It is with great sadness that I report the death of legendary country singer and sausage king Jimmy Dean.
Dean died Sunday (6/13) of natural causes, according to his wife Donna.
Dean is one of four members of the Country Music Hall of Fame class of 2010. He joined Ferlin Husky (who had two serious hospitalizations last year), Don Williams, and producer/songwriter Billy Sherrill when the announcements were made in February. The formal inductions are slated for later this summer.
Although best known for his 1961 hit "Big Bad John," which reached #1 on both the country and the pop charts, there was so much more to Jimmy Dean than that one big song. His songs ranged from historical ("PT 109") to comical ("I Won't Go Huntin' With You, Jake [But I'll Go Chasin' Women]") to sentimental ("IOU"). He also introduced the world to Roy Clark and Jim Henson on his 50s and 60s television series The Jimmy Dean Show. And, of course, he became a household name when he launched his own brand of sausage products in 1969.
Jimmy Dean was 81.
Jimmy Dean dies