Seth Ward, 10 August 1928, near Plainview, Texas, USA. Deans mother, who was the familys only provider, ran a barbershop and as a boy, he picked cotton and worked on local farms. His mother taught him to play the piano when he was 10 years old and he taught himself guitar, accordion and harmonica as soon as he had access to the instruments. At 16, he began to study engineering but then joined the Merchant Marines for two years, after which he enlisted in the Air Force. It was during his service that Dean first became an entertainer when, with a band called the Tennessee Haymakers, he played local clubs and honkytonks near his base. He left the service in 1948 and for the next few years tried to develop his musical career. In 1952, with a new band called the Texas Wildcats, he toured US Army bases in the Caribbean, before finding work on WARL Arlington, Virginia, and WTOP-TV Washington. He first recorded for Four Star the same year and early in 1953, he...
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