Through his national television variety series, American singer, television host, actor and businessman, Jimmy Dean was the first to bring country music to the mainstream in the 1960's. After nearly 50 years of being sealed off in the vaults and marking what would be Jimmy Dean's 85th birthday, The Jimmy Dean Show episodes from 1963-1966 are resurfacing for the first time in a PBS special. PBS viewers will again enjoy the early appearances of country stars like Chet Atkins, George Jones, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Minnie Pearl and Dottie West and so many more! The special is hosted by long-time friend, entertainer, actor and musician Roy Clark who will introduce the artists from the series with anecdotes, stories and laughter too. No stranger to television, Clark a 20-year veteran host of the series Hee Haw along with co-host Buck Owens, made regular appearances on Dean's show and will be featured in the PBS special too. As Jimmy Dean once said of Clark, "Everybody loves him. When he walks out on stage with his bungling attitude as though he didn't know what was going to happen next, the audience is immediately on his side. It's like cheering for the underdog or the hometown boy." The Jimmy Dean Show, initially called Country Style, aired live in Washington, DC starting in early 1957 before it was picked up by CBS nationally under the name The Morning Show as a half-hour series. Starting in September 1963, ABC carried three seasons of the hour-long show featuring popular music artists and comics to round out its variety format, including the first television appearance by Jim Henson's piano-playing Muppet, Rowlf the Dog. The series began in black and white, and moved into color in the fall season of 1965. The 60-minute fundraising special will be a compilation of some of these moments from the three-year broadcast run and will feature entertainment from some of the most renowned country music legends and comedians.
Length: 56 minutes