#1 Country, #1 Pop, #1 AC , #2 UK
Listening to this song to prepare this post reminds me of the AM Radio Era when I would also hear Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Country Crossover hit “Sixteen Tons” (previously posted here at OSML).
Both of these tracks were favorites of little girl me and my maternal grandmother.
Jimmy Dean was a television entertainer just like Ernie Ford was. Dean had not only a local show, but musical variety shows on both CBS and ABC — that latter of which introduced two more of my favorites to watch with grandmother — a young Roger Miller and Muppet Rolf the Dog. Check out this clip: it brings back so many memories .. all of them great!
“Big Bad John, composed by Dean and Roy Acuff, was his first single out and was a chart topper that established his career — just like “Sixteen Tons” did for Ernie Ford.
Unlike Ford — “Big Bad John” not only topped the country, Pop and Adult Contemporary Charts — but “Big Bad John”, with its singing and narrative parts, won the 1961 Grammy for Best Country & Western Recording Performance!
Like Ernie Ford, Dean made both secular and non-secular recordings that charted for decades.
Jimmy used his show business monies to build the Jimmy Dean Meat Business of Jimmy Dean Sausage National fame — but you knew that already — right?
- Jimmy Dean Quote (bipolarmuse.com)