Dukes of Hazzard’s Ben “Cooter” Jones Defends Traditional Family Values!
Ben Jones, aka “Cooter,” from the television classic The Dukes of Hazzard is getting ready to celebrate a very special milestone in the show’s history: 2014 marks the 35th anniversary of the show! It has recently found popularity again, courtesy of CMT airing the show again. Jones played the role of “Cooter,” the mechanic on the television show. Cooter was the guy who always stayed busy working on cars, especially the General Lee, the beautiful 1969 Orange Dodge Charger, which has been named one of the most popular cars in television and film history. In addition, Ben Jones and his wife are the proud owners of two Dukes themed stores and museums called “Cooter’s Place.” The two locations are both in Tennessee, one in Nashville and one in Gatlinburg. Ben Jones, as well the other popular characters of the cast, are known to make appearances at both stores throughout the year. He has appeared in over 80 theatrical productions, 25 feature films, and hundreds of television appearances. Also from 1989 to 1993, he served in the U.S. Congress representing Georgia’s Fourth District. He is also an author and musician, and he has a band called Cooter’s Garage Band.
In my interview with Ben, we discussed how badly America needs more wholesome television programs, among other topics:
Rocking God’s House: It’s the 35th anniversary of The Dukes of Hazzard; how do you plan on celebrating?
Ben Jones: The show has relaunched on CMT for starters. Now you can see all of your favorite classic Dukes of Hazzard shows in High-Definition — Daisy Duke and the rest of us in High-Definition for the first time, and you can’t beat it! We also have plenty of activities lined up at Cooter’s Place both in Gatlinburg and Nashville. Go to the website http://www.cootersplace.com/ and keep up-to-date with all the stuff related to the show and appearances.
Rocking God’s House: So are you glad that CMT has decided to air all of the old classic shows?
Ben Jones: I am glad they have decided to do that. However, I am not pleased with the commercial that airs during our show’s time slot called “Party Down South.” The Dukes of Hazzard is a family-friendly show, and people watch it with their children and families. They have no place showing a commercial that promotes smut, drunks, and filth in-between commercial breaks of The Dukes of Hazzard. The show Party Down South makes the South look stupid, and not all of us Southerners act like that. It is from the same people who produced Jersey Shore; it’s a load of trash, and I don’t like it. Now, people have the right to watch whatever they want, and I am a grateful to be back on CMT. I just don’t believe that they should show dirty, filthy commercials during the breaks in our show. Nobody of decency and in there right minds would care to see that load of junk anyway!
Rocking God’s House: Do you and other cast members make appearances at Cooter’s Place museums?
Ben Jones: Yes! All of the time! Like I said, you can always check our website for calenders and events. As a matter of fact, after you and I are finished with this interview, my wife and I are headed to the store in Gatlinburg to make an appearance. We also have a museum full of memorabilia, collector’s items from the show, and cars. We even have a General Lee that you can take your picture with!
Rocking God’s House: Tell us about your band; what kind of music do you play?
Ben Jones: The band is called Cooter’s Garage Band. They are a band full of talented musicians, and they let me sing; but really I am just an actor pretending to be a singer. We have been performing together for fifteen years now, and we do classic rock and roll, 50’s doo-wop, and classic country. We have played all over the United States and play a lot of charity events.
Rocking God’s House: Do you think with shows like The Dukes being back on air and Duck Dynasty in it’s popularity that America is wanting to go back to good quality, traditional values television?
Ben Jones: Absolutely! That is a no-brainer. Good clean fun — something the whole family can enjoy — is what everybody truly wants: people who aren’t afraid to take a stand and pursue what they believe in. There is a song by Aaron Tippen that goes “You got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything,” and I have always believed that — even from the time that I was in Congress. We as a United States are great people — all religions, races, and creeds. We just desperately need to get back to what made us so wonderful in the first place!
Rocking God’s House: Do you feel it is ok to pray and express your faith on television?
Ben Jones: Without a doubt. The Duck Dynasty crew has been ridiculed for doing it, and as far as I know, no other television show has had a prayer since The Dukes of Hazzard when Uncle Jesse would pray over dinner. Christianity and religion in general cover a lot of aspects in people’s lives. I believe what we do on Earth we will be held accountable for — what goes around comes around — so you better be a good person and do right with what little time you have. Respect all opinions and beliefs of people, and if they are displaying their faith peacefully in any aspect, let them do so.