Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jimmy Dean: 1928-2010

"Big Bad John" brought up the rear for classic country recordings in 1961. It was the first hit for Jimmy Dean and the last No. 1 song of the year, following "Walk On By" by Leroy Van Dyke.

There were other memorable hits that year, including Johnny Horton's "North to Alaska," Faron Young's "Hello Walls" and "I Fall to Pieces," the first Decca recording by Patsy Cline, who would die two years later in a plane crash.

Dean would have just one other No. 1 song, "The First Thing Ev'ry Morning (and the Last Thing Ev'ry Night)" in 1965, and we'll buy you a schooner of your favorite draft beer if you remember that one. Everybody remembers him for "Big Bad John." Well, that and his breakfast sausage, which may not be all that healthy but damned if it doesn't taste good.

Dean died Sunday at age 81. We pay our respects today, and offer an audio clip of the great tune that ruled the country airwaves for a spell back in 1961.

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