Jimmy Dean, a famous name in American music industry was born on August 10, 1928 in Plainview, Texas. He is an American singer, actor, and businessman. Even though he may be famous today as the father of the Jimmy Dean Food Company, initially he acquired the reputation and fame for his country crossover hits like "Big Bad John," and for his television appearances.
Jimmy Dean turned an expert artiste after a stint in the United States Air Force in the late 1940s by the theater name, "Jimmy Dean." He became the host of the popular Washington D.C. TV series Town and Country Time and, with his Texas Wildcats, became much loved in the region. Both Patsy Cline and Roy Clark got their launch with Dean, who in due course fired Clark, his lead guitarist, for never ending lateness. He had his first hit, "Bummin' Around," in 1953.
Dean went on to New York in the 1950s where he hosted another TV show for CBS and entered into a contract with Columbia Records. He became best known for his 1961 song "Big Bad John" that went to Hot 100 No. 1 Hits of 1961 (USA) numero uno on the Billboard magazine and Billboard charts. The song won Jimmy 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 PT-109 and John F. Kennedy. In the early 1960s he also hosted the Tonight Show. Tonight Show on one night launched Roy Clark, with whom he'd remain gracious, to a wider viewers, something that helped out Clark in enhancing his profession.
His mid-1960s American Broadcasting Company ABC television variety show was one of the primaries to present country music entertainers with distinction and rank, on their terms. Roger Miller, George Jones, Charlie Rich, Buck Owens and others got some of their first network TV revelation on the Dean show, also well known for his usual drawing with one of Jim Henson's long running muppets, Rowlf the Dog.
Dean entered into a contract with RCA Records and soon he had a Top 10 hit with "Stand Beside Me". His other big hits in the same phase of time included "Sweet Misery" (1967) and "A Thing Called Love" (1968). He continued having hits well into the early 1970s with his major hits during this period included a duet with Dottie West called "Slowly" (1971) and a solo chartbuster with "The One You Say Good Morning To" (1972).
When the show finished, he began to try his hand in acting in the late 1960s, with his most famous character being that of millionaire Willard Whyte in the 1971 James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever. Dean also performed all across the country and approximately in 1969 established the Jimmy Dean Sausage brand name which was in the beginning called "Pure Pork Sausage."
In spite of ups and downs (some spinning around his troubles with his partner-brother Don Dean), the Jimmy Dean Sausage corporation did healthy business, in part because of Dean’s own extemporized, high quality comedy commercials. Its accomplishment guided to its take over by Consolidated Foods, and later on it was renamed Sara Lee Corporation. Over time, Dean stayed concerned in administration of the company, although they in the long run began fazing him out of any administration duties, a disturbing age that took a toll on his physical fitness.
In January 2004, Dean said that the company Sara Lee had terminated him as the orator for the sausage brand. Life Beyond Music and Acting for Jimmy DeanAs a Virginia resident since 1990, he was given a place in the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997. Previous Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore signed up Dean to the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, which looks after the state's wildlife efforts and officiates the boating regulations
In the fall of 2004, he released his frank, straight talking autobiography, 30 Years of Sausage, 50 Years of Ham. Today, Dean lives in semiretirement with second wife Donna Meade Dean, a past singer who assisted him write his book.