Monday, June 14, 2010

Music News & Notes

Singer, sausage businessman Jimmy Dean dies at 81

RICHMOND, Va. -- Jimmy Dean, a country music legend for his smash hit about a workingman hero, "Big Bad John," and an entrepreneur known for his sausage brand, died on Sunday. He was 81.

His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her husband died at their Henrico County, Va., home.

She told The Associated Press that he had some health problems but was still functioning well, so his death came as a shock. She said he was eating in front of the television. She left the room for a time and came back and he was unresponsive. She said he was pronounced dead at 7:54 p.m.

"He was amazing," she said. "He had a lot of talents."

Born in 1928, Dean was raised in poverty in Plainview, Texas, and dropped out of high school after the ninth grade. He went on to a successful entertainment career in the 1950s and '60s that included the nationally televised "The Jimmy Dean Show."

In 1969, Dean went into the sausage business, starting the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. in his hometown. He sold the company to Sara Lee Corp. in 1984.

Dean lived in semiretirement with his wife, who is a songwriter and recording artist, on their 200-acre estate just outside Richmond, where he enjoyed investing, boating and watching the sun set over the James River.


Jack White records live album with Conan O'Brien

Jack White has recorded a live album with US talk-show host Conan O'Brien. White joined the comedian for a one-off gig in Nashville, Tennessee, which is to be released on vinyl release in July.

The White Stripes frontman appeared with O'Brien at White's Third Man Records headquarters. Although 1,000 fans lined up, only 300 were admitted to the gig, which began with O'Brien performing solo, then accompanied by a backing band. White joined America's most famous redhead for two songs: covers of Eddie Cochran's 20 Flight Rock and Ronnie Hawkins's 40 Days. The concert was recorded to tape – no, not to a hard drive – and at one point the evening had to be stopped so that a new reel of tape could be inserted.

O'Brien and White's Live at Third Man recording is now available for pre-order, exclusively on vinyl. ( O'Brien has also reportedly prepared a spoken word single to be released by Third Man.


Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant Announces New Album 'Band Of Joy'

Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant has announced details about a new solo album. ‘Band Of Joy’, which is the follow-up to 2007’s ‘Raising Sand’, will be released on September 13.

The record was co-produced by Plant and Nashville guitarist Buddy Miller.

“Buddy’s integral to this album, you can hear his taste all over the instrumentation,” Plant said.

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