Jimmy Dean & Don Williams Welcomed into Country Music Hall of Fame

Jimmy Dean is now a name to not only be associated with breakfast sausage, but the Country Music Hall of Fame. Dean and fellow vocalist Don Williams were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the presence of friends, family and peers on Sunday night.
Dean built his career as a multi-faceted entertainer through the media of singer, comic and television pioneer. Williams, meanwhile, made his name known in a workman style manner by ditching the party scene and devoting his time and energy to the discovery and delivery of well-constructed songs.
Unfortunately, neither musician was able to claim the honor in person. Dean passed away in June, only a few months after receiving the phone call informing him he would forever be remembered in the Hall of Fame’s Rotunda amongst the likenesses of Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Dean’s childhood idol, Gene Autry.
Hall of Famer Bill Anderson said during his induction speech that Dean called him shortly after receiving the news, in shock. “He said, ‘Bill-o, I never thought I’d make it… I figured I’d pissed off too many people down there!’”
Williams, on the other hand, had been planning to attend the night’s induction ceremony but had to cancel last minute due to a mild case of bronchitis. He had even scheduled a small tour and played at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium twice in the week before the induction, which he was able to “battle through,” William’s manager Robert Pratt said at the induction. “He’ll be very proud and very honored when I give him this [medallion] tomorrow in Texarkana,” Pratt said.
Williams is receiving a bit more acknowledgment now than in the past thanks to superstar Keith Urban naming his stomping arrangements as a large influence to his current recordings. He is also being noted through a remake of his 1980 ballad, “I Wouldn’t Be a Man,” which is Josh Turner’s most recent single.
Dean was honored by Trace Adkins and the Jordanaires teaming up to perform the million-selling “Big Bad John.” During the performance, Biff Watson – the house band’s musical director who played guitar on many of Dean’s singles – recreated the trademark pick-axe sound by hitting a hammer on a percussion block, which was suspended from a hanger. This was the exact way the sound was generated in the original recording by Hall of Famer Floyd Cramer.
Though the night was full of cheer and jest – from Daily & Vincent’s version of Dean’s “Harvest of Sunshine” to a botched “Little Black Book” by Roy Clark, as warned – it was still heart-felt and emotionally driven. Bill Anderson found himself becoming choked up several times as he honored Dean with a moving, expressive and articulate speech. Dean may have been known as a firm and insisting person, but Anderson recalled several acts of kindness the late singer extended without reserve. Anderson specifically noted the lyrics in “Big Bad John,” a song where a heroic miner is honored as “a big, big man.”
“He [Big Bad John] didn’t have a thing,” Anderson whispered, “on Jimmy Dean.”
Source: GACtv.com