“You Are My Sunshine” is a song published by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell in 1940. According to BMI, it has been recorded by more than 350 artists, and translated into 30 languages. In 1977, the Louisiana State Legislature decreed that “You Are My Sunshine” would be a state song, to honor two-time governor Jimmie Davis.
“You Are My Sunshine” was one of Jimmie Davis’ biggest-selling records (one source claims it was “among the top five country music recordings of that year”), and it has enjoyed continual success ever since. In 1940, the Vocalion version by Bob Atcher and Bonnie Blue Eyes, released in February, went to number 1 on the embryonic Billboard Top Hillbilly Recordings of the Month (July 27, 1940, issue). Perhaps thanks to the popularity of the Davis and Atcher versions, the original 1939 recording by The Pine Ridge Boys peaked at number 4 on October 26, 1940. Wayne King and his Orchestra recorded the first version to hit the popular music chart on September 4, and reached number 19 on November 9, 1940.
Single by Jimmie Davis with Charles Mitchell’s Orchestra
B-side “Old Timer”
Published January 30, 1940
Released March 25, 1940
Recorded February 5, 1940
Studio Decca Recording, New York City
Songwriter(s) Jimmie Davis, Charles Mitchell