On the day of the show Elvis made a brief appearance at the WMAL-TV studio to promote the show that night on “Town & Country Time.” Dean later wrote in his autobiography:
Elvis was the featured entertainer on the boat that night and was booked on our show to promote the cruise, apparently because it wasn’t quite full. I had the excruciating task of conducting the interview with Elvis, possibly the worst I’ve ever done.
Jimmy Dean and Elvis on WMAL-TV’s Town & Country Time set – Mar 23, 1956
Me: So, you’re gonna be on the S.S. Mt. Vernon tonight, are you, Elvis?
Me: Have you ever worked on a boat before?
Me: I imagine you’re looking forward to this, aren’t you?
And that was it. “Yep, nope . . . ” and that’s all he would say. But I’m sure it didn’t matter; all it would take would be for the gals who tuned in to that TV show to get a good look at him and he wouldn’t have any trouble selling more tickets. Years later, when we were both playing in Las Vegas, Elvis would apologize profusely for leaving me hanging on that interview, He told me, “You know, Jimmy, I was so sorry about that but I was scared to death.”
excerpt from Thirty Years of Sausage, Fifty Years of Ham by Jimmy Dean and Donna Meade Dean
Businessman (Jimmy Dean Sausage)/singer (P.T. 109, Big Bad John)/actor (J.J. Starbuck, Daniel Boone, Diamonds Are Forever)/television host (The Jimmy Dean Show)/radio host (Town and Country Time)/Country Music Hall of Famer Jimmy Dean died at age 81. His remains are entombed in a 9-foot-tall piano-shaped mausoleum overlooking the James River on the grounds of his Virginia estate. Borrowing from the lyrics of his biggest hit single, “Big Bad John,” Dean’s epitaph reads “Here Lies One Hell of a Man.”