Jimmy Dean dies: sausage vs. music legacy considered

Categories: News

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Jimmy Dean died yesterday, at age 81, of natural causes. The native Texan had many careers--first as a country music singer, then as an actor/television personality (dude had a supporting role in the Bond flick Diamonds Are Forever!), and, finally, as the founder of a sausage company, which was sold in 1984 to what is now known as the Sara Lee Corporation. It got us to thinking: Which of Dean's contributions--music or sausage--will most greatly impact his legacy?


The Music:
Dean's first hit was the 1961 "Big Bad John," from a record that hit number one on the Billboard pop charts. The tune, about a heroic miner martyred on the job has some admirable lyrics--"He stood six foot six and weighed 245--kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip and everybody knew you didn't give no lip to Big John..."--the simplistic melody isn't charting any new territory, even for 1961. Also, is that background percussion the sound of finger cymbals, or somebody slapping two metal railroad spikes together?


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