Bill Anderson Shares Jimmy Dean Memory

Country music legend Jimmy Dean, who passed away Sunday, June 13, at age 81, left behind a legacy of hit songs, such as "Big Bad John" and his pioneering ABC-TV variety series, The Jimmy Dean Show. One of Jimmy's best friends, songwriter and entertainer Bill Anderson, recently recalled another facet of Jimmy's life—his generous spirit. Bill shared this story with Country Weekly.

"We had spent New Year's in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and we were in the coffee shop of the small airport there, having lunch before flying home. Our waiter was a young man wearing a Vanderbilt University sweatshirt. Since Vanderbilt is located in Nashville, I was curious to know if he went to school there."

The young man answered that he had been a student there and hoped to make enough money over the holidays to return to Vanderbilt. Bill remembers that Jimmy began asking the young man questions about what his career goals were. Jimmy found the student to be a pleasant and ambitious young man.

"Jimmy finished his sandwich," Bill continues, "pulled two crisp one-hundred-dollar bills from his pocket and eased them under his plate. He called to the waiter, 'See you in Nashville!' then turned and disappeared into the crowd. Jimmy's generosity is one of the things I will always remember most."

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