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Legendary stars and iconic cars were the main attractions at the Dukes of Hazzard Fan Fair event at Cooter’s Place in Nashville , Saturday (June 8).
John Schneider, Tom Wopat, Catherine Bach and other cast members from The Dukes of Hazzard TV show came together to sign autographs for fans and perform at the Hazzard Hoedown evening concert at The Nashville Palace. Plus, nearly 40 General Lee cars, as popular as the actors themselves, were on display for fans to admire, while the “Carnival of Thrills” stunt team revved up the crowd with their amazing car stunts.
Ben Jones, the loveable mechanic “Cooter” from the TV series, which debuted in 1979 on CBS, helped organize the Dukes reunion and noted that fans were coming from as far away as Australia to attend.
“I attribute that to about 35 years of good will,” Ben says with an affable smile. “The fans have kept this going, even though the show went off the air in 1985.”
Ben adds that the show’s main elements have a timeless quality that appeals to all generations. “You had great actors, fast cars, good-looking people and good values. Those things are eternal,” he says. “The Dukes were the good guys and always made the right choice and no one got hurt. No one even bled.”
The autograph lines, particularly for John, who played “Bo Duke,” and Catherine, the feisty “Daisy Duke,” wound completely around the event area. It reminded certain veteran reporters (ahem) of the former Fan Fair in Nashville, prior to its name change to CMA Music Festival.
“I just respect and honor these fans that are here and want to be a part of this whole experience,” said Catherine, still looking attractive enough to sport those famed Daisy Duke shorts.
“And I love seeing the cast again. We are definitely family. These people have been together almost 35 years–dude, that’s a long time,” she added with a laugh.
Also taking part in the big day were James Best, better known as “Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane,” and Rick Hurst, the comical “Deputy Cletus.”
Ben Jones notes that such a reunion might not be possible again, due to the cast members’ still-active schedules. “But you never know,” he smiles.