Episode Air Date: May 18, 2016
Artist: Bing Crosby
Recording Title: You Are My Sunshine
Jimmie Davis is regularly credited as creator of the classic “You Are My Sunshine”, heard here from 1941. But…if that’s true, then how did the Rice Brothers record it in 1939?
The answer reveals an old trick among songwriters of that time. The song was officially copyrighted 1940 by Davis and frequent collaborator Charles Mitchell. But Davis actually bought the song from Paul Rice, made a few lyrical changes here, a tempo shift there, and presto-chango …it was a Jimmie Davis original.
Davis would go on to become governor of Louisiana, serving two nonconsecutive terms. And whaddya know, this became Louisiana’s state song in 1977.