“Good Ol’ Boys”, which was the name of the theme song for The Dukes of Hazzard . Might possibly be in my top ten favorithe television theme songs of all time. In addition to being rather catchy – it didn’t hurt that Waylon Jennings wrote and performed it.
In fact that very theme really kind of told a new viewer everything they needed to know about the show.
While my Family was a huge fan of the TV series – we never obtained the single. Furthermore I don’t believe I actually knew their was a single released for it all. I certainly would have expected to see it carried at our local Walmart back in the day.
“Good Ol’ Boys” actually hit #1 on the American Country charts in 1980. As well as reaching #21 on Billboard’s Hot 100 according to The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn.
In addition I feel I should add that I never knew that Bo (Schneider) and Luke(Wopat) Duke were singers and musicians themselves. That appears to be the case however thanks to this vintage performance from TNN. Sobchakvideos who uploaded this video on YouTube states this took place in 1993.
So the question is…are Wopat and Schneider any good? By all means they certainly are. The duo start “Good Ol’ Boys” slow and perhaps even reverently. But after about a minute they kick into high gear to an appreciative and packed house!
Now that you’ve heard Tom and John sing “Good Ol’ Boys” why not check out when Roy Orbison visited The Dukes of Hazzard?
You would think that in my youth I would have been attracted to more car toys. Especially a playset advertising itself as a Computer Garage. When you add in the fact that my Family had their own garage and auto dealership, it would obviously make sense that I wanted Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars to play with, right?
That was sadly not the case when I was growing up. Furthermore I would possibly have rather had dental work than receive toy cars. In the light of what I just said however there were a few “car” toys that I was happy to get. Like the Batmobile, or the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard as well as Ideal’s Evel Knievel’s Stunt Cycle!
Consequently when my Cousin, Brandon, and I received that stunt cycle set on the same Christmas. There were EPIC charges of those toy daredevil’s at each other across the kitchen floor. How we managed to not trip any of our relatives while tiny Evel Knievel’s were darting everywhere I will never know.
Eventually I managed to amass a small but stylized collection of Hot Wheels and Matchbox vehicles. Thanks to various family members giving me their hand-me-down toys. In truth some of those fit my overall love of science-fiction toys at the time, fueled by 1977’s Star Wars naturally.
Which is in fact why when back in the day one Summer when I was with my Grandmother at a garage sale. I didn’t just pass by a rather odd looking playset – The Sears Computer Garage. Now even at that age, which was around eight I was very interested in all things related to computers. Thanks to brief encounters with the Commodore Vic-20 and the TRS-80.
I was intrigued by the playset which was basically a motorized gondola. When a kid would use the plastic numbers – a “coded” computer card. It would rotate to the number of the stall that had been selected. With the aid of a lever at the base of the Sears Computer Garage – the car would be ejected.
Now in all honesty, there were two other reasons I wanted to buy it. It was only a mere fifty cents and worked to boot. But most importantly, inside one of the stalls I could see Captain America’s van!
I was actually able to talk my Grandmother into giving me the money and took the Sears Computer Garage home. It basically acted as a storage unit for my tiny toy car collection. Until a couple of years later I in turn sold it at my Grandmother’s garage sale.
Thanks to MootSooToo’s YouTube channel you can see the Sears Computer Garage in action!
Family Feud was a popular and almost religiously viewed television show at my Grandparent’s house. I am not sure what exactly they loved about the program. I suppose the genial nature of then host Richard Dawson could have been a factor. Perhaps the truth is they merely enjoyed the format of the show? Whatever the answer may be they were lifelong fans of the program.
However I can tell you that without fail. When Family Feud was over it was time for dinner. I could set my watch by it. My Grandparents were big enough fans of the program that we actually had a copy of the Milton Bradley home game!
While of course they were fans of many popular TV shows of the day. Like The Love Boat, CHiPs, Fantasy Island, and Happy Days to name but a few. None of these had the ability to keep my Grandparents riveted to the television set.
This is the reason I totally remember when The Dukes of Hazzard faced off against some of the cast of The Waltons. On the All-Star Family Feud 1979 special! It is in fact the second portion of the special – where the cast of The Ropers and Angie went head to head. I can recall these specials feeling like something very important. The excitement I felt was very similar to Battle of the Networks Stars!
So what about this Family Feud with The Waltons and The Dukes of Hazzard?
In this second segment of the All-Star special, which I should add was shown in the evening instead of the typical weekday airing. The Waltons were represented by Judy Norton-Taylor, Jon Walmsley, Mary McDonough, Kami Cotler, and Eric Scott.
The Dukes of Hazzard were represented by Tom Wopat, Catherine Bach, Sorrell Booke, Denver Pyle, and James Best. You might wonder why John Schneider wasn’t present – it’s been rumored he was sick at the time of taping. Each of the television shows played for a charity organization.
