Jimmie Davis - Nobody's Darlin But Mine

Tuesday 1st June 1999
Jimmie Davis - Nobody's Darlin But Mine

STYLE: Country
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: Bear Family BCD15943

Reviewed by Paul Davis

Like the other Bear Family box set 'You Are My Sunshine' this is a lovingly compiled compilation of one of the legends of country music. Jimmie Davis was the poor farm boy who rose to become the Governor of the State of Louisiana. Jimmie Houston Davis was born on 9th November 1902 in a small, humble shotgun cabin nestled in the red clay hills of Beach Springs, Quitman, Louisiana. Today the cabin is a monument, but once it was a bare roof over three rooms housing a sharecropper, his wife, 11 children and assorted relatives. In 1939 he captured the imagination of the depression ridden world with "You Are My Sunshine". The sing-along soon became a standard selling in its millions, making it one of the world's most popular melodies ever! Studying at the Louisiana College in Pineville he achieved a Bachelor Degree despite, he claims, having only one shirt that he wore every day, washed every night, and ironed every morning! Singing became a passion for the hard-working Davis as he appeared on several local radio stations. RCA Records signed him up, which impressed Decca Records who signed him up in the mid-'30s to a contract that lasted some 40 years. At that time he was lured to the bright lights of the movies. He made regular appearances in small parts but a big-time Hollywood career seemed not to be his destiny. Returning to Louisiana he hit big-time in country music before being bitten by the politics bug. In 1938 he was elected Police Commissioner of Shreveport. He served for four years and was then elected to a six-year term on the Louisiana Public Service Commission. He only served for two years, resigning to run for Governor. He had successful spells in the Governors' Office in the '40s and '60s. These recordings make an interesting study in the development of country music.

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