Thursday, January 26 2017 10:10

Rewind: 38 Years Ago, The Dukes of Hazzard Arrived...

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Things have really changed over the course of the past few years. It was 2014 when I posted about the 35th Anniversary of The Dukes of Hazzard premiering on CBS. A year later, amid outcry due to events in South Carolina, Warner Bros. Consumer Products found itself under fire for licensing replicas of the show's most iconic "character" - the 1969 Dodge Charger known as "The General Lee." Now deemed "politically incorrect" due to the "stars and bars" atop its roof, licensing of the car with its signature feature - a Confederate flag - ceased, and soon after, even re-runs of the series on CMT came to an end. Regardless of what might be deemed (in)appropriate by some today, you cannot erase history, nor can you offer "alternate facts" to what came before.  It was January 26, 1979 that audiences first took a trip to Hazzard County, making today the 38th Anniversary of the series. Queue-up the Waylon...

As a kid who grew up on The Dukes of Hazzard, my fond memories of the show will never change. Moonshine runners had never been quite as fun, and the series (which originally ran until 1985) became a part of my weekly routine. My fifth birthday party was Dukes-themed (see video of that and my old Dukes Power Cycle Big Wheel here), and I still miss those old MEGO figures with the plastic General Lee that they rode in.

Ertl 1:64-scale General Lee

As an adult, I've shared a little bit of the Dukes with my daughters. They're familiar with The General Lee from seeing it in-person over at the Volo Auto Museum, and in the midst of our expansive collection of diecast "star cars," I do have a 1:64-scale ERTL replica - one that's sadly no longer in production. The girls have both played with it on many occasions, and this morning I decided to take a few fresh photos of the toy car - the ones you're seeing right now.

Funny enough, in a bit of foreshadowing, the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard movie addressed the issue of the flag on the roof head-on. After "The General" had an overnight overhaul, the Duke boys themselves were surprised to see what they were riding under...

While you can't see the series on television right now, the DVDs are readily-available for purchase, and establishments like Cooter's Place keep the spirit alive. Perhaps it'll be back on the air in time for the 40th Anniversary in 2019? Stay tuned...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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