John Schneider and Tom Wopat Record Christmas Album - Rolling Stone
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‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Co-Stars John Schneider and Tom Wopat Record Christmas Album

Good ol’ boys trade jokes, harmonies on jazz-influenced project

John Schneider and Tom Wopat perform

John Schneider and Tom Wopat perform at Nashville's IEBA Conference in October 2012.

Rick Diamond

It’s been more than three decades since John Schneider and Tom Wopat were just’a good ol’ boys, never meaning no harm. But the Dukes of Hazzard co-stars are still very much a team. On October 28th, the pair will release Home for Christmas, an 18-track holiday album that mixes seasonal standards like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Silver Bells” with humorous, left-field tracks like “Johnny, It’s Cold Outside,” a bromantic reinterpretation of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Wopat, who wrote updated lyrics for “Johnny, It’s Cold Outside” (the original was written by Johnny Mercer), shares the microphone with Schneider on the bulk of the tracks, although each actor sings a pair of solo tunes, too.

Related: The Dukes of Hazzard

Schneider and Wopat have long histories as vocalists. Two years before The Dukes of Hazzard aired its pilot episode, Wopat landed a role on Broadway, replacing one of the lead actors in the musical I Love My Wife. He stayed with the production until May 1979 and eventually returned to Broadway in the Nineties, even earning a Tony nomination for his work in the revival of Annie Get Your Gun. Meanwhile, Schneider launched a popular solo career during the Eighties, hitting his stride during The Dukes of Hazzard‘s final season and scoring four chart-topping country hits before the decade came to a close. He co-produced many of his biggest singles, too.

Home for Christmas is the duo’s first full-length record. According to Wopat, the album’s lush string arrangements — most of which were written by jazz musician John Oddo — have “that classic Fifties and Sixties sound.” Jazz plays a major role throughout the disc, although songs like “On a Quiet Christmas Morn” are steeped in fiddles and country harmonies, sounding like something that might’ve once blasted from the dashboard stereo of the General Lee.


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