Which television family will come out on top? You can find out for yourself by watching the YouTube video below! However can’t we all say we are winners for being able to enjoy this broadcast?
As I have said in other blog entries, returning to the United States in 1979 after spending three years in Germany was like stepping out of a time machine and leaving 1916 to appear in 2016.
In the United States, video games were new, fast-food restaurants were everywhere and there was more than ONE channel on the television.
My first full day back in the states was a Friday. How in the world could I remember that fact more than 36 years later? Simple…My cousins sat me down that evening to watch The Dukes of Hazzard on CBS.
I was very reluctant at first to take a seat in front of the television with them that night. I knew that being a “duke” involved the British monarchy, and that was the last thing I wanted to do after spending the last three years confined to Central Europe.
And then, with the twang of an electric guitar lick, it began. I spent the next 60 minutes asking my cousins all sorts of questions about the show – and getting few answers during the commercial breaks.
I tried to catch the previous episodes during the re-run season, and remained a faithful follower of the show through the remainder of the Dukes’ seven seasons on television – even during the infamous “Coy and Vance” period. It was a show like no other before it, and although many have tried to recapture the “lightning in a bottle” the show produced, nothing has come close since then.
Now, let’s fast-forward to the mid-1990s.
I was selling Internet service at Rivergate Mall in a northern suburb of Nashville, Tenn., in 1996. My job involved selling dial-up and ISDN Internet connections to people wandering through the mall on their way to purchase an Orange Julius smoothie.
The Internet of 1996 had only recently been expanded thanks to the World Wide Web, and more people were anxious to try it out. So, to help feed their need, we sold a floppy disk with setup programs to install our dial-up service onto the beige boxes in Grandma’s kitchen across the country.
Internet In A Mall will probably be the topic of a future Retroist Blog offering, but I included it here because it was the catalyst to this entire story.
Two of my first Internet customers were a woman named Jett Williams and her husband, Keith Adkinson. After purchasing our service, they offered to pay for my time if I could drive out to their home and install their software. With nothing on my calendar, and the prospect of newly-acquired pizza money in my pocket, I agreed.
When I arrived at their country home, I quickly realized things were not as they appeared. It turns out that Jett is the daughter of country music legend Hank Williams, and half-sister to Bocephus himself, Hank Williams Jr. She has an amazing story, and I’d recommend checking out the Wikipedia listing about her to learn more.
After hooking up their Internet, they were pleased with the job, I was asked to create a website for her and some other tech stuff. I accepted, and they invited me to listen to Jett perform the next night at the famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville – located at the back door of the original home of the Grand Ol’ Opry, the Ryman Auditorium.
My boss, Dennis Thibodeaux, and I both went to the show together. We found a table in the back and proceeded to enjoy a couple adult beverages when a blonde female approached us and asked if she could sit in the empty seat at our table.
We graciously asked her to join us and introduced ourselves.
“Hello, my name is Stella. Stella Parton.”
My lower jaw fell open and I’m sure it was far from indiscreet.
“You mean like the Stella Parton from the Dukes of Hazzard television show?” I asked, while stumbling over every word.
“Darling, I want to hug your neck,” Stella said. “”It seems like everyone’s first sentence to me is to ask about my sister Dolly when I first meet them, but you’re one of the first to mention my own career..!”
Yes, friends…I was sipping an adult beverage in a Nashville honky-tonk with the beautiful sister of Dolly Parton, an actress who appeared on one of my favorite TV shows, and a well-known country entertainer.
It turns out that Stella and Jett were friends and she was at Tootsie’s to hear Ms. Williams perform. I didn’t waste the opportunity, and she happily answered questions from me between performances.
Stella appeared in Season 1, Episode 10 “Deputy Dukes” which aired April 13, 1979. She played Mary Beth Malone – a ruthless criminal who sees the error of her ways by the end of the episode.
I asked about Denver (Uncle Jessie) Pyle, and she said he was funny, smart and a delight to work with. She said the same about her scenes with James (Rosco) Best, Tom (Luke) Wopat and John (Bo) Schneider.
Our evening together ended with Jett’s rendition of her father’s hit song, “Your Cheating Heart” and Stella Parton gave me another big hug before we parted ways. She autographed the label from her beer and gave it to me before leaving.
Stella has made other television appearances through the years, and has received several awards during her singing career.
Browsing around Etsy during my lunch break and stumbled upon the art of SM-Artworks – a very talented artist who creates some great retro pieces. I particularly enjoyed his vehicle prints.
The Knight Rider/Airwolf/A-Team/Streethawk print above is my favourite, but the Honky Tonk work below featuring Smokey and the Bandit’s Trans Am, The Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee and the Gran Torino from Starsky and Hutch is a very close second!
Check out the Etsy shop for more work from the artist, including a very nice James Bond piece featuring various Aston Martin’s.