A lullaby for the children of farmworkers in Salinas, and the young daughter of a constable enforcing the blackout nort of London; a code for spies for secrets passed along at steamy nighclubs where a single slip gets your family killed, a song sung by troops from all sides in WWII because it was a world-wide hit in the days and weeks before the war- frozen in time by its outbreak, and yet loved and sung by all sides; the marching song of the Filipino soldiers who, with U.S. troops, freed the Battaan Death March survivors, many of whom came from the Monterey area, and were barely alive, sprung from jail in one of the great prison rescues in history, and nursed along on the perilous journey to Manila; where concentration camper survivor Herbert Zipper, who was incarcerated with the Bataan Death March survivors, conducted a victory concert in a bombed out church; and after it was over, first one musician started playing “You Are My Sunshine,” and then another, and then another until the entire orchestra and their audience who had sacrificed so much, joined in; when the blsackout was lifted in England, the constable woke his daughte up, and carried her outside and asked her what she saw, “Lights, Daddy. What does it mean?”
Crying he said, “The end of the war.”
Connection to Gerald Wilson and the Monterey Jazz Festival
The song is part of the Jazz History of Monterey because of its connection to the jazz world through Paulina and Clem Morales, Burnette Riley nd her father Lozaro Pimintel,
Gerald Wilson did an arrangement of You Are My Sunshine for Ray Charles.
Also, sung by Mance Lipscomb at MJF in 1973????.
Story of Mance Lipscomb
Connection to Joan Baez/Bob Dylan/Nobel Prize.
Versions of You Are My Sunshine