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Eddie Dean
Born:  July 9, 1907
Died:  March 4, 1999
Academy of Country Music Pioneer (1978)
Western Music Association Hall of Fame (1990)
Western Swing Society Hall of Fame (1992)
Hoffman Hayride (KGO-TV)
Town Hall Party
KFOX Long Beach, CA
KFVD Los Angeles, CA
KMMJ Clay Center, NE
WENR Chicago, IL
WGN Chicago, IL
WIBW Topeka, KS
WNAX Yankton, SD
WLS Chicago, IL (1934)

About The Artist

Eddie Dean - WIBW Roundup July 1947 Eddie Dean was one of the lesser Hollywood "singing cowboys" whose starring roles were limited to only twenty films (1944-1950), but he was widely acclaimed to be one of the best singers in that particular trade. While he recorded several numbers each for Decca and Capitol, the majority of his numbers were on such labels as Majestic and Sage & Sand.

In addition, he composed a large number of songs, most notably "One Has My Name (the Other Has My Heart)" and "I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven," which became even bigger hits for his friends. The best known of Dean's songs he did for himself was "On the Banks of the Sunny San Juan."

Edgar Dean Glosup was born near Sulphur Springs, Texas. His farmer father also taught voice music to his rather large family of which Eddie was the seventh son. At nineteen, he went to Chicago where one of his older brothers resided.

He befriended some WLS musicians and appeared on some of their daytime programs. Someone suggested that his surname was not good for radio, so he dropped Glosup and he (and a brother) used only Dean for a last name.

Radio Days

Eddie and a brother Jimmy actually began regular broadcasting at WNAX radio in Yankton, South Dakota and then at WIBW Topeka, Kansas. In 1934, he moved back to Chicago and the boys made their first recordings for Decca, putting six hymns on disc. Later that year, they did eight songs for Art Satherly that appeared on several American Record Corporation labels. He also appeared on a variety of daytime soap operas on network programs.

In 1936, Billboard mentions in their Program Reviews column that Eddie had the role of Larry Burton, an out of work rodeo cowboy in a radio series called "Broadway Cinderella that aired over WGN in Chicago and the MBS Network.

In 1942, Billboard mentions that Eddie had joined the Judy Canova program and mentions some of Eddie's earlier stops at variou radio stations. In addition to WNAX, it mentions Clay Center, Nebraska, most likely radio station KMMJ. It went on to mention he 'progressed to minstrel man' at WGN then to 'professional hillbilly' on WENR in Chicago. In mentioning a tune he had written with Judy Canova - Put A Star In Your Window Tonight - Eddie discovered he was getting royalty checks for a song he had written but forgotten, How Can You Save You Love Me? The mention indicated that the Petrillo ban on recordings helped bring the old record to light and sales were doing well.

While with the Canova program, Alma Sioux Scarberry, a novelist who was working in the publicity department for CBS, used Eddie as an inspiration when she wrote the tune, I'd Lasso A Rainbow For You.

As an example of how it can be frustrating for researchers to find information on someone, the duo of Eddie and Jimmie Dean were known as the "Dean Brothers" on WLS. However, in 1934, another duo of Dean Brothers were showing up in searches - Jay (Dizzy) and Paul (Daffy) Dean - were making a name for themselves in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Promo Ad - Dean Brothers National Barn Dance - 1935 Eddie Dean and Lorene Dean - WIBW - 1947

Eddie Dean - WIBW Roundup July 1947

Cowboy In The Movies

One obituary indicates he started to get into films with a bit part in the Tex Ritter movie, Golden Trail in 1940. He played the role of Henchman Bart.

In early 1938, Eddie moved to Hollywood. George Biggar reported for WLS Stand-By in April 1938 (a letter he wrote to WLS was from March 8, 1938) that Eddie was taking auditions for work in Hollywood, seemed to be getting good reviews and was hoping for that 'break' soon. He had jobs playing supporting roles in films and sang songs on radio, increasingly western ballads.

In 1944, Eddie landed a contract with the poverty-row movie studio PRC to star in a series of musical westerns. Initially he co-starred with veteran Ken Maynard in Harmony Trail. The first in the PRC series, Song of Old Wyoming, came out early in 1945.

The first five films were shot in Cinecolor (a less expensive alternative to technicolor; trucolor was another). Eddie's films had lower budgets than those of Autry and Rogers. In one interview, Eddie felt that was the reason for the popularity of his films - they were the first done in color.

