jimmy dean getty Jimmy Dean dies at 81Jimmy Dean, country music singer and sausage king, has died at the age of 81 in his Virginia home. Dean had one smash hit in 1961 with “Big Bad John,” a song about a quiet, working-class miner who saves his colleagues in a cave-in but is himself lost. It won Dean a Grammy.

Dean was also on various television programs in the ’50s and ’60s, including “The Jimmy Dean Show,” which started on CBS and then moved to ABC from 1963 to 1966. In 1969, he started the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. in his hometown, though the company was sold to Sara Lee Corp. in 1984, which famously dropped Dean as its spokesperson in 2003.

]]>Every mornin’ at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six foot six and weighed 2-45
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip

And everybody knew you didn’t give no lip to Big John
(Big John Big John) Big Bad John (Big John)
Nobody seemed to know where John called home
Just drifted into town and stayed all alone
He didn’t say much he kinda quiet and shy
And if you spoke at all you just said hi to Big John Somebody said he came from New Orleans
Where he got in a fight over a Cajun Queen
And a crashin’ blow from a huge right hand
Sent a Louisiana fellow to the Promised Land, Big John (Big John Big John) Big Bad John (Big John) Then came the day at the bottom of the mine
When a timber cracked and men started cryin’
Miners were prayin’ and hearts beat fast
And everybody thought that they’d breath their last ‘cept John Through the dust and the smoke of this man-made hell
Walked a giant of a man that the miners knew well
Grabbed a saggin’ timber and gave out with a groan
And like a giant oak tree he just stood there alone, Big John (Big John Big John) Big Bad John (Big John) And with all of his strength he have a mighty shove
Then a miner yelled out there’s a light up above
And twenty men scrambled from a would be grave
Now there’s only one left down there to save, Big John With jacks and timbers they started back down
Then came that rumble way down in the ground
And the smoke and gas belched out of the mine
Everybody knew it way the end of the line for Big John (Big John Big John) Big Bad John (Big John) Now they never reopened that worthless pit
They just placed a marbled stand in front of it
These few words’re written on that stand
At the bottom of this mine lies a big big man — Big John Follow Zap2it and Zap2it Andrea on Twitter and Zap2it on Facebook for the latest TV, movie and celebrity news. Photo credit: Getty

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."