Personalities | Jimmie Davis | Early Years of Hillbilly | Country
Born in rural Louisiana, Davis first made his name singing on radio station KWKH in Shreveport. From 1928 onwards, he was a popular recording artist, initially with sentimental and cowboy songs, then with raunchy blue yodels in the manner of Jimmie Rodgers. These included ‘She’s A Hum Dum Dinger From Dingersville’ and ‘Bear Cat Mama From Horner’s Corners’, and were sometimes accompanied by black guitarists. Switching labels in 1934 to the new Decca company, he had a crossover hit with the love song ‘Nobody’s Darlin’ But Mine’, and thereafter left the blues behind. His career-best hit, ‘You Are My Sunshine’ – one of many songs that he bought from the writers and claimed as his own – made him a country star of comparable magnitude to Gene Autry, and he used that fame to boost his political career, serving two terms as Governor of Louisiana (1944–48 and 1960–64). His later recordings are heavily weighted towards gospel music.
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