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The Music

Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)

The “Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” is a song written and recorded by American country music singer Waylon Jennings. It was released in August 1980 as the second single from his album Music Man. Recognizable to fans as the theme to the CBS television series The Dukes of Hazzard, the song became a #1 hit on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in 1980.

As the narrator for the movie Moonrunners (1975), Jennings was tapped to serve in the same capacity for The Dukes of Hazzard which premiered on CBS in 1979 and was based on Moonrunners. Jennings wrote the theme song for the show and recorded two versions: the television theme version and a slightly different version made commercially available on both single and album which received radio airplay.

The television show version features Larry McNeely’s banjo work which the commercially available version does not. Additionally, the television version’s third verse contains the lyric, “Fightin’ the system like two modern-day Robin Hoods”, which is accompanied by a “Yee-haw!” said by characters, Bo Duke (John Schneider) and Luke Duke (Tom Wopat), though it is in fact Schneider’s vocal used twice.

The commercially available version receiving radio airplay contains a musical bridge which follows the first verse and chorus. Also, following the commercial version’s second chorus, Jennings makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to his faceless appearance in the credits by singing, “I’m a good ol’ boy, you know my mama loves me, but she don’t understand they keep on showing my hands and not my face on TV”. A statement referring to the opening shot in the television theme version where Jennings is only shown below the neck playing guitar. His face wasn’t shown because he was smoking during filming.

Most of Jennings’ greatest hits albums and various compilation releases containing the “Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” feature the commercially available version.


The Dukes of Hazzard Soundtrack

The Dukes of Hazzard Soundtrack is the original soundtrack from the television series The Dukes of Hazzard. It should not be confused with the motion picture soundtrack with almost the same name. Released originally in 1981 then re-released in 2005 on compact disc, it includes the theme to the show and one of John Schneider’s best hits “In the Drivers Seat”. Most of the cast performed a song for the soundtrack.

Back in 1981, the original soundtrack for The Dukes Of Hazzard couldn’t have come at a better time. ‘Hazzardmania’ had overcome the country with millions of loyal viewers tuning in every Friday night to see Bo and Luke Duke, along with the most famous car on TV (The General Lee) outrun, outwit and out jump the no-good team of Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. The Dukes Of Hazzard was truly a cultural phenomenon. 2005 saw a re-release of the album, expanded with three bonus tracks (including the original Waylon Jennings version of the famous theme song).

Song Artist
01. Good Ol’ Boys Sorrell Booke and the Hazzard County Boys
02. The General Lee Johnny Cash
03. Laughing All the Way to the Bank Sorrell Booke and the Hazzard County Boys
04. Up on Cripple Creek Tom Wopat
05. Cover Girl Eyes Doug Kershaw and the Hazzard County Boys
06. In the Driver’s Seat John Schneider
07. Flash James Best
08. Down Home American Girl Catherine Bach
09. Duelin’ Dukes Sorrell Booke
10. Keep Between Them Ditches Doug Kershaw and the Hazzard County Boys
11. Ballad of the General Lee Doug Kershaw and the Hazzard County Boys