Anna Carter Gordon Davis, 87, the widow of former Louisiana Gov. Jimmie Davis and a noted gospel singer in her own right, died of acute respiratory failure March 5 in Fort Worth.
Born in Shannon, Texas, she developed pneumonia as a teenager. To pay for her medicine, her father, D.P. Carter, formed a gospel singing group with other members of the family and marketed it to a Lubbock radio station.
Once she recovered, she added her beautiful alto voice to the group, which eventually became known as the Chuck Wagon Gang. The group became popular and landed a radio program in Fort Worth. It later signed a recording contact with Columbia Records and sold more than 30 million records.
Her first husband, Howard Gordon, played guitar with the group from the 1950s until his death in 1967.
Two years later, she married Jimmie Davis, who was the governor of Louisiana from 1944 to 1948 and 1960 to 1964, and who wrote "You Are My Sunshine." He died in 2000 at age 101.
Anna Davis was inducted into the Gospel Music Assn. Hall of Fame in 1999.