Wednesday, August 31, 2011

John Schneider thrills the fans as our tour of Hazzard Homecoming continues ...

BRBTV had a great time at this month's Hazzard Homecoming in Sperryville, Virginia, hosted by Ben ("Cooter Davenport") Jones of "The Dukes of Hazzard" and his wife, Alma Viator. And we captured a bunch of those fun "Dukes" moments so you could experience them, too! Continuing on with the six-part video series from our walk through the event, here are Parts 3 and 4 ...

Part 3 concludes Day 1 of the event, including a chat with Miss Jo of Covington, Georgia, whose flower shop provided Boss Hogg's boutonnieres in the show's first five episodes in the late '70s. Jo gives an update on the "Dukes" display that for years was a tourist attraction at the A Touch of Country shop on the Square, as well as what's filming in Covington these days.

Part 4 takes you to Day 2 of the event, including the addition of John ("Bo Duke") Schneider to the signing tables. What happens when a fan asks if she can kiss our beloved Bo Duke? His wife, Elly, has an answer or two ... Later on this warm August day, John takes to the stage to sing "Country Girls," and when he takes off his overshirt ... there's a reaction!

Stay tuned for Parts 5 and 6 later this week ...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Walk through the Hazzard Homecoming with BRBTV video series

If you didn't get to Sperryville, Virginia, a couple weekends back for the Hazzard Homecoming, don't you worry none. BRBTV was there, and we did plenty of walkin' around! And since we just happened to have a camera attached while we were a-walkin', now you can get a view of the event, too!

This week we're highlighting our new six-part video series full of fun images of the event, just posted to the BRBTV YouTube channel. Today, it's Parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 includes:
- A look at some of the cars on display
- A peek at the signing tables of cast members Ben Jones and Rick Hurst
- A little chatting here and there with friends such as Rusty (aka "Boss Hogg"!), and Paul of the Canadian Dukes of Hazzard Fan Club
- Stunt BMX biking

Part 2 includes:
- A peek at the signing tables of cast members Catherine Bach and Sonny Shroyer
- A visit to the merchandise table (love that moonshine jar!)
- A moment at author Jon Holland's table as he signs a copy of his latest book, "A Moonrunner's Tale"
- The view from atop the "01" bus
- Stella Parton on stage and at her table

Tune in later this week as the video series continues ...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missing Barbara Eden in Toronto this weekend? Think New Jersey in October!

Woo-hoo! While BRB's buds Will and Andrea and Mike and Krista are meeting Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden at Fan Expo Canada today (and hopefully getting a nice shot for the next Kindle edition of the BRBTV fact book "Destination: Dallas"!), fans who missed the chance can plan for another opportunity coming up, at least where Eden is concerned. The star of the latter seasons of our beloved "Dallas" will be coming to the Garden State in October.

The Garden State Comic Con happens October 8-9 and will feature not only Ms. Eden but also Jonathan Frakes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" fame, who also appeared in a great episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard" when he was a young pup, playing a well-regarded character named Jamie Lee Hogg. Jackson Bostwick, the original star of the '70s live-action "Shazam!" who has been interviewed on this very blog, will be meeting and greeting there, as well.

Check out the rest of the guest list for the event; it's pretty good.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Timothy Gibbs stars in "11-11-11"

It's nice to see Timothy Gibbs, the onetime Dash Nichols of our beloved "Santa Barbara," so front-and-center in a new flick. He's ready to roll in high-profile form in "11-11-11," which releases -- you guessed it -- on November 11.

You can catch Gibbs -- still so hunky, and really only in his mid-40s -- in the movie's trailer on the official site. This supernatural thriller comes from Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of some of the "Saw" movies, and plays with the concept of the number 11:11 being repeatedly seen in random places, like clocks, license plates, price tags. Folks have been sharing their own 11:11 stories on the site's message board.

Filmed in Spain, the movie concerns "an entity from another world that enters the earthly realm through Heaven's 11th gate," the IMDb says. Michael Landes, that darling ole Jimmy Olsen on the '90s "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," shares the screen with Gibbs for this one.

Gibbs seems to be splashing out with a few new projects this year, after several years away no doubt concentrating on his construction company, as we've reported on in this blog. You can catch our BRBTV interview with Gibbs in the "Send Me to Santa Barbara" fact book.

(And frankly, we don't see 11:11 -- but we sure have been seeing 444 constantly for several years! Look that one up!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spotted: Jerry Rushing

OK, so ... There we are the other night, all enraptured watching Johnny Cash play the tough rural Georgia sheriff Lamar Potts in 1948, in fervent pursuit of Andy Griffith's evil mobster boss John Wallace in "Murder in Coweta County" (that's ki-eta, by the way -- the name doesn't moo). Tall, handsome, hardened Johnny Cash ... Ahhhhh ... We loved the man and everything he stood for. Anyway ... Griffith is in a car chase, and who's driving his car but ... Jerry Rushing? Well, it sure looks like him!

We check the IMDb (aka, "the oracle," according to our bro), and sure enough, that's our man behind "The Dukes of Hazzard" who's behind the wheel in that scene of the 1983 TV movie, based on a true story. It seems rather appropriate, since Griffith's Wallace makes a reference to "revenuers" a few scenes before. Rushing's character, Herring Sevill, ends up in the cell right next to Wallace's, and Herring gets increasingly nervous about his obligations to the sinister country mobster.

It's out-of-the-way Meriwether and Carrollton, Georgia, where this action takes place. So wonderful to see homespun Andy Griffith showing his range with a evil turn, and so wonderful to see Jerry Rushing in one of his roles, just a few years after he helped create "The Dukes" and guest-starred in the 1979 "Dukes" episode "Repo Men."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hazzard Homecoming hits the high notes

Well, they went and threw a little "Dukes" shindig, and a few people done showed up. OK, more than a few. Make that thousands. "Dukes of Hazzard" fans from all over the country and even other countries (that's you, Paul and Zealand!) made it out to Sperryville, Virginia, today for the first day of the Hazzard Homecoming at the Thorton Hill Hounds Raceway. Guess us fans were just craving a big "Dukes" event -- it's been a while. And rain? Yea, there was a little rain. In fact, it lightly rained for a half-hour or so. Did anybody notice? Maybe. Did anybody stop what they were doing? Not even a little.

The spacious, hilly grounds off Highway 522, with the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains rising up in the distance, provided the perfect setting for Hazzard's fans to come "home" to this city where the very first Dukesfest occurred back in 2001. Everything from General Lees to Hazzard County sheriff's cars to Boss' big long white convertible to Cooter's tow trucks and more covered the landscape. Stella Parton, who guested on one episode of the original series, took to the stage in the afternoon, even doing a little "church" with "This Little Light of Mine." And Cooter's Garage Band performed later on.

Much of the original "Dukes" cast was there: Sonny Shroyer, Catherine Bach, host Ben Jones, James Best and Rick Hurst. Stella Parton signed autographs as well as her new book, "Tell It Sister, Tell It: Memories, Music and Miracles," just released a couple months ago and with proceeds supporting domestic violence shelters.

Lines were loooooong -- one lady told us she waited in Bach's line for five and a half hours! Tomorrow, John Schneider is scheduled to arrive for the meetin' and greetin,' and we can only imagine how long his lines will be.

It was nice and warm (not as deadly hot as it has been up here in the greater D.C. area) with a strong, cooling breeze a-blowin'. And BRBTV got to chat with a lot of good folks we only see every so often, like Miss Jo McLaney, below, who traveled all the way from our beloved Covington, Georgia, to say hello to her "Dukes" pals.

Weary, grimy, a little sunburned and definitely wind-blown beyond recognition, we didn't stick around for the fireworks tonight, but we're going back tomorrow! We'll be posting more photos to Facebook, and look for full video coverage of the event on the BRBTV YouTube channel in the next week or two.


