Though associated with Al Jolson, who performed the song very successfully, "My Mammy" was performed first by William Frawley (later to become famous on I Love Lucy) as a vaudeville act. Jolson heard the song and performed it for the Broadway show Sinbad in 1918. Jolson recorded this song twice and performed it in films, including The Jazz Singer (1927), The Singing Fool (1928) and Rose of Washington Square (1939), "The Jolson Story."
The group The Happenings revived the song in 1967 with a recording that reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. During their PopMart Tour of 1997–98, rock music band U2 would often quote the line "The sun shines east, the sun shines west, I know where the sun shines best" in performances of their song, "Miami". "The British rock band The Psychedelic Furs parodied it in their song "We Love You" , singing "I would walk a million smiles for one of your miles" . In the Broadway musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie", the song is parodied in the song "Muqǐn".
The song "My Mammy" has been recorded by many artists, including:
- White, Mark (1983). "You must remember this—": popular songwriters, 1900-1980. F. Warne. p. 79