The Jimmy Dean Show

The Jimmy Dean Show is the name of several similar music and variety series on American local and network television between 1957 and 1975. Each starred country music singer Jimmy Dean as host.


The Jimmy Dean Show, initially called Country Style, aired live on WTOP-TV in Washington, DC in early 1957.[1] It was picked up by the CBS-TV network from April 8 to December 13, 1957 under the name The Morning Show from 7 to 7:45 a.m. ET Monday–Friday (CBS News provided a newscast from 7:45 to 8 a.m.). Guests included Chet Atkins, Jay Chevalier, Billy Walker, Little Jimmy Dickens, George Hamilton IV, and the Country Lads; Mary Klick was a regular. The producer was Connie B. Gay.

CBS then carried The Jimmy Dean Show on its daytime schedule from September 14, 1958 to June 1959 from New York, airing from 2 to 2:30 p.m. ET Monday–Saturday. Guests on the variety program included Hans Conried and Jaye P. Morgan.

Prime time

The Jimmy Dean Show aired as a live half-hour summer series from Washington, DC on CBS-TV from June 22 to September 14, 1957 from 10:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday nights. Guests included Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, the Andrews Sisters and Gene Austin.[2]

Title screen for the ABC series

The Jimmy Dean Show is also an hour-long weekly series carried by ABC-TV for three seasons from September 19, 1963 to April 1, 1966 from New York. Although the variety program featured country performers such as Charlie Rich and Roger Miller, more popular music artists appeared. Guests included Eddy Arnold, Connie Smith, Vikki Carr, Buck Owens, Jim Reeves, Red Buttons, Johnny Cash, Eydie Gorme, Carl Smith, Jerry Vale, Gene Pitney, The Four Seasons, Patty Duke, Bobby Rydell and SSgt. Barry Sadler. Molly Bee was a regular, and comics Jackie Mason, Don Adams and Dick Shawn appeared. Muppet character Rowlf the Dog (performed by Jim Henson) was mostly seen on the show. Peppiatt and Aylesworth were the writers for this version of the show. Scott Vincent was the announcer for the series.

On the show's 1963 premier, Dean interacted with an animated Fred Flintstone. The series began in black-and-white but switched to color for the fall 1965 season.[3] Executive producer was Bob Banner.

On October 14, 1966, the program videotaped the Country Music Hall of Fame inductions from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee of Eddy Arnold, Uncle Dave Macon, Grand Ole Opry founder George D. Hay and music publisher Jim Denny.[4] The program aired October 22.

Jimmy Dean and Rowlf the Dog

The show included Dean's duets with Rowlf the Dog, a piano-playing Muppet. This was one of the first national television appearances by a creation of puppeteer Jim Henson. While Don Sahlin maintained the puppet and other physical needs of the sketches, Jerry Juhl assisted in writing the Rowlf sketches with the help of the show's staff writers and even assisted Jim Henson and Jimmy Dean on occasion. During production on episodes that featured Rowlf the Dog, Jim Henson would perform Rowlf the Dog with the right arm of Rowlf being operated by Frank Oz and later operated by Jerry Nelson.

