The official credited songwriters of "You Are My Sunshine" are Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. However, it is speculated that Davis actually purchased the song rights from The Rice Brothers Gang, and it was their musician friend, Oliver Hood, who truly authored the song.
The first official release of "You Are My Sunshine" was a 1939 recording by The Pine Ridge Boys, and this was followed by a recording by The Rice Brothers Gang in the same year. The Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell version was released in 1940. Oliver Hood, alleged songwriter, had collaborated and performed with The Rice Brothers Gang.
Paul Rice claimed he wrote the song in 1937, but eyewitnesses recall performances of the song as early as 1933 by Oliver Hood. Later, in 1957, Oliver Hood wrote the song "Somebody Stole My Sunshine Away," referencing the theft of the song.