 21 songs which hit the charts. He also had 4 songs in the Hot 100.
Since I Met You Baby was recorded in 1956. It was so popular and well received, it’s considered an ‘American Standard.’ The song peaked at #1 for the US Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles and No. 12 for the US Billboard Hot 100. It’s considered one of the 1001 ‘Greatest Songs Ever Made.’ It was covered many times by dozens or more artists, most successfully by Sonny James in 1969, which brought renewed interest in Ivory Joe and led to him released his 2nd and final album, The Return of Ivory Joe in 1971. It was not considered a commercial success.
A prolific writer who is credited with composing over 5,000 songs, he was born October 10th, 1911 in Kirbyville, Texas and into a musical family. He performed as a kid in local gospel groups and his church choir. He knew early on that he wanted to make music and singing his career. “His greatest inspiration to him was playing the piano for his godmother,” Bettye Berge wrote in 1979. His parents died while he was only 13, and he went to live with her. He moved in with his sister and attended high school in at Lincoln High School in Port Arthur. He graduated in 1930, just in time for the Great Depression, he formed a small band where he played the Piano for school dances. He hosted a radio show for several years where he was known as “Rambling Fingers”.
Eventually moving to Oakland in 1942 and by 1945 he was recording “Blues at Sunrise,” a song that he wrote under his own label, Ivory Records. The song would peak at #3 on the R&B Chart and by 1947 he recorded “Pretty Mama Blues” which hit #1. Starting in the ’50’s, Ivory Joe was busy touring nationally, his performances consistently drawing massive crowds and he is said to have broken all of the box office records at the Palace Theater in Memphis.
Ivory Joe cites major influences including Duke Ellington and Fats Weller. Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Brook Benton and Jerry Lewis all recorded songs that Ivory Joe wrote.
He had a fondness for country music. Wanting to expand outside of the Blues and play for white audiences, he started marketing himself as a ‘versatile’ artist, and even performed the Country Music song “I’m Sorry For You, My Friend. Ivory would go on to record for many labels, including Paramount, Epic, Capital and Dot.
His last pop hit was a cover of “City Lights” by Bill Anderson in 1958. He passed away on November 8th 1974 of cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Was Ivory Joe Hunter From?
Ivory joe hunter was from Shreveport, Louisiana. He was a successful rhythm and blues singer, songwriter, and pianist. His biggest hit was “Since I Met You Baby”, which reached the top of the R&B charts in 1956. Hunter also wrote and recorded “I Almost Lost My Mind”, which was a hit for Pat Boone in 1955.
When Was Ivory Joe Hunter Born?
Ivory Joe Hunter was born on October 10, 1914.
Did Ivory Joe Hunter Ever Live In Monroe Louisiana?
Ivory Joe Hunter was a well-known musician and songwriter who had many hits in the 1950s. He was born in Texas in 1914, and his family moved to Monroe, Louisiana, when he was a child. Hunter lived in Monroe for several years and wrote some of his most famous songs while living there. He eventually moved to New York City, but Monroe always remained close to his heart. He frequently returned to visit family and friends in the city, and he even recorded a live album at a Monroe nightclub in 1977. Hunter passed away in 1974, but his music continues to be enjoyed by fans all over the world.
How Did Ivory Joe Hunter Musician Die?
Ivory Joe Hunter was an American musician and songwriter who had a string of hits in the 1940s and 1950s, including “Since I Met You Baby” and “Sweet Dream Baby”. He died on November 8, 1974, at the age of 60.