Pathfinder Management | Jim Della Croce

Donna Dean Stevens Entertainment is a full service record and production company owned and operated by Donna Dean Stevens, and it is located in Richmond Virginia. DDS entertainment produces the Jimmy Dean Show, The Old Dominion Barn Dance, and Jimmy Dean music festival. Donna Dean Stevens is the coproducer and co-manager of country recording artists Tony Jackson. DDS Entertainment's record division is headed by Jim Della Croce. For more information please call Jim Della Croce at 615.419.9989

A member of the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, Donna Meade was born the only daughter of seven children in a middle class family in the town of Chase City, VA. As a small child, her family moved to Richmond, and at the age of 12, she began singing with her older brothers’ band. Along the way, Donna learned to play the organ, piano and guitar, and the day after graduating from high school, she and her family’s band hit the road performing around the country. Donna paid her dues in nightclubs and theater for many years before settling in Nashville in 1981. The 1978 Miss Richmond Pageant finalist quickly became a regular performer in the local clubs, and during the decade of the ‘80s, she headlined at Nashville’s number one nightspot, the world famous Stockyard’s Bullpen Lounge. It was there that she honed her craft while performing along with such stars as Burt Reynolds, Ben Vereen, Vicki Lawrence, Leslie Uggams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, Jr., Frankie Avalon and Tanya Tucker. With famed producer Buddy Killen at the helm, Donna was signed to Mercury-Polygram Records in the late ‘80s as an artist, and as a songwriter to Sony/Tree Publishing. She began writing with several of Nashville’s top songwriters, and her debut album Love’s Last Stand, along with several other releases, landed her on the Billboard top 100 charts. Donna’s soulful style of singing was critically acclaimed by People magazine, and in 1989 she won a nomination from the Academy of Country Music for New Female Vocalist of the Year. During the 1980s, Donna made regular appearances on national TV shows, and while appearing on The Nashville Network’s Nashville Now show, she met her future husband, country music legend (and sausage mogul) Jimmy Dean. After marrying in 1991, they settled in her hometown of Richmond, VA, and Donna retired from her career as a rising star in country music. For more than two decades, the Deans divided their time between enjoying their home on the James River, promoting the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company, and traveling the world on his yacht, the Big Bad John. They also teamed as a singing duo, returning to the Nashville Now show many times, as well as performing for civic and charitable events in the Richmond area. Together in the mid-90s, they composed Virginia, a song destined to replace Carry Me Back to Old Virginny as Virginia’s state anthem. Jimmy Dean passed away in the spring of 2010 and is laid to rest on the lawn of his beloved home. In late 2012, Donna married her childhood sweetheart Jayson Stevens, and still lives at her Richmond home with Jayson and their four miniature poodles. Over the years, she has written and performed television commercials for Richmond tourism and Christian Children’s Fund, and has continued to use her talents to entertain gratis for community events. Together Donna and Jayson have contributed over $200,000 to education in honor of Jimmy Dean through their charitable Dean Foundation. Donna’s love, reverence and regard for the legacy of her late husband’s creative properties continues to drive her to new and challenging creative heights, both as a businesswoman and artist in her own right. She is currently implementing several projects to honor her late husband, including the construction of the forthcoming Jimmy Dean Museum in his hometown of Plainview, TX. Additionally, as a TV producer, Donna is a driving force behind preserving, restoring and orchestrating the 2016 launch of the much-anticipated revival of The Jimmy Dean Show. According to country legend Merle Haggard, the highly-regarded show--which aired from 1963 through 1966 on ABC-TV--is considered “The Ed Sullivan Show of country music.” Donna’s desire to keep the torch burning brightly for live traditional country music has led to her to produce the annual Jimmy Dean Music Festival in Richmond, and singlehandedly revive the city’s venerable country music show, The Old Dominion Barn Dance, which began in 1946 and at times rivaled the Grand Ole Opry. Along with organizing and producing the show, the popular entrepreneur also acts as hostess and regular performer, and has attracted the kings and queens of country. Marty Stuart, John Anderson, Bill Anderson, Connie Smith, The Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers are just a few of the country giants Donna has booked as headliners on the show. Donna’s resolve holds firm as she declares from her home in Richmond, “I am truly dedicated to using my time, talents and resources as a recording artist, songwriter, performer, producer and promoter to preserving country music, and to serve others who love it as much as I do.”