Cover image for Thirty years of sausage, fifty years of ham : Jimmy Dean's own story
Thirty years of sausage, fifty years of ham : Jimmy Dean's own story
Dean, Jimmy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
278 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML420.D436 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Country music star and sausage king Jimmy Dean shares hilarious and poignant stories in this touching and spirited memoir.

Author Notes

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 country
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

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This mainly pleasant memoir covers the author's life from hardscrabble West Texas childhood through success as a country and western entertainer to fulfillment as a sausage mogul voted "the number one meat spokesperson of all time." Dean has a "jillion" anecdotes about touring with the band, playing rodeos and state fairs, his recurring gig on The Daniel Boone Show, hosting and guesting a slew of 1960s variety shows and encountering a galaxy of fellow celebrities, from the hard-drinking, foul-mouthed Patsy Cline to Elvis himself, on whose advice he unwisely took some "energy" pills during a fatiguing stint in Vegas. Decorated with folksy aphorisms (one carousing associate was "so high he could go duck hunting with a rake") and sentimental lyrics from his trademark "recitation" ballads, his reminiscences are happy-go-lucky and detached, with a minimum of rancor against agents ("a necessary evil") and network suits ("they had bent me and changed me"). The book comes alive when Dean gives up the songs for the sausage, which brought him riches but also precipitated a wrenching break with his business-partner brother and led to a disillusioning betrayal by the "liars, turncoats, cutthroats" at the Sara Lee Corporation after they bought his company. Who knew that pork processing could be even crueler than showbiz? Photos. Agent, Mel Berger at William Morris. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Part 1 A Born Entertainer
1 From Whence I Camep. 3
2 The Military Yearsp. 14
3 The Washington, DC, Yearsp. 23
4 Town and Country Timep. 31
5 Network, Sweatworkp. 43
6 New York Cityp. 53
7 Making and Breaking Recordsp. 59
8 ABC-TV's The Jimmy Dean Showp. 77
9 Other Stages of My Careerp. 93
10 Country Friends and Rural Placesp. 100
11 Casino Showroomsp. 115
12 Guest Shotsp. 126
13 Brando I Ain'tp. 137
Part 2 The Sausage Man
14 The Jimmy Dean Meat Company: The Beginningp. 153
15 The Jimmy Dean Meat Company: The Declinep. 170
16 The Jimmy Dean Meat Company: The Resurrectionp. 177
17 Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Leep. 186
18 Somebody Doesn't Like Sara Leep. 194
Part 3 Family Matters
19 Home and Familyp. 205
20 Home and Family: Part Twop. 215
21 My Lady and the Bluffp. 233
Afterthoughtsp. 249
Acknowledgmentsp. 263
Jimmy Dean Discographyp. 265
Photo Credits and Permissionsp. 268
Indexp. 270