Eleven years ago today, Jimmy Dean was officially nominated for the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Sadly, Dean passed away before the ceremony that induced him and Don Williams, into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He passed away at the age of 81 in June 2010. The event was held in October of the same year.
Furthermore, various stories were told about Dean, about how he grew up in Texas in poverty and then became a successful recording artist to eventually owning a sausage company.
Dean Rises to Recording Fame
Dean started his recording career in the 1950s. Then in 1961, he scored a No. 1 hit with “Big Bad John” on both the country and pop singles chart. What’s more, the 1960s proved to be majorly successful for Dean. He went on to record hits including “Dear Ivan,” “Little Black Book,” “P.T. 109,” and “The First Thing Ev’ry Morning (And the Last Thing Ev’ry Night).”
From 1963 to ’66, the Texan hosted an hour-long TV musical variety show named “The Jimmy Dean Show.” The program aired on ABC and had many musical guests like Roger Miller, George Jones, and Buck Owens.
“He took country music, the voice of the working man, to network television,” said Kyle Young, 2010 Country Music Hall of Fame Director, according to CMT.
Not only was Dean performing in Las Vegas, Carnegie Hall, and the London Palladium, he also took up acting. Dean played fur trapper Josh Clements on “Daniel Boone.” Additionally, he had a supporting role in the 1971 James Bond film, “Diamonds Are Forever.”
Jimmy Dean Launches Meat Company
Jimmy Dean launched the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. in the late ’60s. This was after he previously bought a hog farm in his home state.
“Everything was fine and dandy until hog prices dropped out,” he says in a 2004 interview. “One morning I was having breakfast at a little old diner in Plainview — sausages and eggs — and reached up and plucked a [large] piece of gristle out of my teeth.”
Dean thought he could do things better and set out to produce high quality sausage.
“It was not something I just put my name on,” he said. “It was my money and my sausage and my work — and those commercials that they think are so funny.”
Dean sold his meat company to what’s now known as the Sara Lee Corp. in 1984. He remained chairman of the board and also the TV spokesman. However, after he was dropped as the spokesperson in 2003, reports say that Dean stopped eating the products that bared his name. Furthermore, he changed his license plated that read SSG KING.