In mid-1947 through 1948, Eagle-Lion Studio took over the series as PRC went bankrupt. During his movie star days, Crystal, Mercury and Majestic were his record labels, with Majestic having better distribution.

Many of the movie posters seen during research often mention the name of Eddie's horse in the movie. He used four horses in his movies — War Paint, Flash, White Cloud and Copper.

By 1955, he had appeared in over 50 movies.

Eddie Dean - Photo

Recordings / Songwriting

In 1941, Eddie signed with Decca doing a dozen songs in two sessions including one of his signature numbers co-written with Glenn Strange (later remembered as Sam the bartender on Gunsmoke), "On the Banks of the Sunny San Juan" which became his lifelong theme song. He began singing on Gene Autry's radio show. He was also a regular on Judy Canova's popular network program.

Early Billboard magazine record reviews of various artists were often very descriptive in their choice of words. One example was a review of Eddie's Little Grey Home In The West b/w Where The Silv'ry Colorado Wends Its Way (Decca 6026) in 1942:

"A sentimental twosome given a quiet and highly effective rendition by Dean's deep, pleasant voice and nice top notes, backed by melodion and guitars. Home, on the A side, is an always popular oldie that's taken extremely slowly and quietly and with a heavy helping of schmaltz. Should prove excellent for the many spots where customers like to cry into their beer. Colorado, on the B side, is also given quiet treatment, but at a brighter tempo: it, too, is a swell bet for localities where sentiment counts. Both are good, but Colorado is probably a bit the better. A nice disk both ways. "

"One Has My Name" made the charts for him, but his friend Jimmy Wakely's cover spent eleven weeks at number one. Eddie's wife was a co-writer on this song.

Delights in Eddie's movies included such sidekicks as Emmett Lynn and Roscoe Ates and leading ladies typified by Jennifer Holt and the lovely Shirley Patterson.

Dean's movie career ended but his musical career endured for well into the 1980's. He recorded for Capitol in the early 1950's and then turned to the small but stable Sage & Sand label where he had more singles than for any other company, including his first rendition of "I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven" which later became a huge hit for Tex Ritter.

Eddie Dean - I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven - Ad - 1954 "I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven" was his biggest hit. Bea Terry met with Eddie and his wife and learned how that song got written. It seems it started with a dream Eddie's wife, Lorine, had about ghost riders and talking to singing ghosts. A few days later, Hal Southern had met Eddie and told him he also had had a dream; his was about a hillbilly heaven. Eddie quipped, "We'd better write that song, Hal. My wife had a dream, too."

Woody Fleener, who owned a small label, Sage & Sand, was trying to record Eddie. The song was recorded and Sage & Sand was no longer a "small record company."

There was a bit of irony here as some people considered Dean insufficiently country. Sage & Sand also released three Dean long-play albums.

Besides the hits mentioned so far, Eddie wrote or co-wrote other tunes as well.

  • One Has My Name, The Other Has My Heart (1949) co-writers, Dearest Dean, Hal Blair
  • I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven (1954) co-writer, Hal Sothern
  • I Was Wrong (1944) co-writer, Pete Canova
  • One You Must Choose (1949) co-writer, Ray Broome
  • This Lonely World (1952) co-writer, Porter Johns
  • Banks Of The Old Ri-o Grande (1947) co-writer, Glenn Strange
  • You Want To Divorce Me (1947) co-writers, Ham Hamilton, Hal Blair
  • I'll Be Back (1946) co-writers, Rex Preis, Bill Bryan, Gene Autry
  • Fool's Gold (1950) co-writer, Ralph Sherven

Promo Ad - Dean Brothers National Barn Dance - 1935 Eddie Dean and Lorene Dean - WIBW - 1947

In the 1970's Eddie recorded for Jimmy Wakely's Shasta label and had other albums for various budget firms. His voice held firm through the 1980's when he entertained at numerous western film festivals.

Eddie Dean - One Has My Name The Other Has My Heart July 1948

Eddie Dean - I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven - December 1954

In his later years he received numerous awards for his contributions to western music. On March 20, 1999 (after his death), he was honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

He was one of the founding members of the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and served as a vice-president. In 1978, he received the Academy of Country Music Pioneer Award. In 1990, he was inducted into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame.

