Jimmy Dean


Jimmy Dean Famous memorial

Olton, Lamb County, Texas, USA
Death 13 Jun 2010 (aged 81)
Varina, Henrico County, Virginia, USA
Burial Varina, Henrico County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 53658263 View Source

Singer, Actor, Entrepreneur. Born the son of Ruth Taylor and George Otto Dean in Olton, Texas. After a childhood of poverty, he dropped out of high school to help provide for the family, and joined the Merchant Marines at 16. After the declaration of the Second World War, he enlisted and served at Bolling Air Force Base, where he also started his music career as an accordionist at a tavern near the base. After the war, he fronted a band called the Texas Wildcats, and landed a record deal with Four Star records. In 1953, his first single, 'Bummin' Around,' became a Top 10 hit. The success led to his own radio show on WARL, in Arlington, Virginia, which in turn led to a CBS television show in 1957, 'The Jimmy Dean Show.' In 1961, he released the cross-over hit, 'Big Bad John,' which climbed to number one on both the country and pop charts, and earned him a Grammy Award. Another eleven albums on the Columbia label followed. After his television show was canceled in 1963, he immediately made a deal with ABC for another, a variety show also called 'The Jimmy Dean Show.' It ran for three years and was credited with introducing the Muppets to mainstream audiences in the form of Rowlf the Dog, Dean's 'accompanist.' He filled venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, then became the first country singer to play the Las Vegas strip. Nine albums were released on the RCA label between 1967 and 1971. He then branched into acting, playing the recurring role of Josh Clements in the series, 'Daniel Boone,' and a pair of television movies before taking his only feature film role in 'Diamonds Are Forever' (1971). In 1969, he and his brother, Don, founded The Jimmy Dean Meat Company. Within six months, the firm was turning a profit. Acting as his own spokesman, his folksy commercials led to Jimmy Dean Pure Pork Sausage becoming the number one seller in its product category. His last album, 'I.O.U.' was released in 1977, and dedicated to his mother. He sold his meat company to Sara Lee Foods in 1984, but remained the spokesman until 2003 when he was edged out. Living in semi-retirement, he published his autobiography, '30 Years of Sausage, 50 Years of Ham' in 2004. In February 2010, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, dying suddenly only four months later, before the induction ceremony could take place. In 2018, Sara Lee began re-airing Jimmy Dean Sausage classic commercials featuring his voice over.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: David
  • Added: 13 Jun 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 53658263
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jimmy Dean (10 Aug 1928–13 Jun 2010), Find a Grave Memorial ID 53658263, citing Dean Family Estate, Varina, Henrico County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .