Eddie Dean

Hillbilly Heaven

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Hillbilly Heaven is a reissue of the 1961 Sage LP of the same name, which was also reissued in a slightly abbreviated form on the Sutton label under the title I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven. The songs are drawn from mid- to late-'50s singles and include Eddie Dean's biggest hit, "I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven" from 1955. Tex Ritter had an even bigger hit with the song in 1961, which was almost certainly the impetus behind the original Sage LP. Dean was a silver-screen cowboy, but there are few Western songs on the album. He performs "Walk Beside Me" as a gospel group number (presumably with the Frontiersmen), picks up the pace considerably with the handclaps and boogie guitar riffs of "Impatient Blues," and delivers a touch of exotica with "Katmandu." These recordings are low-rent and a little sloppy, but important ones in Dean's career.