Photo by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV 
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Couple cancellation notes for John Schneider's schedule

Please note, as you're planning your road trips: These two appearances on the schedule of John Schneider, our own Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard," have been canceled:

November 19 at the Hollywood Show in Las Vegas

December 10 at the Frank and Son Collectible Show in Rowland Heights, California.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Come home to Hazzard this weekend

It may not be the Hazzard County, but it's a place that's near and dear to diehard fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard." It's Sperryville, Virginia, the former site of one of the Cooter's Place establishments, and the site of the very first Dukesfest in 2001. And now, this weekend's Hazzard Homecoming will bring "Dukes" fans back to that site with two days of blazin'-orange fun.

Much of the surviving "Dukes" cast will be there to meet and greet fans and sign autographs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day: Catherine ("Daisy Duke") Bach, John ("Bo Duke") Schneider (Sunday only), James ("Rosco P. Coltrane") Best, Sonny ("Enos Strate") Shroyer, Rick ("Cletus Hogg") Hurst, and the host of the festivities, as he was back in 2001, Mr. Ben ("Cooter Davenport") Jones. In between all of that, and all through it really (!), will be live music, stunt shows, plenty of fun activities for the kids, and oh yes, lots of General Lees to behold.

BRB will be there wandering the grounds with the BRBTV camcorder, to capture some fun stuff for our YouTube channel. And we just saw the email the other day that Jimmie Best is bringing some new original artwork on a Hazzard Homecoming theme. Ben and Alma sent out an email to attendees yesterday, reminding them to bring their sunscreen, plenty of water, folding chairs and/or blankets for the festival seating, and some patience to deal with any parking issues that may arise.

With nearly 4,500 folks RSVP'd as attending on the Facebook page alone, this looks to be the "Dukes" event of this year. And no wonder, the locale itself -- Sperryville -- hearkens back to the days when "Dukes" fans first started gathering and these were quieter affairs, more like family affairs, with much greater access to the cast members. So a big yeeeee-haaaaaa on that!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Linda Evans hangs out in the kitchen -- and at a bookstore near you

Linda Evans, our own Krystle Carrington of "Dynasty," is embarking on a book tour this fall for her new release, "Recipes for Life." Thanks to our buddy James, a photographer here in D.C., for the tipoff on this one. Evans has the info splashed all over the news page of her official site:

Thursday, October 13 at 7 p.m.
Barnes and Noble / Upper East Side
New York
Talk, Q and A and Book Signing

Saturday, October 15 at 1 p.m.
New Jersey
Talk and Book Signing

Monday, October 17 at 7 p.m.
Third Place Books
Book Signing and Q and A

Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m.
Barnes and Noble the Grove at Farmers Market
Los Angeles
Book Signing and Q and A

Friday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Yorba Linda Library
Los Angeles
Book Signing and Q and A

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Byron Cherry speaks more about Christopher Mayer's death -- and life

BRBTV has been keeping mum about many of the details we've learned about the death of Christopher Mayer in the past week, since we announced the news on this blog last Tuesday. We figured those who were closest to the actor could lead the way. And indeed they have. Byron ("Coy Duke") Cherry, who co-starred with Mayer on "The Dukes of Hazzard," did a fresh interview with Entertainment Weekly yesterday afternoon, published on last night, where he sheds more light on Mayer's passing, and just what this longtime friend meant to him over the years:

It's a great story, and BRBTV applauds writer Grady Smith for drawing some sweet and interesting details out of Cherry while still remaining respectful to the life of a treasured actor.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Spotted: Barbara Carrera, Karen Carlson, A Martinez, Morgan Woodward and more

In 1978 it was a rather grand, sweeping spectacle, far larger than the average miniseries, and really, one of the first in this concept of the miniseries, though it ran for basically a whole TV season, October 1978 to February 1979. It was "Centennial," based on the work of well-regarded novelist James Michener, and it was 24 hours of rich, historical fiction set in the 1800s, peppered with rustic settings and enough human element to please any soaps fan, and loaded with fine stars of classic TV, some not-so famous then but definitely known to us now.

