Sausage king, TV star, and country music icon [lastfm]Jimmy Dean[/lastfm] passed away last weekend at age 81. He may have been a long time away from the music charts (his song “Big Bad John” was a major hit in 1961), but thanks to his business sense (he founded the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company in 1969), he still was a household name to anyone who passed by a display of breakfast meats in their local supermarket.
Here he is during his TV variety-show heyday, alongside frequent companion Rowlf of Muppets fame:
And you old-school country fans will appreciate this video of Dean from his TV show, performing a duet with a young [lastfm]Buck Owens[/lastfm]–check it out after the jump!
Dean’s signature song “Big Bad John” has been covered over the years by all sorts of artists. We dug up a couple versions you may not have heard.
1960s-era Czech songwriter [lastfm]Jiri Slitr[/lastfm]:
And last but not least, a spoken-word version from Dean himself in his later years:
Read more about [lastfm]Jimmy Dean[/lastfm] on Last.fm!