You Are My Sunshine?

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Michael Futreal

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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Who wrote You Are My Sunshine? Is this a song that can be freely
covered without ASCAP coming to get ya? Does anybody happen to know off
the top of their head?

I recorded a minor key version of this song for Appalachian dulcimer (an
improvisational piece that incorporates a minorized version of the
melody as well the first verse + additional lyrics) for my self-released
cd. I just kind of assumed when it occured to me to play around with it
that it was a traditional public domain thing. Now, however, I'm
curious as to whether or not that is the case... Anybody?

Michael Futreal
The Offramps -- hear us at http://offramps.simplenet.com


Mike Regenstreif

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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Michael Futreal <mrfu...@cuacs.ncsu.edu> wrote in article
<36435C07...@cuacs.ncsu.edu>...


> Who wrote You Are My Sunshine? Is this a song that can be freely
> covered without ASCAP coming to get ya? Does anybody happen to know off
> the top of their head?
>
> I recorded a minor key version of this song for Appalachian dulcimer (an
> improvisational piece that incorporates a minorized version of the
> melody as well the first verse + additional lyrics) for my self-released
> cd. I just kind of assumed when it occured to me to play around with it
> that it was a traditional public domain thing. Now, however, I'm
> curious as to whether or not that is the case... Anybody?


"You Are My Sunshine" was written (or at least co-written) by Jimmie
Davis, once the governor of Louisiana.


--
Mike Regenstreif
Folk Roots/Folk Branches -- CKUT 90.3 FM -- Montreal
mre...@vax2.concordia.ca

Harvey Gerst

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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Michael Futreal <mrfu...@cuacs.ncsu.edu> wrote:

>Who wrote You Are My Sunshine? Is this a song that can be freely
>covered without ASCAP coming to get ya? Does anybody happen to know off
>the top of their head?

Nope, it was written by Louisiana Governor, Jimmie Davis. Here's part
of the story:

http://www.nashville-collection.com/suntnc/JimmieDavis.html

It's not in the ASCAP database, but you might wanna check BMI and
SESAC. The copyright may have expired - I'm pretty sure Jimmie Davis
has.

Harvey Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
http://ITRstudio.com/

Jerry Dallal

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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Michael Futreal (mrfu...@cuacs.ncsu.edu) wrote:
: Who wrote You Are My Sunshine? Is this a song that can be freely
: covered without ASCAP coming to get ya? Does anybody happen to know off
: the top of their head?

It was composed in 1940.
For older pieces, copyright expires after 75 years, so
you might be better of off with "Carolina in the Morning"

Al Christians

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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Mike Regenstreif wrote:
>
> "You Are My Sunshine" was written (or at least co-written) by Jimmie
> Davis, once the governor of Louisiana.
>

I believe you are off by one. He was twice the governor of Louisiana,
something like 1944-1948 and 1960-1964. Listen to his older records
with the hot steel guitar accompaniment -- they're great.

Al

Joan Manners

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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Michael Futreal wrote:
> Who wrote You Are My Sunshine? Is this a song that can be freely
> covered without ASCAP coming to get ya? Does anybody happen to know off
> the top of their head?

"You Are My Sunshine" is absolutely, fully copyright-protected. It was
written by Jimmie H. Davis and it's published by APRS which is
administered by Peer Music. ASCAP has nothing to do with it. It's a
BMI song. But it's not the performing rights societies that will be
"coming to get ya." It's the copyright owner, which in this case is the
music publisher, Peer Music.

> I recorded a minor key version of this song for Appalachian dulcimer (an
> improvisational piece that incorporates a minorized version of the
> melody as well the first verse + additional lyrics) for my self-released
> cd.

The "minor key" thing is not a problem. It's just your arrangement.
But, you will need Peer's permission to add your new lyrics.

> I just kind of assumed when it occured to me to play around with it
> that it was a traditional public domain thing.

Nope!

Jerry Dallal wrote:
> It was composed in 1940.
> For older pieces, copyright expires after 75 years, so
> you might be better of off with "Carolina in the Morning"

I think you're right. 1940 sounds right to me, although I'm not exactly
sure, and I don't have access to any sources right now. You're also
right that under the old copyright law, the term for *U.S.* copyrights
*was* 75 years. However, a new law *just* passed Congress and was
*just* signed into legislation by Clinton which extends the U.S.
copyright term by 20 years, so that the term of copyright for songs
falling under the 1909 Copyright Act is now *95* years. This new law is
not retroactive, so songs that have already fallen into the public
domain in the U.S. will stay there. However, songs copyrighted in 1923
or later will have the 95-year copyright term.

