The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

You Are My Sunshine

“You Are My Sunshine” has been declared one of Louisiana’s state songs since Jimmy Davis’ association with the state, a country music singer, and governor of the state.  Davis never actually claimed authorship of this song, he is said to have bought the song and the rights from Paul Rice. There are about four different stories about who the writer is. A few of the early versions of this song give credit to the Rice Brothers. Descendants and those who associated with Oliver Hood claim Hood wrote the song in the early 1930s. They said that Oliver Hood performed it in 1933 at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Georgia. Oliver Hood wrote hundreds of songs, but none of them were saved or recorded. Paul Rice allegedly stole “You Are My Sunshine” from Oliver Hood. Hood wrote a song called “Somebody Stole My Sunshine Away” as a way to lash out at Paul Rice for stealing his song. To this day no one truly knows who the actual writer is.

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