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DUKES OF HAZZARD THEN AND NOW

First things first.  I need to thank my pal Clete Reid for doing all the legwork, research, and picture taking that were needed for this Dukes Of Hazzard retrospective.  Clete's a crackerjack historian.  When he saw the Smokey And The Bandit then and now pages (here), he suggested a similar treatment for the Dukes Of Hazzard.  Dukes Of Hazzard?  Yep, the Dukes Of Hazzard has Atlanta ties in that the first five episodes were all shot on location in and around Atlanta and Covington.

Until Clete clued me in, I had no idea that the first several episodes were filmed here.  Just as a side note, to really get to the roots of the show you'll need to check out the 1975 film Moonrunners, upon which the TV series was loosely based.  Like The Dukes Of Hazzard that followed it, Moonrunners film featured several characters who also appeared in the Dukes TV series.  Waylon Jennings lent his voice as the narrator to both projects and the principal characters in both are two cousins who run moonshine for their Uncle Jesse.  As if that weren't enough, the local watering hole in both Moonrunners and The Dukes Of Hazzard is the Boars Nest.  Actor Ben Jones  appeared in both productions.   Jones is famed not only for playing Cooter on the Dukes show, but also for having served as a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Jones, a Democrat, was elected to represent Georgia's 4th district in 1988 and again in 1990.

Though  the series ran on CBS from 1979 until 1985, only the first five episodes were actually shot locally.  The remainder were were filmed in southern California.  The show was frequently mocked by people who didn't particularly care for it, a category into I must confess I fall.  I've tried to watch some of the episodes, but I'm going to go ahead and admit I couldn't really sink my teeth into 'em.  But what do I know...I'm a huge fan of Gomer Pyle USMC.  Despite its lack of critical success, the show obviously struck a strong chord with the public, as it was the basis for several TV movies and a 2005 theatrical feature.  And perhaps most notable of all is the fact that the TV series gave us the term Daisy Dukes.  Named after Catherine Bach's character, the phrase is now synonymous with extraordinarily short (and tight) women's shorts.  But you probably already knew that.

In the summer of 2008, Atlanta area fans will have a prime opportunity to immerse themselves in a celebration of the series when Dukesfest 2008 rolls into the Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 28 and 29.  If you own a 1969 Dodge Charger, you are legally obligated to be there.

DUKES OF HAZZARD THEN AND NOW

 

 

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