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Charles Mitchell
Born:  April 1, 1905

The life of Charles Mitchell began on a farm in Texas. About seven years later, his family moved to Oklahoma and while growing up, he was among the Choctaw Indians. They were a large part of his life, he leared to ride horses and rope steers and learned to speak the Choctaw language fluently. When he graduated from high school at Blue, Oklahoma, he took a job as the assistant operator at a theatre.

Charles Mitchell

From there, he took a course in telegraphy and got himself a position as a telegraph operator for an Oklahoma railroad company. He had made some contacts with small stock companies and began to edge his way into a musical and stage career. He started playing the piano and mandolin.

Vaudeville was being to disappear and radio was coming on the scene when Charles decided he would learn to play the Hawaiian steel guitar. He was working for an oil company in Louisiana when he met a group of Hawaiians and from there launched a successful radio career.

Fan mail started arriving at the station and that gave him the impetus to form his own string orchestra, which played a Hawaiian and Western style of music. Charles Mitchell and his group played at theatres and school auditoriums throughout Louisiana and eastern Texas.

Then in 1930, Charles met Jimmie Davis. Jimmie liked what he heard and used Charles Mitchell's orchestra to accompany him on his recordings at that time. In 1940, they collaborated to write one of the most popular hillbilly tunes of all time, "You Are My Sunshine".

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly Hit Parade of 1942; Peer International Corporation; 1619 Broadway, New York, NY

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Rec. No. Side Song Title
  8716 A Sun's Gone Out Of Our Love
  8716 B Jersey Side Jive
  8736 A Rainbow Island
  8736 B You Don't Love Me Anymore
  8799 A Faithful Little Cowboy
  8799 B My Island Reverie

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