Abandoned by his father and raised by his mother during the Depression, Jimmy Dean learned
early the values of hard work and faith. But no one could have
imagined how far those values — and the saving grace of country music —
would take the poor young man from Plainview, Texas.
Now, JImmy Dean and his wife, Donna, chronicle his amazing rise— from bacrkoad music gigs to
playing the Grand Ole Opry to headlining Carnegie Hall and the London Palladium to his own TV show to
his Grammy Award win. But even after his success as a country singer, Jimmy's life was
to take another turn— as his investment in the Jimmy Dean Meat Company evolved
into a phenomenal business success and an American tradition.
Journeying from the Lone Star State to the nation's capital, from nashville
to New York — with plenty of adventurous detours along the way — this is a
candid and affectionate portrait of the legends who crossed Jimmy's path, such as the bawdy
Patsy Cline and a nervous up-and-comer named Elvis Presley. Here too are illuminating and poignant encounters
with the likes of Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Roy Rogers,
Jack Benny, George Burns, Roy Clark, Sammy Davis Jr., JImmy Durante, Jim Henson,
John F. Keennedy, George H. W. Bush, and even Sean Connery, with whom Jimmy co-starred
in Diamonds Are Forever. But it's also Dean's incredible story of the multimillion-dollar
venture that made him a household name, the home-grown values that made his business
endure and thrive over th years —and the "deal from hell" with the Sara Lee
company that became one of the most challenging periods of Jimmy's life.
Brimming with goodwill, folksy humor, nuggets of wisdom, and down-home
philosophy, this is a story of a life well-lived that will charm,
enthrall, and surprise Jimmy Dean's legion of fans.
About the Authors
Jimmy Dean was born in Olton, TExas, joined the Merchant Marine at age seventeen,
and served in the Air Force in Washington, D.C. It was during his time there that Jimmy
began his musical career, singing with country bands in local venues. His first hit single
in 1953, "Bummin' Around," sold close to one million copies, two additional singles
went gold, and "Big Bad John" won Dean a Grammy Award. He also hosted the popular
The Jimmy Dean Show on ABC and in 1969, he and his brother, Don, opened
the Jimmy Dean Meat Company, marketing their special "pure pork" sausage to the
Donna Meade Dean is a singer, songwriter and former Mercury-Polygram recording artist.
Donna enjoys boating with her husband, spending time at home with their poodles, Tara
and Pepper, and writing and producing songs in her studio.
Jimmy and Donna Meade Dean live in Varina, Virginia.