‘Dukes of Hazzard’: John Schneider Detailed Early Conversation with Johnny Cash Involving Their Two TV Shows

by Joe Rutland

John Schneider remembered having quite a conversation with Johnny Cash about “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “The Man In Black’s” own TV show.

Schneider, during an interview with an Australian TV show Studio 10, recalled his interaction with Cash.

When Schneider met up with the country music legend, he’d just started his own musical recording career. His cover of Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now Or Never” reached No. 4 on the Billboard country singles chart.

“I told him, ‘I watched ‘The Johnny Cash Show’ with my grandmother every week,” Schneider said. “‘Hello I’m Johnny Cash.'” That was the way Cash would introduce himself not only on his television show but every concert he did in his life.

‘Dukes Of Hazzard’ Ended Up Having Big Fan In ‘The Man In Black’

Schneider said Cash told him, ‘We never missed an episode of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard.’ In fact, The Scotti Brothers are the ones who did ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ soundtrack and on there is a song called ‘The General Lee.'”

For those classic TV fans, “The Dukes of Hazzard” ran for seven seasons on CBS between 1979-85. It was at one time a Friday night staple, landing among the top-ranked shows as it was the lead-in for “Dallas.”

Schneider played Bo Duke opposite of his cousin Luke, played by Tom Wopat. They live on a family farm in Hazzard County, Ga., with their cousin Daisy, played by Catherine Bach, and Uncle Jesse, played by Denver Pyle. They drove a jazzed-up car called the “General Lee” and would do their best to outwit Boss Hogg, played by Sorrell Booke, and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, played by James Best.

Also, if you are into TV theme songs, then you know another country music legend, Waylon Jennings, performed it. Jennings also would provide commentary during episodes in his role of “The Balladeer.” It was a voice-over part, though.

Tom Wopat Says Show Cast Him As Luke Because Of His ‘Gravitas’

Tom Wopat remembers where he was when he auditioned to become Bo Duke on “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

He was living in New York. Wopat did audition for the Bo role, but casting agents requested he read for the Luke since Schneider had already been cast as Bo.

“They had cast all the parts except mine,” Wopat said. “They were searching for someone who had a little more gravitas than John. I’m nine years older than him and had a little more background and was a little more mature.”

He got the part and “10 days later we were shooting in Georgia,” Wopat said.

Incidentally, both Schneider and Wopat would find musical success in their individual careers. Both, though, are tied forever to “The Dukes of Hazzard.”