You Are My Sunshine

You Are My Sunshine

"You Are My Sunshine" is a popular song first recorded about 1940. It has been declared one of the state songs of Louisiana as a result of its association with former state governor and country music star Jimmie Davis.


Two versions of "You Are My Sunshine" were recorded and released prior to Jimmie Davis's. The first was recorded for Bluebird Records (RCA-Victor's budget label) on August 22 1939 by The Pine Ridge Boys (Marvin Taylor and Doug Spivey), who hailed from Atlanta. The second was recorded for Decca Records on September 13 1939 by The Rice Brothers Gang. This group was originally from north Georgia, but had relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana, where they were performing on the city's KWKH radio station. The version by Jimmie Davis was recorded for Decca Records on February 5 1940.

Davis and Charles Mitchell are the credited songwriters of "You Are My Sunshine". Davis bought the song and rights from Paul Rice and put his own name on it, a practice not uncommon in the pre-World War II music business. [ [ Rosemont Records, Inc ] ] Some early versions of the song, however, do credit the Rice Brothers. According to some accounts, clarinetist Pud Brown also had a hand with the Rice Brothers in the song's origin or first arrangement.

Davis said that for some time he had been enthusiastic about the song and had unsuccessfully tried to convince record companies to record it before finally making his own 1940 record of the song. Davis's version was popular and was followed by numerous other covers, including those of Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, whose versions made the number a big hit.

Davis played up his association with the song when running for governor, singing it at all his campaign rallies, while riding on a horse named "Sunshine". His authorized biography, "You Are My Sunshine: The Jimmie Davis Story", was published in 1987.

Truman Capote stated in a 1974 interview that it was his "favourite country song".Fact|date=May 2008

In 2003, the song ranked #73 in "CMT's 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music".Fact|date=May 2008


"You Are My Sunshine" has been recorded hundreds of times. It is today a widely recognized song and a standard for traditional country music and traditional jazz performers, although rock and roll performances by the likes of Tony Sheridan and Bill Haley & His Comets also exist. The Haley performance was recorded in 1969 and was sung by the band's bass player, Ray Cawley; it was not released until the early 1990s. Jump, Little Children used to play a song called "Pink Lemonade" which borrowed the chorus and was a big hit with fans. The song has also been recorded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, among others. A rap remix has been recorded by Papa Winnie. Charles' version was the most popular, commercially, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A portion of Gary Cao's song Super Sunshine is based on the tune and lyrics of this song. A very interesting soul version was recorded by Dyke & the Blazers during the late Sixties.An example of a modern incarnation of the song is soul singer Steph Jones' version. It fuses the classic melody with current production trends in pop and R&B music.

Film and television features

It has been featured in numerous films, television shows, television commercials, and radio commercials (most notably in a series of Rinso advertisements in the 1960s). The song was featured in the movie "Primary Colors" (1996) and the Coen Brothers movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou" (2000). It was also used in the television show "" in the episode Someone to Watch Over Me, in which the character The Doctor used the song to teach Seven of Nine about music. It was sung in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It is frequentely sung in the 80s tv show, "The A-Team" when a distraction is needed to drug BA or stall time. It was also featured in one of the final episodes of the series, "Queer as Folk." That same version from Stine J. was also included on the "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" soundtrack starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The artist Brother Love has covered the song for a Saturn commercial.

Garrison Keillor usually sings the song on his radio program A Prairie Home Companion.

James McAvoy sings this song several times as he attempts to play various musical instruments in the movie "Penelope" starring Christina Ricci in a scene where her title character attempts to discover the instrument his character Max/Johnny plays.

The song was heard several times in the "Miracles" episode, "You Are My Sunshine".

On the Muppet show, Waldorf once sang it. Statler believed it was directed at him and retorted "I'm not your son, and my name's not Shine!"

All My Children character Dixie Martin sings the song to her son while an infant. It played lightly at the death of her character, and the song was featured prominently during her return to Pine Valley on All My Children.

porting anthem

Many sporting teams, such as Wigan Athletic Football Club in particular whose fans sing it just before the players come on to the pitch at the start of the game, the Portland Timbers, York St John University, Middlesbrough F.C. and Sydney FC, use the song as a crowd anthem, often replacing "Sunshine" with the name of the team.

Also, supporters of Preston North End adapted the song in honour of their French defensive maestro Youl Mawene, while fans of Liverpool and Manchester United made their own versions honouring Spanish midfielder Luis García and Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær respectively. In Scotland Glasgow Celtic paid tribute to Henrik Larsson by making their own version. The Swedish team; Västerås SK's supporters also sings this song. Supporters of Dutch club Heerenveen also used to have their own version for Afonso Alves, who has since moved to English Club Middlesbrough FC. Northern Ireland fans also have a variation of the song for midfielder Steven Davis.


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