The Jimmy Dean Show

ABC (ended 1966)


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The Jimmy Dean Show

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The Jimmy Dean Show a variety hour featured Jimmy Dean welcoming country and pop acts of the era, along with comedians and other favorites. He also bantered with Rowlf (Jim Henson's piano-playing Muppet hound). Jim Henson was the left hand, the head and the voice of Rowlf. Frank Oz was the right hand and the handle props. Jimmy Dean's first television exposure came in 1957, when he had a self-titled daily CBS series that was based in Washington. He also had a primetime series that ran during the summer of '57 and featured primarily country talent and older popular acts. The daytime series ran from April to December 1957, and again from September 1958 to June 1959. Regulars included Molly Bee, Ron Martin (a comic singer who never seemed to finish a song), Roger Price and Mort Marshall (whom, as Lud and Lester, did a comedy act) and the Jubilee Four, a gospel act who closed out each show and the Peter Matz Orchestra. The 1963 incarnation of The Jimmy Dean Show ran for three seasons on ABC, with the show going "on location" during the final year. The most notable telecast occured in October 1965, when the show featured the first Country Music Association Awards show. In addition to "Big, Bad John," Jimmy Dean's hits include another No. 1 hit, "The First Thing Ev'ry Morning (And the Last Thing Ev'ry Night)" (1965), "P.T. 109" (1962, depicting the wartime career of President John F. Kennedy), "To A Sleeping Beauty" (1962) and "I.O.U." (1976, a Mother's Day tribute). He later hosted a syndicated series (another self-titled entry) from 1973-1975. Today, of course, Jimmy Dean is best known for his pork sausage business. To many classic country fans, however, he'll always be known for his saga songs and his easy-going crooning style.moreless