“Dukes of Hazzard” star John Schneider once crossed paths with an even more famous John. That’s right, country legend Johnny Cash. The two shared the screen together in a remake of the classic John Wayne film “Stagecoach.”
It sounds like the start of a bad joke, featuring three famous Johns. Throw in some of Cash’s fellow legendary musicians. And you have a star-studded cast.
But in a 2019 interview, Schneider discussed the first time he met Cash on the “Stagecoach” set. Prior, the country singer had recorded a song on the “Dukes of Hazzard” soundtrack. But he never made a guest appearance on the show.
Schneider said the two became friends almost right away.
“Prior to working on Stagecoach – that’s where John and I met – he had actually done the Dukes of Hazzard album for that, but we’d never met,” Schneider said. “We met when we did ‘Stagecoach’ together and we became friends right away. I got to see how he treated people. And I got to see a really terrific, honest-about-everything man who also believed in Christ was like and to say, ‘Jesus is my lord and savior.’ Then I guess there’s something to it.”
The ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Star in ‘Stagecoach’
In 1986, Johnny Cash partnered with his fellow Highwaymen singers: Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings. The country artists decided to recreate John Wayne’s seminal western in the form of a TV movie for fans. And Cash recruited the “Dukes of Hazzard” star to appear in the production.
One of the things that struck Schneider about the first time he met Cash was his faith. He said the country singer didn’t pretend to be Christian. He was the real genuine article.
“Well, John was really the first Christian I had met that wasn’t concerned about trying to appear to be nicer than Jesus,” Schneider said. “And it’s an important designation because what a lot of Christians don’t know or don’t remember is how syrupy and saccharin and phony, they can sound to someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. ‘Oh, how are you doing?’ ‘Oh, I’m just blessed. I’m so blessed. And this wonderful.'”
Cash certainly didn’t get to where he was in his career by sugar-coating things. The Cash of the 1980s was a man who faced down his demons and barely won to tell the tale. For instance, he had put down the wild ways of his youth and became a better man for it.
“Well, come on. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes, you might say, ‘Well, I think I must have slept through my blessing today because I feel like crap,” Schneider said. “Johnny was a man; he was a scarred, flawed, wonderful Christian man who didn’t have to pretend everything was just great. I had seen a lot of the other.”