Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- A Friends Fan Recreates Rachel's Infamous Thanksgiving Trifle – Does It Really Taste Like Feet?
- Read the Cover Story: Adele’s Triumphant Return: How Love Changed Her Life
- Benedict Cumberbatch on Fatherhood: 'I Might Go for a (Cumber) Batch of Boys'
- Style Tracks: The Best Kardashian Fashion Moments of 2015!
- Princess Kate Backs Baby Care Fund: 'I Am Delighted to Support the Appeal'
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- November 22, 1999
- Vol. 52
- No. 20
The Fat's in the Fire When Sausage King Jimmy Dean Writes a New State Song for Virginia—and Critics Cite Suspicious Links
Best known today as the drawling TV pitchman for his own popular brand of sausage, Dean stands accused of using his influence to get a leg up in Virginia's selection of a new state song. His ditty "Virginia," cowritten with wife Donna, 46, leads a pack of eight finalists—thanks, say critics, to his friendship with, and contributions to, Virginia Sen. Stephen H. Martin, who is on a subcommittee that will choose the song. Others carp that the Deans sent free sausages to schoolchildren, who then wrote letters supporting the song. "We don't know anything about that," says an indignant Donna Dean. "We've never asked children to write about our song."
The whole mess started in 1997, when Virginia legislators retired "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia," an 1875 I spiritual with lines like, "That's where I labored so hard for my old massa." The contest for a new state song—a winner isn't expected for months—drew 339 entries, including the one that Donna Dean says she composed in the throes of a migraine.
This is hardly the first such squabble to cause headaches. New Jersey nearly chose Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" before legislators realized the lyrics suggested Bruce longed to see Jersey in his rearview mirror. In Washington, officials narrowly voted down a 1985 resolution to make "Louie Louie" the state anthem. Some states are blessed with a classic, notably Oklahoma with "Oklahoma!" Other songs are, perhaps understandably, more obscure (see above).
Whatever happens in Virginia, Dean suggests, he'll have won a victory of sorts. "As long as they keep talking about my sausages," he says with a grin, "I really don't care."
November 23, 2015
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!