Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean's Golden Favorites

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The Hilltop label cashed in on Jimmy Dean's popularity with this budget reissue of recordings he made for 4 Star Records in the early '50s. The dozen tracks probably comprise nearly everything he cut for 4 Star, including his first hit, "Bumming Around" from 1953. That song was a major hit for Dean, but is out of print today, which makes this album a good anthology of his early recordings. Dean's ballad style on these cuts is nearly the same as on his Columbia recordings from ten years later, although in places he tries to approximate the sound of Webb Pierce, who was very popular at the time. The repertoire is mostly weepers, but "Why Don't You Shut Your Mouth" ("and open up your heart") is an atypical hillbilly rave-up. The sound quality is good considering that many of the 4 Star 78s sounded rough even in their day, and the content has not been otherwise reissued.

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