EDDIE DEAN (By Dave Penny)

Born Edgar Dean Glosup, 9 July 1907, Posey, Texas

Died 4 March 1999, Thousand Oaks, California

The originator and co-composer of the country standards "One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)" and "I Dreamed Of A Hill-Billy Heaven", during the 1940s Eddie Dean was also one of the most famous of the Singing Cowboys of the movies, up there with his pals Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Tex Ritter. His rich, deep baritone was heard in a recording career that spanned five decades, and in addition to the many commercial releases, he recorded extensively for Standard Radio Transcriptions in Los Angeles in the mid 1940s.

Born Edgar Dean Glosup on a farm in Posey, Texas, on 1907 (allegedly the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son!), Dean grew up as part of a large musical family and took vocal lessons from his school-teacher father, singing with a number of gospel quartets in his mid teens. At the age of 18, deciding on a career in music over farming, the youngster moved to Chicago to work in radio and shortened his name to the catchier "Eddie Dean". After spending the late 1920s broadcasting from several mid west radio stations, he paired up with his older brother Jimmy Dean (NOT the other Texan Jimmy Dean of Big Bad John fame) and by 1933 they were being featured on National Barn Dance over WLS in Chicago. As Jimmy & Eddie Dean, the brothers recorded for ARC and Decca in 1934/35 before parting, and two years later Eddie relocated to Hollywood where he met Gene Autry who persuaded him to try his luck as a singing cowboy on the Silver Screen.

He scratched a living in movie bit parts, radio shows and the odd Decca recording session through the late 1930s and early 1940s, until his big break came along in 1944 when he was cast to star alongside Ken Maynard in the musical western The Harmony Trail. For the remainder of the 1940s, Dean enjoyed a successful career as one of the top singing cowboys of the movies while increasingly focussing on his career as a recording artist. Contracts followed with Majestic, Mercury and Crystal before he enjoyed his first National chart success with his own song "One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)" - a #11 for Dean in September 1948, but a chart topper for Jimmy Wakely the same year and a #3 hit for Jerry Lee Lewis 21 years later!

Like many Hollywood Hillbillies he recorded for Capitol Records in the early 1950s, before moving to Woodie Fleener's Hollywood-based Sage & Sand label in the mid 1950s, where he enjoyed his second, and last, Billboard Country chart hit with the classic "I Dreamed Of A Hill-Billy Heaven" (#10 1955), which was an even bigger hit six years later for Tex Ritter (and was also a minor country hit for Red Simpson in 1976). At Sage, Dean recorded some of his best material, including some rockabilly with Eddie Cletro's western swing band, but he left in 1961 to join Jimmy Wakely's Shasta Records and made a couple of appearances on the comedy TV series, The Beverly Hillbillies, while maintaining a hectic touring schedule with appearances on the West Coast and in Las Vegas.

By the 1970s, his recording career had all but ceased, but a new interest in cowboys and the Old West, allowed Dean to continue working, touring the Cowboy and Western Film fairs well into his eighties, surviving to see his name inducted into the Cowboy Hall Of Fame in 1993. He passed away, at the very respectable age of 91, six years later, at his home in an affluent suburb of Los Angeles, California.

Further reading:

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/rockin.paul/seventh_son.htm which also features a wonderful discography.

Recommended listening:

Dusty Old Saddle (BACM 069)

The pick of Eddie Dean's Standard Radio Transcriptions from the 1940s.

The Late & Great Eddie Dean (Cattle 214) and The Golden Age Of Eddie Dean (Cattle 233)

The pick of Eddie Dean's commercial legacy and more transcriptions.

Rock 'n' Roll Cowboy: Sage & Sand Greatest Rockabillies (P-Vine PCD 2468)

Long gone, I'm afraid (but I think there are current European bootleg equivalents), this great compilation includes the title track by Eddie.

 
These pages were saved from "This Is My Story" for reference usage only. Please note that these pages were not originally published or written by BlackCat Rockabilly Europe. For comments or information please contact Dik de Heer at dik.de.heer@ziggo.nl

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