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“You Are My Sunshine”

July 3, 2017

I’ve hit a century! “You Are My Sunshine” is the 100th song to be added to my repertoire.

 

Almost 80 years after it was first recorded there is still a mystery regarding who actually wrote “You Are My Sunshine”. The song is credited to Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. Davis had a big hit with the song in 1940 which became his theme tune – he even used it as his campaign song during two succesfull elections to become governor of Louisiana.

Jimmie Davis

Jimmie Davis

However, Davis and Mitchell bought the rights to the song in 1939 from Paul Rice. Rice had recorded the song in that year with his brother Hoke and The Rice Brothers Gang. Apparently, with his wife ill in hospital Rice needed cash to pay her medical bills so sold the song for the princely sum of $35.

Rice Brothers' Gang - "You Are My Sunshine"

Rice Brothers’ Gang – “You Are My Sunshine”

But there is another claim that the true author is one Oliver Hood. His family say that he wrote the song in 1933 on the back of a paper sack and that his version had TWENTY verses! (You can read a fascinating article about Hood’s authorship claim here).

Oliver Hood

Oliver Hood (foreground)

Whilst it would be interesting to solve the mystery, as a singer, the author of a song ends up being a moot point because ultimately it’s really all about the song itself and “You Are My Sunshine” really is a gem.

Click on the link at the top of this post to hear a demo of me singing “You Are My Sunshine”. For a full list of all 100 songs in my repertoire and to find out more about my act go to www.simonpartridge.com or www.vintageweddingsinger.com

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