58 Facts About Jimmie Davis


James Houston Davis was an American politician, singer and songwriter of both sacred and popular songs.

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Jimmie Davis was elected for two nonconsecutive terms from 1944 to 1948 and from 1960 to 1964 as the governor of his native Louisiana.

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Jimmie Davis was a nationally popular country music and gospel singer from the 1930s into the 1960s, occasionally recording and performing as late as the early 1990s.

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Jimmie Davis appeared as himself in a number of Hollywood movies.

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Jimmie Davis was inducted into six halls of fame, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

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Jimmie Davis was born to a sharecropping couple, the former Sarah Elizabeth Works and Samuel Jones Jimmie Davis, in Beech Springs, southeast of Quitman in Jackson Parish, north Louisiana.

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The family was so poor that young Jimmie Davis did not have a bed in which to sleep until he was nine years old.

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Jimmie Davis told The New York Times several years ago that his sharecropper parents could never recall just when he was born – he was, after all, one of 11 children – and that he had not had the slightest idea when it really was.

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Jimmie Davis graduated from Beech Springs High School and from Soule Business College, in New Orleans.

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Jimmie Davis received his bachelor's degree in history from the Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville in Rapides Parish.

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Jimmie Davis received a master's degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

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Jimmie Davis became a commercially successful singer of rural music before he entered politics.

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Jimmie Davis was known for recording energetic and raunchy blues tunes, such as "Red Nightgown Blues" and "Tom Cat and Pussy Blues".

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In one case, anti-Jimmie Davis forces played some records over an outdoor sound system, only to give up after the crowds started dancing, ignoring the double-entendre lyrics.

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Jimmie Davis often performed during his campaign stops when running for governor of Louisiana.

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Jimmie Davis recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company, and Decca Records for decades and released more than 40 albums.

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Jimmie Davis was a close friend of the North Dakota-born band leader Lawrence Welk, who frequently reminded viewers of his television program of his association with Davis.

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Jimmie Davis appeared in half a dozen films, including one starring Ozzie and Harriet, who had a TV series under their names.

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Jimmie Davis had served as pianist for singer Ricky Nelson early in his career.

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Jimmie Davis was a close acquaintance of the country singer-songwriter Hank Williams, with whom he co-wrote the top-10 hit " Lonesome Whistle" in 1951, supposedly on a fishing day they spent together.

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Jimmie Davis was elected in 1938 as Shreveport's public safety commissioner.

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Jimmie Davis was elected during his term as governor and left after two years.

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Jimmie Davis named Cecil Morgan of Shreveport to the Louisiana Civil Service Commission.

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Jimmie Davis reached out to the Longites when he commuted the prison sentence imposed on former LSU President James Monroe Smith, convicted in the Louisiana Hayride scandals of the late 1930s.

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Jimmie Davis kept his hand in show business, and set a record for absenteeism during his first term.

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Under the term limit provision of the state constitution then in effect, Jimmie Davis was limited to a single non-consecutive term in office.

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Jimmie Davis has all the external attributes of a "man of the people", but his serious political connections seem to be with the [parish-seat] elite and its allies, particularly the major industrial combinations of the state.

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Jimmie Davis is in many respects a toned-down version of the old-style southern politician who could spellbound the mass of voters into supporting him regardless of the effects of his programs on their welfare.

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Jimmie Davis creates the perfect image of a man to be trusted and one whose intense calm is calculated to bring rational balance into the political life of the state.

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Jimmie Davis was running at a time when African Americans in the civil rights movement were seeking social justice and restoration of their constitutional rights.

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Jimmie Davis ran second in the primary to "Chep" Morrison, considered an anti-Long liberal by Louisiana standards.

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Jimmie Davis defeated Morrison in the party runoff held on January 9,1960.

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Jimmie Davis won the northern and central parts of the state plus Baton Rouge, while Morrison dominated the southern portion of the state, particularly the French cultural parishes.

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Jimmie Davis had avoided segregationist rhetoric in the first primary race in 1959.

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Morrison charged that Jimmie Davis had "operated an integrated honky-tonk in California", when Jimmie Davis was out of state with his singing career.

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Morrison said that Jimmie Davis had allowed the illegal operation of nine thousand slot machines when Jimmie Davis was governor during the 1940s.

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Jimmie Davis had lost in the 1944 primary to J Emile Verret of Iberia Parish, who served in the second-ranking position in the first Davis administration.

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Jimmie Davis effectively used the slogan "He's One of Us" in the gubernatorial race.

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Jimmie Davis secured the backing of organized labor and made inroads among the white, urban working class, which would have been essential to a Morrison victory.

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Jimmie Davis named as state highway director Ray Burgess of Baton Rouge, who considered running for governor in the 1963 primary.

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Jimmie Davis gained legislative support from many formerly pro-Long lawmakers and cemented his hold on the traditional anti-Long bloc.

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Jimmie Davis avoided defeat on any legislation that he strongly supported and was able to defeat nearly all bills with which he did not concur.

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Jimmie Davis offered tacit support to Presidents John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson, national Democrats, to secure the state's hold of pending offshore oil revenues.

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Toward the end of his life, longtime Democrat Jimmie Davis endorsed at least two Republican candidates after the state's voters had gone through a political realignment.

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In 1996 Davis endorsed Republican state representative Woody Jenkins of Baton Rouge for the US Senate against Democrat Mary Landrieu of New Orleans, and Governor Murphy J "Mike" Foster, Jr.

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Jimmie Davis's opponent was African-American Democratic Congressman Bill Jefferson of New Orleans.

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Jimmie Davis coordinated the pay periods of state employees, who had sometimes received their checks a week late, a particular hardship to those with low earnings.

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Two years after her death in 1967, Jimmie Davis married Anna Gordon, born Effie Juanita Carter.

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Jimmie Davis was a longtime fan of the group, who were gospel music pioneers with more than 36 million records sold in forty years of affiliation with Columbia Records.

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Out of office, Jimmie Davis resided primarily in Baton Rouge but made numerous singing appearances, particularly in churches throughout the United States.

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Jimmie Davis is interred alongside his first wife at the Jimmie Davis Tabernacle Cemetery in his native Beech Springs community near Quitman.

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Jimmie Davis was aged 101 years and 55 days, which made him the longest-lived of all US state governors at the time of his death.

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Jimmie Davis held this record until March 18,2011, when Albert Rosellini of Washington achieved a greater lifespan of 101 years, 56 days.

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Jimmie Davis Tabernacle is located near Weston in Jackson Parish.

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Jimmie Davis was posthumously inducted into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame in Ferriday, Louisiana.

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Jimmie Davis was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1972, the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1997 and The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

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In 1993, Jimmie Davis was among the first thirteen inductees of the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.

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Jimmie Davis believed that his singing career enhanced his political prospects.

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