Biography - The Golden Cowboy by Stephen Fratallone - 2014 Hillbilly Hit Parade - Eddie Dean 1944

Riding Into The Sunset

A 1955 article mentioned that at one time he spent some time prospecting for uranium.

By the mid-1990s, the man often termed the "Golden Voiced Cowboy" began to encounter health problems. He passed away prior to his ninety-second birthday of emphysema.

In the various obituaries that covered his career in its varied aspects, a comment by James Nottage, who was a curator at the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage. He stated, "He Had aa really pleasant voice. ... I think he would have been known in country and western music if he had not been in film."

Another obituary noted that he starred in an ABC Television series called "The Marshal of Gunsight Pass" that ran for six months before being cancelled in 1950. The show was produced by Russell Hayden. In another, it mentions he had a standing part as the yodeling copyin "The Beverly Hillbillies" television series (e.g., in Season 1, Episode 21 he does a bit of yodeling with Pearl (played by Bea Bernadet).

He performed will into his 80's, often appearing at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood. He was said to be quite adept at doing impressions. His impersonation of Elvis Presley was said to be "masterful."

On September 11, 1931, Eddie married the former Lorene Donnelly whom he had nicknamed "Dearest" in Yankton, South Dakota where he was working at WNAX. His obituary mentions two children, son, Eddie Jr. and daughter, Donna Lee. His wife, Lorene, was born on October 4, 1911 in Yankton, SD; she passed away on July 12, 2002. They are buried in Westlake Village, CA.

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to express its thanks to Ivan M. Tribe, author of Mountaineer Jamboree — Country Music in West Virginia and other books that can be found on Amazon.com and numerous articles in other publications for providing us with information about this artist.
  • The Hillbilly Reasearcher Team of Tricker, Turner and Sax provided portions of the discography listing.
  • Haylofter Haunts Hollywood; George Biggar; April 9, 1938; WLS Stand-By; Prairie Farmer; Chicago, IL
  • The Story Behind His Biggest Recording Hit; Bea Terry; June 1955; Country & Western Jamboree; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Eddie Dean 1907 - 1999; Jonny Whiteside; March 25, 1999; LA Weekly; Los Angeles, CA
  • Eddie Dean, Singing Cowboy of the '40's; March 6, 1999; San Francisco Examiner; San Francisco, CA
  • Eddie Dean, Singing Cowboy; Modesto Bee; March 6, 1999; Modesto, CA
  • Front and Center; Helen Muir, Miami News Drama Critic; December 18, 1960; Miami News; Miami, FL
  • Life Story Of Eddie Dean; August 15, 1946; Vol. 1 No. 1; Western and Hillbilly Stars' Radio-Movie-Rodeo News Magazinel Frank Karpinski; Whitestone, NY
  • Program Reviews; January 18, 1936; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Records, Week's Best Releases; March 21, 1942; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes and Tunesters - HIllbilly Comment; July 31, 1943; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes and Tunesters - Tunester Tattle; October 2, 1943; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes and Tunesters - Tunester Tattle; October 2, 1943; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • Eddie Dean, 91; First of Singing Cowboys to Star in Color Movies; Elaine Woo; March 5, 1999; The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, CA

Related Web Links

Eddie Dean's Discography

Sound Sample—(YouTube Video Format)

