“The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)”
Written by Waylon Jennings
#1 (1 week)
November 1, 1980
After scoring two No. 1 hits from his What Goes Around Comes Around album, Jennings released “Clyde,” the lead single from his 1980 set Music Man. It went top ten. The second single went to No. 1, aided by its popularity as a television theme song.
And yes, this is very much a television theme song, and it works wonderfully in that context. You get the premise of the television show established, and the slightly longer radio and album version gives Jennings an opportunity to insert his own infamy into the mix, suggesting he is a kindred spirit to the fictional boys on the show.
Does it work as well as a standalone track as it does as a theme song? Not really, but it’s so closely associated with the show that it’s impossible to no picture the opening credits while you’re listening. It’s not as off putting out of context as, say, Andrew Gold’s “Thank You For Being a Friend,” which is barely remembered now since being overshadowed by the theme song version that followed.
But it works well enough as a record in its own right, even if it’s not in the same league as Jennings’ best work.
Jennings spent 1981 releasing duets with fellow Outlaw Jessi Colter, resulting in three top fifteen hits. Jennings will return to No. 1 in 1982 with a collaboration from another Outlaw buddy.
“The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” gets a B+.
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