‘Dukes of Hazzard’: Johnny Cash Songs Were Featured on Soundtrack, But Did He Ever Appear on Show?

by Matthew Wilson

“The Dukes of Hazzard” didn’t just feature high-flying stunts and comedy. The hit show also had ties to some of country music’s royalty. For instance, Johnny Cash once lent his signature baritone to the show’s 1982 soundtrack of the same name.

That album featured a variety of different singers including series stars John Schneider and Tom Wopat on a couple of songs themselves. Cash recorded a song based on arguably the most iconic part of the show – the Duke boys’ car The General Lee.

But did the singer ever actually appear on the show in earnest? Unfortunately for “Duke of Hazzard” fans, the Man in Black never made a guest role on the show. He did appear on other TV shows with his wife June Carter, however.

“We had the soundtrack for the show come out in 81 featuring Johnny Cash, who was never on the show, but he recorded the song ‘The General Lee’ for it. Getting to meet Johnny was a dream come true for me as a country artist,” Schneider said in an interview with The Local Voice.

The song ended up reaching No. 26 on the country music charts when it released as a single in 1982.

Waylon Jennings and ‘Dukes of Hazzard’

Of course, the show’s most famous tune was its theme song “Good Ol Boys.” And it had another famous country singer lending his voice. Waylon Jennings sang the show’s theme song, which proved to be instantly iconic. When “The Dukes of Hazzard” blew up in the 1970s and 80s, the country singer capitalized on its success and audiences’ familiarity with the song.

Jennings released “The Dukes of Hazzard” theme as a single on his album “Music Man” in 1980. The results proved to be as successful as Jennings had hoped. The tune ended up topping the country music charts during that time period. The country singer also even performed the song live at some of his concerts.

In addition to performing the theme, Jennings played a recurring role in “The Dukes of Hazzard” as well. The country singer lent his voice to the show as narrator. Though he only appeared in the flesh in one episode, audiences could hear Jennings’ voice each season. As the narrator or The Balladeer, Jennings often commented on the Duke boys’ adventures and whatever jams they found themselves in. It was a role that added to the atmosphere of the show.