  1. Episode Dated January 14, 1963 - Rowlf the Dog has the flu, so Jimmy Dean tries to remedy it with a medicinal throat spray. He pumps the spray so much that it inflates Rowlf the Dog until his belly button blows out!
  2. Episode Dated 1963 - Rowlf the Dog tells Jimmy Dean he has a passionate crush on a cat with the overly cute name of Puff. Rowlf finally comes to terms with his most unorthodox romance and Rowlf and Jimmy sing "You’re Just In Love."
  3. Episode Dated October 10, 1963 - Rowlf the Dog tries to scare Jimmy Dean with his Halloween mask of a gorilla. They sing "Me and My Shadow".
  4. Episode Dated November 7, 1963 - Rowlf the Dog and Jimmy Dean sing "Then I'll Be Happy."
  5. Episode Dated November 21, 1963 - Rowlf the Dog writes a passionate love letter to Lassie, and makes Jimmy Dean promise to invite her on the show. Rowlf the Dog imagines the romantic scene they could have: "Just imagine -- me! A mutt from the Lower East Side, on the same stage with a glamorous Hollywood collie." Rowlf the Dog describes all of the animals who'll be tuning in to see them, leading into a duet of "Swinging on a Star".
  6. Episode Dated December 5, 1963 - Rowlf the Dog sings a verse of "Mention My Name in Sheboygan", and explains to Jimmy that he learned the song at the Animal Actors' Academy where the other graduates included Huckleberry Hound, Donald Duck, and Trigger from Roy Rogers. Rowlf the Dog demonstrates his acting skills by performing a line from Hamlet, and then ropes Jimmy Dean into a romantic scene which culminates in a quote from Winston Churchill. Rowlf wishes that he could do that scene with Lassie, and Jimmy assures him that he's invited Lassie to appear on the show. The pair finish the sketch with a duet of "Song and Dance Man".
  7. Episode Dated December 26, 1963 - When canine television star Lassie appears as a guest on the show, Rowlf the Dog becomes lovestruck and nervous around her. He doesn't understand why she won't speak to him in English. Lassie shows off her jumping and acting skills. While Jimmy Dean leaves them alone to have some private time, Rowlf sings "Lassie, I Love You" and gives her a hug.
  8. Episode Dated 1964 - Lassie returns as a guest on the show. Rowlf the Dog becomes lovestruck once again. He is instructed by Jimmy Dean to act out a Lassie style scenario to save the Dog, he has to run to her, jump in the river and fight the current, run faster lickety split Rowlf: "Ah! I think I've just split my lickety!" Rowlf is dressed in a collar and tie for this occasion.
  9. Episode Dated 1964 - Rowlf the Dog sings a line of "Skip to My Lou" in the opening titles. He is trying to book a vacation to Miami under the name of Jimmy Dean. He wants a place that has cha-cha lessons down by the pool, and he shows Jimmy the moves that he learned from a chihuahua. Jimmy makes him feel guilty about leaving him behind and they decide that they'll go together. They end with a duet of "By the Sea".
  10. Episode Dated 1964 - A big bulldog named Bobbie is picking on Rowlf the Dog, so he decides to learn karate. However, he's unable to break a piece of wood and perfect Jimmy's "karate grunt." Rowlf eventually reveals that "Bobby" is not a "him." The bully is a girl dog named Bobbie (short for Barbara). Jimmy says he can't beat up a girl but should romance her instead, and the skit closes with the two singing "She'll Never See Any Dog Like Me."
  11. Episode Dated January 8, 1964 - Rowlf the Dog's nephew (performed by Jerry Juhl) comes to visit.
  12. Episode Dated January 16, 1964 - Jimmy Dean finds Rowlf the Dog dressed as a beatnik and tells Jimmy that he been taking lessons from Rubberlips Levine (the greatest trombonist of them all).
  13. Episode Dated March 5. 1964 - Rowlf the Dog decides to run for President of the United States.
  14. Episode Dated March 19, 1964 - As Rowlf the Dog is writing letters to Dear Abby, Jimmy Dean comes in with a kitten that he found in the alley. He plans on adopting it and naming it Fluffy. Rowlf thinks that he's giving him up for the cat, and immediately greets it with trepidation.
  15. Episode Dated April 2, 1964 - Rowlf the Dog is seen flipping pancakes in the opening titles. He is practicing his comedy act for his summer stint at the Royal Casino in Las Vegas. Yet the casino has a "No Dogs Allowed" rule.
  16. Episode Dated July 2, 1964 - Jimmy Dean gives Rowlf the Dog four mini cowboy boots, a scarf, ear muffs and a fur coat for the cold weather.
  17. Episode Dated October 1, 1964 - Rowlf the Dog is preparing for the New York Mets game.
  18. Episode Dated December 12, 1964 - Rowlf the Dog pretends to be a fortune teller.
  19. Episode Dated December 24, 1964 - Jimmy Dean and Rowlf the Dog hold a Christmas raffle.
  20. Episode Dated November 19, 1965 - Rowlf the Dog decides to take up boxing when he hears about the upcoming Cassius Clay and Floyd Patterson fight.
  21. Episode Dated December 3, 1965 - Jimmy Dean and Rowlf the Dog played the Grand Ole Opry and the Louisiana State Fair and did a show in Miami.

When it came to an episode of The Ed Sullivan Show that aired on October 8, 1967, Jimmy Dean and Rowlf the Dog were reunited one final time where they performed "Friendship" while doing the "herd of cows" gag.

ABC schedules


The Jimmy Dean Show is also the name of a half-hour television program syndicated to stations from 1973 to 1975.


  1. From 1955 to 56, Dean hosted Town and Country Time, a weekday afternoon program on the Washington, D.C. ABC-TV affiliate, WMAL-TV.
  2. Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1992), The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-345-37792-3.
  3. Billboard July 14, 1965
  4. McNeil, Alex (1996), Total Television, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-024916-8.
  5. Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1992), The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-345-37792-3.


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