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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Ray Charles - You Are My Sunshine

On this day September 5, 1962…At Capitol Studios in New York City, Ray Charles recorded "You Are My Sunshine."


"You Are My Sunshine" is a popular song first recorded in 1939. It has been declared one of the state songs of Louisiana as a result of its association with former state governor and country music singer Jimmie Davis. The song is copyright 1940 Peer International Corporation, words and music by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell.

Two versions of "You Are My Sunshine" were recorded and released prior to Jimmie Davis's version. 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 were 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. Some early versions of the song, however, do credit the Rice Brothers. According to some accounts, clarinetist Pud Brown was also involved with the Rice Brothers for 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.

The song was also featured by Tex Ritter in "Take Me Back To Oklahoma" (film).  Best-selling record by Bob Atcher (Columbia). Revived in 1962 with best-selling record by Ray Charles (ABC-Paramount).

Davis emphasized 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.
Ray Charles is the Genius of Soul, but he’s always had a bit of country boy in him, too. Between playing hillbilly piano when he was a kid and landing several duets on the country charts in the ’80s, Charles released this 1962 classic L.P. "Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music", taking 12 country standards and proving that great songs can remain great, no matter what the setting. Behind blaring brass and thrilling strings, Brother Ray transforms “Hey, Good Lookin’” and “Bye Bye Love” into big-band swing; “You Win Again” into the Nashville Sound; and “I Love You So Much It Hurts” into the most elegant of pop. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was the big hit, not forgetting the soulful version of "You Are My Sunshine." Everything else on this album is just as timeless and beautiful. 
(Info edited mainly from Wiki)

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