It's also important to note that terms of copyright vary in different
territories. Therefore, a song may be public domain in the U.S. but
still be copyright-protected in the rest of the world. In most
territories outside of the U.S., the term of copyright is the life of
the author + 50-70 years, depending upon the territory. So, if you are
planning to release your record outside of the U.S., you need to be
aware of this. (I don't know anything about "Carolina In The Morning,"
BTW, so I can't advise you at all with regard to that.)

Anyway, for permission to record "You Are My Sunshine" with your new
lyrics, you need to contact Peer Music at:
Phone: (212) 265-3910
Fax: (212) 489-2465

I got these numbers from the BMI Website at:
http://bmi.com/repertoire/database.html

I know that Peer also has an L.A. office, but I don't have the number
with me. Try calling directory assistance. Also, Peer has an Email
address:
PEER...@peermusic.com

Hope that helps.

Joan M.

JPGX

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Nov 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/7/98
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>Who wrote You Are My Sunshine?

Jimmie Davis
Jim Gorichanaz
Representative for Marvin Rainwater

Write Marvin Rainwater
RT # 1 Box 675
Aitkin Mn 56431

John Lupton

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Nov 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/9/98
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In article <EF711BB7CC8CFD29.386BE858...@library-proxy.airnews.net>, har...@ITRstudio.com (Harvey Gerst) wrote:

>Michael Futreal <mrfu...@cuacs.ncsu.edu> wrote:
>
>>Who wrote You Are My Sunshine? Is this a song that can be freely
>>covered without ASCAP coming to get ya? Does anybody happen to know off
>>the top of their head?
>
>Nope, it was written by Louisiana Governor, Jimmie Davis. Here's part
>of the story:

>It's not in the ASCAP database, but you might wanna check BMI and


>SESAC. The copyright may have expired - I'm pretty sure Jimmie Davis
>has.

Nope. Jimmie Davis is still living, now well into his 90s. There was a wire
service story about him appearing somewhere a few months back.

**********************************************
John Lupton, "Rural Free Delivery"
WVUD-FM 91.3, Newark DE (www.sas.upenn.edu/~jlupton/rfd.html)
Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music/
Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival
**********************************************

Joan Manners

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Nov 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/9/98
to
John Lupton wrote:
> Nope. Jimmie Davis is still living, now well into his 90s. There was a wire
> service story about him appearing somewhere a few months back.

Yes! I found out by searching Yahoo that Jimmie Davis celebrated his
99th birthday on September 11, 1998. Here's the address for more info
about that:

http://www.dnewsnet.com/leisure/stories/98091003l.html

Also, I did a little more research on "You Are My Sunshine" and was able
to verify that the song was copyrighted in 1940. This means that it is
absolutely, fully copyright-protected throughout the world.

I got the following information from the book, "Popular Music,
1920-1979, Volume 3" by Nat Shapiro and Bruce Pollock:

------
"YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE"
words and music by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell
Peer International Corp., 1940
Theme song of composer Davis during his successful campaign for election
as Governor of Louisiana. Featured by Tex Ritter in "Take Me Back To
Oklahoma" (film). Best-selling record by Bing Crosby (Decca) and Bob
Atcher (Columbia). Revived in 1962 with best-selling record by Ray
Charles (ABC-Paramount).
--------

Also, I got the phone number of Peer Music's L.A. office:
Phone: (323) 656-0364
Fax: (323) 656-3298

Jack Cullen

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Nov 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/10/98
to
John Lupton wrote:
>
[snip]>, har...@ITRstudio.com (Harvey Gerst) wrote:
> >[snip] The copyright may have expired - I'm pretty sure Jimmie Davis
> >has.
>
> Nope. Jimmie Davis is still living, now well into his 90s. There was a wire
> service story about him appearing somewhere a few months back.
>[snip]
=============================================
Jimie Davis appears from time-to-time on the Grand Ole Opry.
A couple of people walk him out to the microphone, he says a few words
and then leads the audience in singing "You Are My Sunshine", waves and
wishes everyone well and is then helped back offstage to a well deserved
standing-O. It's actually really pretty nice to see a guy that old with
his wits still about him and enough spirit and get-up-and-go to come out
on stage and lead 4000-some people in singing a great song. Makes you
think that there really may still be hope after all.
I last saw him on the TV portion of the Opry about 6 or 8 months ago.
--
Jack Cullen
West Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
-------------
Please send all replies to: JJoeJack1 "at" aol "dot" com

Bezvodka

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Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
Written by Jimmy Davis, then Governor of Louisiana, in the early 1940', or
perhaps late 1930's but don't know about copyright or ASCAP.
NoManIsland

Kathleen Bender

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Nov 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/22/98
to

Bezvodka wrote in message

>Written by Jimmy Davis, then Governor of Louisiana, in the early 1940', or
>perhaps late 1930's

And still alive and singing at 99.