I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven

Appearance History This Month

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Bel Tone
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  267 A Careless Darlin'
  267 B This Lonely World
  268 A Born To Be Blue
  268 B The Low Road's Good Enough For Me
  269 A For Better Or Worse
  269 B Cry-Cry-Cry
  273 A Dream Rose
  273 B 1501 Miles Of Heaven
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1362 A My Life With You
  1362 B Will They Open Up That Door
  1389 A If I Should Come Back
  1389 B All That I'm Asking Is Sympathy
  1424 A Please Don't Cry
  1424 B I'll Be Back
  1497 A I'm The Old Friend
  1497 B ?????
  1590 A I Married The Girl (Who Caught The Bouquet)
  1590 B Let Me Hold You When You’re Blue
  1729 A Roses Reminds Me Of You
  1729 B I'm Not In Love, Just Involved
  1842 A Beloved Enemy
  1842 B The Lord's Prayer
  1915 A Blue Wedding Bells
  1915 B Tears On My Guitar
  2086 A Cold Yellow Gold
  2086 B Poor Little Swallow
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  559 A Don't Take Advantage Of Me
  559 B Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  132 A One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)
  132 B Wake Me Up In The Morning By The Swannee River
  148 A Baby You Should Live So Long
  148 B California Waltz
  156 A A Gravedigger's Lament
  156 B Million Tears Ago
  264 A Wake Me In The Morning By The Swannee River
  264 B California Waltz
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  46135 A How Can You Say You Love Me
  46135 B Sleepy Time In Caroline
  5988 A On The Banks Of Sunny San Juan
  5988 B When It's Harvest Time In Peaceful Valley
  6026 A Little Grey Home In The West
  6026 B Where The Silvery Colorado Wends Its Way
  6034 A I'm Back In The Saddle Again
  6034 B Sleepy Time In Caroline
  6086 A How Can You Say You Love Me
  6086 B I'm Comin' Home, Darlin'
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  5 A I Could Cry Over You
  5 B Way Out Yonder
  5 C Waggin’ Tongues
  5 D Old Wyoming
Gold Seal
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  2829 A This Lonely World
  2829 B The Low Road's Good Enough For Me
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  6087 A I'm A Stranger In My Home
  6087 B Put A Little Sweetnin' (In Your Love)
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  11000 A Missouri
  11000 B No Vacancy
  11001 A There's A Rose That Grows In The Ozarks
  11001 B I Was Wrong
  11004 A Rainbow At Midnight
  11004 B Kentucky Waltz
  11007 A Ain't It A Shame Love, Ain't It A Shame
  11007 B I'll Cry On My Pillow Tonight
  11018 A Toodle-Oo My Darlin'
  11018 B Spring Has Come To Old Missouri
  11019 A On The Banks Of The Sunny San Juan
  11019 B Let's Go Sparkin'
  11020 A It's A Boy
  11020 B I'm A Kansas Man
  11021 A The Midnight Train (Of Lonesome Valley)
  11021 B Rosanne Of San Jose
  11026 A The Midnight Train (Of Lonesome Valley)
  11026 B Rosanne Of San Jose
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  6170 A Don't Tell Me Stories
  6170 B Careless Hands
  6195 A One You Must Choose
  6195 B On The Banks Of The Sunny San Juan
  6210 A Neath Texas Skies
  6210 B One You Must Choose
  6219 A I Wish I Knew
  6219 B Fool's Gold
  6251 A Devil's Desert Land
  6251 B You Want To Divorce Me
  6282 A On The Banks Of The Sunny San Juan
  6282 B Cowboy
  6299 A I Asked A Dream
  6299 B Call Of The Outlaw
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  270 A One More Time Around
  270 B Playing Both Ends Against The Middle
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1601 A Driftin' Alone
  1601 B The Human Touch
  1701 A I'm A Stranger In My Home
  1701 B Put A Little Sweetnin' (In Your Love)
  1710 A Bimbo
  1710 B No No Not Grandma
Sage & Sand
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  180 A Stealing
  180 B I Dreamed Of A Hill-Billy Heaven
  186 A Impatient Blues
  186 B Second Hand Romance
  188 A Cry Of A Broken Heart
  188 B Impatient Blues
  199 A Blessed Are They
  199 B Walk Beside Me
  200 A An Orphan's Prayer
  200 B Just Awhile
  207 A Open Up The Door Baby (w/Joanie Hall)
  207 B Sign On The Door (w/Joanie Hall)
  208 A Somebody Great
  208 B The First Christmas Bell
  215 A Downgrade
  215 B Look Homeward, Angel
  226 A Rock & Roll Cowboy
  226 B Banks Of The Old Rio Grande
  231 A Fingerprints
  231 B Walkin' After Midnight
  235 A Lonesome Guitar
  235 B Taos
  236 A Night Train
  236 B One Foot Caught In Quicksand
  249 A Iowa Rose
  249 B Nothing But Echos
  270 A Green Grass
  270 B Your Wayward Heart
  325 A I Took The Blues Out Of Tomorrow
  325 B Seeds Of Doubt
  332 A If Dreams Could Come True
  332 B Somewhere Along The Line
  338 A Rocket To Heaven
  338 B Smoke Signals
  342 A I Can't Go On Alone
  342 B Saber Man
  45-180 A I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven
  45-180 B Stealing
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  8020 A Ain’t It A Shame Love, Ain’t It A Shame
  8020 B I’m A Kansas Man
  8022 A No Vacancy
  8022 B The Midnight Train (Of Lonesome Valley)

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