Take Barbara Carrera, for instance. In the mid-1980s, we saw her as Angelica Nero in the infamous Dream Season of "Dallas." In 1978, though, she was very young and just three years into the business, as she explains in the "Centennial" DVD extras. Her role as Indian squaw Clay Basket, so sweet and naive and girlish at the beginning, then maturing through adulthood and quiet dignity in the ensuing episodes, is the favorite in her career, she says. She calls it a very good experience.

"They made sure that everything was absolutely as authentic as they could make it," she says of "Centennial," which BRBTV must note reflects some good production values for its time. In her DVD interview, she  comments on what it was like to work with Robert Conrad, also interviewed in the set for his kingpin role as brusque French-Canadian trapper Pasquinel, and others in this megawatt cast.

"I wasn't very experienced," Carrera says. "I relied on many things for help. But when I worked with Richard Chamberlain (Alexander McKeag, whom Clay Basket eventually marries) he was so much the part, that he made it so easy for me to work with him. It was a wonderful kind of chemistry."

As Clay Basket aged in the series, Carrera had to endure lengthy applications of facial prosthetics, which she also discusses in the interview. Ironically, she's shown in modern times in the extras looking so much more stunning than her character did as projected to her age in the series.

The 12 meaty, two-hour episodes of "Centennial" also feature:

- Anthony Zerbe, who portrayed Crenshaw on "Dynasty," as the swindling Mervin Wendell, who comes to the town of Centennial, Colorado, to bilk folks with his pretty blond wife.
- Clint Ritchie, longtime daytime soaps star who also appeared as Bud Morgan on "Dallas," as Messmore Garrett, a sheep rancher in Centennial.
- Karen Carlson, Nancy Scotfield on "Dallas," as the lovely, composed, smart Lisette Mercy, daughter of Pasquinel by his "white" family (he has two families in this tale!).
- A Martinez, our hunky Cruz Castillo of "Santa Barbara," who shows up in the final few episodes of the series as Tranquilino Marquez, an energetic young man (with lots of curly hair, we'll add!) who travels from Mexico to Colorado to find work and a better life for his family.
- Clive Reville, the voice of Alfred on "Batman: The Animated Series" as well as Warren Ballard on "Dynasty," as Finlay Perkin, the sharp-eyed accountant.
- Michael Ansara, the voice of Mr. Freeze in the animated Batman series and movies, as the adult Lame Beaver, father to Clay Basket. We knew there was something familiar about his voice!
- Timothy Patrick Murphy, our own young Mickey Trotter of "Dallas," even younger as Christian Zendt, a Mennonite lad (with a proper haircut!) who leaves his Lancaster home for a while to work for his uncle in the new town of Centennial.
- Barney McFadden, who portrayed Bruce Burns on "Dallas," Johnny Navarro on "SB," and Lt. Olsen on "The Colbys," as Abel Tanner.
- Morgan Woodward, our own Punk Anderson of "Dallas," dignified in his dark uniform as General Wade, who must sort out the legal mess of a bloody Army raid on an Indian settlement.
- Bo Brundin, who was  Holgar Kuhn on "Dallas," as Magnes Volkema.
- James Best, our own Rosco P. Coltrane of "The Dukes of Hazzard," who pops up in the very last episode, just as he was debuting on the "Dukes" with a little Rosco-like coo-coo-ca-choo on the witness stand as Hank Garvey.

Add to that a suave Timothy Dalton, an earnest Gregory Harrison, Alex Karras as a big lug with a big heart, cowboy Dennis Weaver, and a beyond-captivating Stephen McHattie as the sinister Jake Pasquinel (seriously, we couldn't take our eyes off him). Plus a few others we cannot continue blathering on about; look it up.

A great series, and a great accompaniment to the John Jakes Bicentennial book series we've been reading.