Listen: Bad Loser / Ty Hunter TyHunterBadLoser.mp3
With Berry Gordy’s sister Gwen, Billy Davis started Anna Records in ’59, and later the Checkmate label in ’61. Both were distributed by Chess and one of their first Anna signings were The Voice Masters, whose various members took the lead vocal, depending on the track. Ty Hunter was one, as were David Ruffin and Lamont Dozier.
That web and family tree is all tangled but in a good way. Simultameously, Ty Hunter released singles for each imprint, and had moderate RnB success.
When Gordy/Davis eventually sold the masters of both imprints to Chess, Ty Hunter continued as a solo artist for that label, and released a handful of 7′s. None were hits, but years later became in demand. He’s seldom name checked in the history of RnB/Soul but the purists among us had been well aware for years.
The one Chess release of his that eluded me until now, ‘Bad Loser’, became a jaw dropping Sunday morning rummage sale find. ’tis that season again.
Listen: Something Like A Storm / Ty Hunter TyHunterSomethingLike.mp3
Like Hi, Motown, Stax etc, each company’s entire roster seems to have played, recorded, written and produced each other. Noticing Bo Diddley co-wrote this B side, I can’t help wondering, is that him on the bv’s, did he play on it, was he there?
After Ty Hunter’s run with Chess ended, he joined The Originals in ’71. Signed to Motown, and with Marvin Gaye producing some of their intital hits, they continued to have a decent run of US RnB chart entries. Ty Hunter finally got some deserved recognition – it only took fifteen years or so.