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Jimmy Dean

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Jimmy Dean (August 10, 1928 Olton, Texas - June 13, 2010 Varina, Virginia) was an American singer, actor, and businessman who became a professional entertainer following a stint in the U.S. Air Force in the late 1940s. He was born Jimmy Ray Dean (not Seth Ward, as is sometimes stated - Seth Ward is the district of Plainview, Texas where he grew up).

He became the host of the popular Washington D.C. TV program Town and Country Time and, with his Texas Wildcats, became regional favorites. Both Patsy Cline and Roy Clark got their starts with Dean, who eventually fired Clark, his lead guitarist, for chronic tardiness. Patsy Cline and Dean were good friends during the run of the TV run of Town and Country Time in the mid-50s. He had his first hit, “Bummin’ Around,” in 1953 on the 4-Star label, which went Top 5, Country.

By 1958 he was recording for Columbia for whom he had a Pop (non-Country) hit with “Little Sandy Sleightfoot”, a Christmas novelty number. Dean moved to New York in the 1950s where he hosted another TV variety show for CBS. He became best known internationally for his 1961 song “Big Bad John,” recorded in Nashville, that went to No.1 on the Billboard charts and was a pop hit in the UK… The song won Dean the 1962 Grammy for Best Country & Western Recording.

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