Country Star, Sausage King Jimmy Dean Dies
June 14, 2010 at 4:00 AM (PT)
JIMMY DEAN, whose successful Country music career paralleled his success as a businessman and sausage company founder, died SUNDAY night (6/13) at his HENRICO, VA home of natural causes at 81.
DEAN, who was inducted into the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME this year, hit #1 on the pop charts with "Big Bad John" in 1961. He also topped the Country chart with "The First Thing Ev'ry Morning (And The Last Thing Ev'ry Night)" in 1965 and had another top 10 pop hit with "P.T. 109" in 1962. Starting his career as a host on WARL-A/ARLINGTON, VA in the 1940's, DEAN was frequently on TV, hosting variety shows for CBS in the 1950s and ABC in the 1960s and appearing on CBS' "THE MORNING SHOW" in the 1950's. He also appeared in the JAMES BOND film "DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER" and guested on "FANTASY ISLAND," "DANIEL BOONE" and other shows.
The JIMMY DEAN SAUSAGE COMPANY was founded by DEAN and his brother DON in 1969 and became a major success; the DEAN brothers sold the company to CONSOLIDATED FOODS in 1984 but DEAN remained active with the division until later being phased out of the operation.