Country Music lost another legend this past weekend. Though the name Jimmy Dean has become more synonymous with sausage than with his musical talent. Jimmy Dean was 81.
Born in 1928 near Plainview TX, Jimmy Ray Dean fell in love with music at an early age, learning to play the piano by the age of 10. It didn’t take him long to master other instruments as well.
His musical career followed his service in the Air Force. He formed a band in Washington DC called The Texas Wildcats. Their first national hit came in 1953, Bummin’ Around.
His long television career began in 1955 on the Town and Country Jamboree on WMAL in Washington and later the Jimmy Dean Show on CBS until 1959. Other tv shows would include his prime-time hour on ABC from 1963-1966 where he opened his shows with every country act of the day. His last series was Jimmy Dean’s Country Beat in 1984.
Mr. Dean had his first big hit, ‘Big Bad John’, the first song he ever attempted to write, and is the one he is most noted for still today. Other songs included ‘The First Thing Every Morning’ and ‘Slowly’ – a duet with Dottie West, and gospel music.
You may read his obituary here:
Happy Trails, Jimmy Dean