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Jimmy Ray Dean
Birth: Aug. 10, 1928
Olton
Lamb County
Texas, USA
Death: Jun. 13, 2010
Richmond
Henrico County
Virginia, USA

Country Music Singer, Actor, Television Host, and Businessman. He is best remembered for his 1961 Country crossover hit "Big Bad John" which went to Number 1 on the Billboard pop chart, and the creator of the Jimmy Dean sausage brand. Born to working class-class parents, he was exposed to extreme poverty growing up. His interest in music came at an early age, at his local church, and it became his only refuge from a difficult life. He dropped out of high school in 1946 and became a professional entertainer after a stint in the US Air Force in the late 1940s. In 1953 he had his first hit, "Bummin' Around", on the 4 Star label. In 1954 he hosted the popular Washington D.C. radio program "Town and Country Time" on WARL-AM, and with his Texas Wildcats he became popular in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 1955 his radio show moved to WMAL-TV on weekday afternoons. In 1957 he signed with Columbia Records and had minor pop hits, such as "Little Sandy Sleighfoot" (a Christmas novelty song) and "Sing Along", later used as the theme for television's "Sing Along With Mitch". That same year, he hosted "Country Style" on WTOP-TV in Washington DC on weekday mornings. The CBS network picked up the show nationally from Washington for eight months in 1957 under the name "The Morning Show,: and from September 1958, to June 1959, CBS carried "The Jimmy Dean Show" on weekday and Saturday afternoons. In 1961 he recorded "Big Bad John' in Nashville, Tennessee, selling over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. The song won him the 1962 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording. He had several more Top 40 songs including a Top 10 in 1962 with "PT-109", a song in honor of President John F. Kennedy's bravery in World War II. In the mid-1960s, he helped bring country music into the mainstream with his 1963 to 1966 ABC television variety series, "The Jimmy Dean Show." It presented country music entertainers including Grandpa Jones, Roger Miller, George Jones, Charlie Rich, Buck Owens and some, like Joe Maphis, who seldom received network exposure. The program also featured comedy and a variety of popular music artists, and gave puppeteer Jim Henson (of The Muppets fame) his first break with one of his Muppets, Rowlf the Dog, which became one of Dean's sketches on the show. His singing career remained strong into the mid-1960s, along with a second number one Country hit with the ballad "The First Thing Ev'ry Morning (And the Last Thing Ev'ry Night)" (1965), and he had a Top 40 hit that year with "Harvest Of Sunshine." In 1966 he signed with RCA Records and immediately had a Top 10 Country hit with "Stand Beside Me". His other major hits during this time included "Sweet Misery" (1967) and "A Thing Called Love" (1968). He continued charting into the early 1970s with his major hits including a duet with Dottie West, "Slowly" (1971) and a solo hit with "The One You Say Good Morning To" (1972). In 1976 he achieved a million-seller with a recitation song as a tribute to his mother and mothers everywhere called "I.O.U." The song was released a few weeks before Mother's Day and quickly became a Top 10 Country hit, his first one in a decade, and a Top 40 pop hit, his first in 14 years. The song was re-released in 1977, 1983 and 1984, but with minor success each time. After his television show ended in 1966, he turned to acting. His best-known role was as the reclusive Las Vegas billionaire Willard Whyte in the 1971 James Bond movie, "Diamonds Are Forever." He also appeared in fourteen episodes of the television show "Daniel Boone" (1967 through 1970) and as Charlie Rowlands in two "Fantasy Island" episodes (1981 to 1982), as well as on other television shows including a semi-regular role as Charlie Bullets on "J.J. Starbuck" starring Dale Robertson (1987 to 1988). In 1969 he founded the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company with his brother Don. The company did well, in part because of his own extemporized, humor-themed commercials. Its success led to its acquisition in 1984 by Consolidated Foods, later renamed the Sara Lee Corporation. He remained involved in running the company, but the new corporate parent eventually began phasing him out of any management duties, a period that took a toll on his health, and in January 2004 he was dropped as the spokesman for the sausage brand. In the fall of that year, he released his blunt, straight-talking autobiography, "30 Years of Sausage, 50 Years of Ham." In February 2010 he was nominated for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee but died at his home at the age of 81 before he could be formally inducted in October 2010. The epitaph on his tomb reads "Here Lies One Hell of a Man," which is a quote from a lyric from his uncensored version of his song "Big Bad John". (bio courtesy of: Wikipedia) 
 
Burial:
Dean Family Estate
Varina
Henrico County
Virginia, USA
Plot: 9ft piano-shaped mausoleum overlooking the James River
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: David
Record added: Jun 13, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53658263
Jimmy Ray Dean
Added by: katzizkidz
 
Jimmy Ray Dean
Added by: Anthony S
 
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JIMMY, THANK YOU FOR SONGS, LIKE BIG BAD JOHN AND PT 109, GOD BLESS YOU AND RIP
- David Carrasquillo
 Added: Sep. 4, 2014

- Martha
 Added: Aug. 10, 2014

-Anonymous
 Added: Aug. 10, 2014
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