Dubbed as one of the Top 10 cowboy stars of the 1940s and likewise, the best cowboy singer of all time was Eddie Dean. Born Edgar Dean Glosup, this actor and musician would have turned 111 years old today. Although Eddie Dean is no longer around to celebrate his birthday with us, we honor him on this special day by taking a quick look at his lasting legacies both in the silver screen and country music scene. His name was much enjoyed in the late ’30s through the late ’40s with his regular appearances in Hollywood westerns. In addition to that, his country music career was fairly soaring.
His Stint in Acting and Music
Eddie and his older brother, Jimmie Dean (not to be confused with Jimmy Dean, the country singer, and sausage magnate) started singing in 1929. Together, they’ve recorded songs for different labels and appeared on several shows. After parting ways in the mid-1930s, Eddie decided to try his luck in Hollywood. Determined to pursue an acting career, he began playing some minor roles in Westerns. It was in 1944 when he had his big break in the movie industry. Starring in The Harmony Trail, a Western musical, helped him launch his acting career. Following this was a succeeding major role in 19 more Westerns. With that, Eddie earned a reputation of being one of the Top 10 cowboy stars of the 1940s.
It seemed that the artist had no plan of retiring from the spotlight too soon. Thus, when Eddie’s retirement from the silver screen came in 1948, he decided to go back to where he started – signing. Despite his musical talents, Eddie’s musical career didn’t reach the same height he’s achieved in filming. Still, he continued recording and writing songs. In 1955, he wrote a song that would become his best-known hit entitled “I Dreamed of a Hill-Billy Heaven.” He released the song on that year but it was in 1961 when it turned into a country hit. The American country music singer and a popular actor, himself, Tex Ritter recorded the song. It reached No. 5 on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Likewise, it crossed over to the Hot 100 chart peaking at No. 20.
Below is a live performance of the song “I Dreamed of a Hill-Billy Heaven” by Tex Ritter.
Although Eddie Dean didn’t have any record that became a bit hit, that didn’t stop him from entertaining people at Western film fairs. Also, while he continued recording for low-budget labels throughout the 1970s, he was a founder of the Academy of Country Music Awards. In 1993, he became part of the Cowboy Hall of Fame as well as the Western Music Association Hall of Fame.
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