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Jimmy Dean: Sausage Maker, Country Singer, Dead at 81

Jimmy Dean, television show host, Hall of Fame country music singer, and American entrepreneur famous for his sausage brand, passed away on Sunday. In 1969, Dean went into the sausage business, starting the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. Apparently he knew the field quite well: "His family had butchered hogs, with the young Dean whacking them over the head with the blunt end of an ax. The Dean brothers — Jimmy and Don — ground the meat and their mother seasoned it." He later sold the company to Sara Lee Corp. in 1984, but he remained as spokesman until he was let go in 2003. While he may be gone, his legacy of pork products, mostly precooked and ready to heat and serve, lives on.

Above, a slideshow of Jimmy Dean products throughout the years, including the Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick (surely he had nothing to do with it). Below, the classic complaint phone call from a customer emphatically complaining about the size of the sausage roll going down from 16 ounces to 12 that in no way can feed "three men that weigh over 200 pounds a piece and a woman that's a little plump."

Video: Jimmy Dean Sausage Complaint Call

· Jimmy Dean Sausage Complaint call [YouTube]
· Singer, sausage businessman Jimmy Dean dies at 81 [AP]

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