I’ve always considered Jimmy Dean to be the first successful rapper with his classic “Big Bad John”. Although the song was rooted in country music the “talking blues” approach made it more accessible to a wider audience.

Although Jimmy Dean was a good singer he became the ultimate storyteller and spoke his way to super stardom on hits that included “PT 109”, and “Dear Ivan”. Even the brothers in my ‘hood gave him his props and didn’t try to beat my ass when I played him loud on my transistor radio.

When I met him signing autographs in 1959, outside the stage door at the Dick Clark Saturday Night Show, he looked at me quizzically and wrote in my autograph book, “Didn’t I just see you at the Pat Boone Show?”, where I was always the only “colored” person in the audience. I just smiled sheepishly and said yes.

I considered Jimmy Dean a role model and always thought of him as a good cowboy. When he became a sausage spokesman, I ate pork without fear of getting trichinosis. I also thought his influence on music has long been underrated and finally after all these years he was announced into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010, though he died before formally inducted.

JIMMY DEAN R.I.P. “ROCK IN PERPETUITY”

Respectfully, Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/


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