b. George Ivy Hunter, 28th August 1940, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 6th October 2022, U.S.A.
From Detroit, George is also known as Ivy Joe Hunter, (He is not the same person as the Texas born, Ivory Jo Hunter).
From Detroit, Michigan, George was trained in orchestral music.
He served in the United States Army.
George began performing as a singer in Detroit, where he became friends with songwriter Hank Cosby.
Hank introduced him to Motown's first A&R man, William ‘Mickey’ Stevenson.
George played keyboards on several Motown sessions before he began collaborating with ‘Mickey’ Stevenson as a songwriter.
He became an important part of the Motown Records house band.
George took to songwriting penning The Spinners' ‘Truly Yours’ and ‘Sweet Thing’ (later covered by Georgie Fame), along with The Temptations' ‘Sorry Is a Sorry Word’, The Isley Brothers' ‘Behind a Painted Smile’ and ‘My Love Is Your Love (Forever)’.
He also wrote ‘Ask the Lonely’ and ‘Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever’ for the Four Tops.
George also worked with Marvin Gaye and Stevenson, co-writing the Martha and the Vandellas hit ‘Dancing in the Street’.
Further contributions included The Velvelettes (‘That's a Funny Way’), The Contours (‘Can You Jerk Like Me’), The Marvelettes (‘Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead’ and ‘I’ll Keep Holding On’), Gladys Knight & the Pips (‘The Stranger’).
He also produced the Top 40 hit single ‘You’ for Marvin Gaye in 1968.
George continued to work as a session artist and performer.
'I Remember When (Dedicated To Beverly)' b/w 'Sorry Is A Sorry Word' - 1970-45 / 'I’d Still Love You' b/w 'I’d Still Love You' - 1971-45
He recorded several unreleased sides, however none saw the light of day until 1970, when Motown issued an Ivy Jo single on their (soon to be discontinued) VIP label entitled ‘I Remember When (Dedicated to Beverly).
A follow up single was issued entitled ‘I’d Still Love You’, and an album was due to follow, but was shelved, however.
By 1970, George decided to leave Motown.
He contributed to Funkadelic's ‘Mommy, What's A Funkadelic?’ on the group’s first album.
He also co-produced an album for Wee Gee (William Howard) and in 2009, he took part in celebrations to mark Motown's 50th anniversary.
He died in October 2022, at the age of 82.