Country music pioneer Jimmy Dean has been dropped as the spokesman for the sausage company he founded in 1968. Dean, 75, says officials of the Sara Lee Corp. told him last year he no longer meets the company's marketing needs. A Sara Lee publicist told the Associated Press the company declined to renew Dean's contract because the "brand was going in a new direction," noting that the focus will be "more on the product, not the person." Dean, best known for his 1961 hit "Big Bad John," told the AP, "The company told me that they were trying to attract the younger housewife, and they didn't think I was the one to do that. I think it's the dumbest thing. But you know, what do I know?"