"You Are My Sunshine," three ways (so far)
February 8, 2019 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Fretboard Journal: "What if we asked all the great musicians passing through our office to give us their take on the exact same tune?" The tune they picked is "You Are My Sunshine," and the first three takes they've released are by Bryan Sutton, Noam Pikelny, and Bill Frisell, with more to come each week.
posted by mandolin conspiracy (21 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

Bookmarked in anticipation of updates! YOU are my sunshine!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:02 PM on February 8, 2019

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:19 PM on February 8, 2019

You are my sunshine.
posted by vrakatar at 7:48 PM on February 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

Huh. My grandfather would have really liked this...he was friends with governor Davis (LA...who wrote the song) and it was something he would hum all the time.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:41 PM on February 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Relevant to my interests, thank you!

I can't wait for Del and Dawg.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 10:07 PM on February 8, 2019

Back catalog:
Johnny Cash (and before with June Carter)
The Beach Boys
Ray Charles
Aretha Franklin
and of course
Jimmie Davis
posted by carsonb at 10:33 PM on February 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Damn, the laconic ringing tones of Frisell’s rendition were super-chill in contrast to the first two guys and their bluegrass stylings that demands a new note every sixteenth without fail.
posted by egypturnash at 11:11 PM on February 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

Thanks, mc!
posted by pt68 at 11:28 PM on February 8, 2019

Nice. There's also NPR's Tiny Desk concerts.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:14 AM on February 9, 2019

sexyrobot your comment intrigued me to learn more about the origins of this song.

Per the obligatory wiki read Davis is credited with writing the song but actually purchased the rights to use it/claim authorship from another artist named Paul Rice? I had always associated the song with Louisiana and the gov but while Jimmie Davis certainly popularized it he apparently didn't actually write it.
posted by NervousVarun at 3:57 AM on February 9, 2019

What a absolutely fabulous way to start my Saturday. My 10 year old shares my live for bluegrass/old timey music, and he is really hoping for a banjo version (hes learning clawhammer style. It's incredibly hard!). Thank you for this!
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 6:56 AM on February 9, 2019

Der Bingle's version is still my favorite.
posted by non canadian guy at 9:04 AM on February 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

The very first recording of the song, done by the Pine Ridge Boys in 1939.
posted by non canadian guy at 9:11 AM on February 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

TheFantasticNumberFour - Have you or your ten year old heard anything by Mark Johnson? He plays the banjo in a style he calls "clawgrass" - half clawhammer, half three-finger style. It's fascinating. You or your kid (or both) might dig it...
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 3:14 PM on February 9, 2019

In the early 2000s I was the de facto stepmom of a pre-toddler, and every night I put her to bed with a book (on my lap in a rocking chair), and then I sang "You Are My Sunshine" as my great-aunt Margie used to sing to me. She fell asleep in my arms, after asking for "suhshine." When I was humming the part about "I dreamt I held you in my arms, when I awoke dear, I was mistaken," I always felt unsettled. Her dad and I split, I never saw her again, and this song haunts me as nothing else will in my life. I love you Destiny, and I've never forgotten our Sunshine.
posted by LibraryScientist at 8:37 PM on February 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

Bill Frisell's version has me in tears.

My Mom, who died in 2000, used to sing this song with and to her grandchildren. I wonder if they remember? I think I will send this along to the eldest, now with a child of his own.

Thank you, mandolin conspiracy.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 9:12 PM on February 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

The best, most melancholy version ever, from Stapleton & Stapleton
posted by thisclickableme at 4:56 AM on February 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I thought I got this from MeFi back in the day, but I think instead it came from my ukulele circle: Jenny and Lottie sing "You Are My Sunshine" in a minor key
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:31 AM on February 11, 2019

Oh god damn that Stapleton & Stapleton is magnificent. Thank you!
posted by ZakDaddy at 2:46 PM on February 11, 2019

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