simple needs. He worked for decadesnas a dofFer in the local cotton millnbefore becoming a full-time musicnteacher in the 1950’s. He was one ofnthe most popular and best liked men innLaGrange. His good looks charmednthe women and good nature charmednthe men, and never did he hesitate tonshare what little he ever had withnanyone in need; he was, in a phrase,ngenerous to a fault. He was also thenlocal sage, the person whom neighborsnturned to for advice. He offered to all anready ear and a;willing tongue: thenformer whenever needed, the latternupon request. And considering hisncomplete lack of any formal education,nhis command of the English languagenwas nothing short of remarkable. “Inthink General Sherman would havenbeen very envious of Mama’s ability tonexpress herself in such beautiful andnoriginal terms of force,” he once wrotenof his wife. “I might add that it wouldnmake a bobcat’s tail cud in horror atnthe element of mayhem which is evidentnin her exposition of the King’snEnglish at even such a minor incidentnas a telephone ringing.”nOliver Hood was also a master of thenmandolin, the most sought-after musicnteacher in town, the host of a morningncountry music show on WLAG innLaGrange, and the organizer of numerousnbands that played throughoutnwest Georgia in the 1930’s and 40’s.nAs the natives well remember, hisnhome on McGee Street stood as anvirtual community center. Every Sundaynafternoon musicians from allnaround the area would congregate onnOliver’s front porch to play and recordntheir music till sundown. Church innthe morning, dinner at noon, thennmusic from Oliver Hood’s. This wasntradition; this was ritual; this was hownSunday afternoons were spent fornsome twenty years. If music was heardnissuing from the direction of McGeenStreet, LaGrange knew it was Sunday,nand that Oliver Hood was home.nContrary claims notwithstanding,nOliver Hood wrote “You Are My Sunshine.”nHe wrote the words to the songnon the back of a brown paper sack,nwhich his children still possess, and henGREAT TOPICS, GREAT ISSUESnAmerican Culture — June 1990 — Thomas Flemingnon why government subsidizes affronts to public taste,nGeorge Garrett on why art is political when the governmentnstarts giving grants, and Christopher Lasch on thennew class controversy. Plus Jeffrey Hart on PeggynNoonan, Wayne Lutton on Edward Abbey, RussellnKirk on the essays of Andrew Lytle, and Florence Kingnon Kate Millett’s Loony Bin Trip.nRestoring the Earth —August 1990 — Edward O.nWilson on how intelligent development can save thenenvironment, William Jordan on restorationism, JohnnBaden on the U.S. Forest Service, and FredericknTurner on natural technology. Plus Thomas Flemingnon Earth Day, Chilton Williamson on Joseph WoodnKrutch, Michael Warder on Valentin Rasputin, andnKenneth McDonald on the politics of acid rain innCanada.n1 TITLEn1 American Culturen1 Rebirth of a Nationn1 Restoring tlie Earthn1 Vandals in the Academyn1 Namen1 Citvn50/CHRONICLESnDATEnJune 1990nJuly 1990nAugust 1990nSeptember 1990nAddnRebirth of a Nation — July 1990 — Jacob Neusner,nJohn Lukacs, Lawrence Uzzell, Daniel Stein, DonaldnDevine, and Richard Lamm on the pros and cons ofnimmigration; Katherine Dalton on British journalistsnin America, and Donald Huddle on the immigrationnstudies of Julian Sunon and George Borjas. PlusnRussell Kirk on Richard Nixon, ME. Bradford on LBJ,nand Kenneth McDonald on Canada’s troublesomenQuebec.nVandals in the Academy —September 1990 — ED.nHirsch on the importance of lower education, ElizabethnFox-Genovese on women’s studies, Paul Gottfriednon the politics of teaching humanities, andnThomas Molnar on our scrapbook approach to culturalnliteracy. Plus J.O. Tate on Tenured Radicals,nE. Christian Kopff on Paul de Man, Leon T. Hadarnon the intifada, and O.B. Hardison on the StratfordnShakespearean Festival in Ontario.nEach issue $5,00 (postage & handling included)nQty.nTotal Enclosed $nState. Zip.nCostnMail with check to: Chronicles • 934 N. Main Street • Rockford, IL 61103 Jnnnfirst performed the song at a VFWnconvention in LaGrange in 1933; hensang it through a megaphone out of anhotel window, and he sang no less thanntwenty verses, most of which are lost.nOver the years he wrote hundreds ofnsongs, as did all of his friends. To them,nmusic was a not-for-profit venture, annact of love, something that transcendedncommercial consideration. Never didnthe thought of copyrighting their musicnever come to mind — never, that is,nuntil “You Are My Sunshine” rose tonthe top of the music charts in 1940. Itnwas then that Oliver Hood beganncopyrighting his music — one song toonlate, as he so well knew. A poor cottonnmill doffer doesn’t easily quit dreamingnof the fame and fortune that mightnhave been, and Oliver Hood went tonhis grave dreaming.nIn 1957, at the urgings of one of hisnsons, he wrote and copyrightedn”Somebody Stole My SunshinenAway,” a song about the theft of “YounAre My Sunshine.” A country-westernnband in California was prepared tonrecord the song in early 1959, but bynthis time Oliver had grown skepticalnand suspicious of all legal dealings; henrefused to approve the necessary papers,nand the contract was left unsignednupon his death in March. Whatnfollows is the chorus from this littleknownnsequel. Never before has itnappeared in print:nSomewhere the sun is shining.nBut there’s rain in my heartntoday.nThere’s no denyingnMy heart keeps crying —nSomebody stole my sunshinenaway.nAs Professor Daniel writes in Pickin’non Peachtree: “Mr. Hood was a musiciannand music teacher widely knownnin the west Georgia area. Survivingnfamily members and musical associatesnare adamant in their assertion that Mr.nHood wrote the song. Those whom Ininterviewed consistently place the timenof composition as the eady 1930s.”nTo the people of west Georgia, asnProfessor Daniel concedes, the song’snorigin has never been a mystery. Thenauthor of “You Are My Sunshine” was ‘nOliver Hood, my grandfather.nTheodore Pappas is the assistantneditor of Chronicles.n