By the way, Doug Kershaw, Cajun fiddler has declared to run for governor.
Other's may have wrestlers and actors by the score but traditional
musicians? There's something to go to polls for.

Al Christians

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Nov 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/22/98
to
Kathleen Bender wrote:
>
> By the way, Doug Kershaw, Cajun fiddler has declared to run for governor.
> Other's may have wrestlers and actors by the score but traditional
> musicians? There's something to go to polls for.

As compared to movie actors and wrestlers, maybe, but in general,
I don't recommend it.

I don't think so. There is some history of this sort of thing, and it's
not very good. Roy Acuff ran for governor of Tennessee and lost, thank
goodness. Al Gore's father fiddled his way into politics, Byrd of W VA
used his own fiddling to promote his campaigns, and probably David
Crockett too. Back in the 1930's in Texas, the Republicans
were way down, almost completely bereft of funds and political
prospects,
so they turned to western swing bandleader W. Lee O'Daniel to run for
governor on a platform of "Pass the biscuits, Pappy", whatever that
meant.
He won and then moved on to the US Senate. It seems he wasn't a very
good
Senator, no measure he ever introduced got more than 4 votes. I guess if
you want another Dan Quayle up there, you might as well elect a musical
one.

A traditional musician might be a better leader other kinds, for
example,
Sonny Bono. Sonny opposed funding the National Endowment for the Arts,
saying that despite working in the arts for more than 20 years he'd
never
known anyone who was helped by a grant from the NEA.

Fortunately, when a musician goes into politics, they lose musical fans
on account of their political activities and votes on account of their
musical activities, so it doesn't happen too often.

Al

Ken Cashion

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
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On Sun, 22 Nov 1998 17:42:47 -0800, Al Christians
<ach...@easystreet.com> wrote:

> Back in the 1930's in Texas, the Republicans
>were way down, almost completely bereft of funds and political
>prospects,
>so they turned to western swing bandleader W. Lee O'Daniel to run for
>governor on a platform of "Pass the biscuits, Pappy", whatever that
>meant.

He was sponsored by a flour company, I don't remember which
one. There were the Light Crust Doughboys at one time. I think Bob
Wills played with this group.
I can look up the details (in a couple of hours) if anyone is
interested.

Cheers -- Ken Cashion
--------------------------------------------------------------


Philip

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
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>By the way, Doug Kershaw, Cajun fiddler has declared to run for governor.
>>
>I am a great fan of Dougs' music but does this mean there will be more
"Diggy - diggy - lye, diggy - diggy - lo" in American politics.
My $.02 worth.
Philip

Will Dockery

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Dec 18, 2015, 10:16:20 AM12/18/15
to
On Friday, November 6, 1998 at 3:00:00 AM UTC-5, Michael Futreal wrote:
> Who wrote You Are My Sunshine?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Are_My_Sunshine#Authorship

I'm getting the Wikipedia article on the song properly written to reflect credit where due to Oliver Hood, who, as evidence supports, wrote and performed "You Are My Sunshine" in 1933.

:D

ersc...@email.arizona.edu

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Jul 12, 2017, 7:03:50 PM7/12/17
to
It won't be in public domain until 2070.


On Friday, November 6, 1998 at 1:00:00 AM UTC-7, Michael Futreal wrote:
> Who wrote You Are My Sunshine? Is this a song that can be freely
> covered without ASCAP coming to get ya? Does anybody happen to know off
> the top of their head?
>
> I recorded a minor key version of this song for Appalachian dulcimer (an
> improvisational piece that incorporates a minorized version of the
> melody as well the first verse + additional lyrics) for my self-released
> cd. I just kind of assumed when it occured to me to play around with it
> that it was a traditional public domain thing. Now, however, I'm
> curious as to whether or not that is the case... Anybody?
>

Will Dockery

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Jul 13, 2017, 10:05:37 AM7/13/17
to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Are_My_Sunshine#Authorship

Authorship[edit]
While Davis and Mitchell are the credited songwriters of "You Are My Sunshine", Davis was never known to actually claim authorship, as he 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.[10] Some early versions of the song credit the Rice Brothers. Descendants and associates of Oliver Hood, a LaGrange, Georgia musician who collaborated with Rice, claim Hood wrote the song in the early 1930s, first performing it in 1933 at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention at LaGrange, Georgia in 1933.[10] According to some accounts,[which?] 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' 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 emphasized his association with the song when running for governor of Louisiana in 1944, singing it at all his campaign rallies, while riding on a horse named "Sunshine".

David Tilson

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Aug 21, 2021, 6:44:40 PMAug 21
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Published 1940 by Southern Music Pub. Co., Inc., which is Peer's company
Got this from early sheet music
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