For an entire generation of adults, the name John Schneider conjures up images of Bo Duke and the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard. But throughout his career, Schneider has built a lifetime of entertainment experiences as an actor, a filmmaker, a novelist, and a singer. And now, he's bringing those singing talents to Corsicana's own Palace Theatre 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5. Tickets are on sale at the Palace Theatre box office and http://corsicanapalace.com.
Corsicana Daily Sun had the opportunity to catch up with Schneider in between a series of interviews, where he shared his thoughts on the holidays, performing for Corsicana audiences, the debut of his new film, and the General Lee.
Schneider said he can't wait to visit Corsicana, this performance being his first time visiting the city and the Palace Theater. The country singer has been spending time rehearsing with his band in preparation for the interview with a selection of greatest hits and all-new songs, including his latest single, “Stoned On the One.”
To fit into the holidays, and his own personal love for Christmas, a selection of holiday favorites will also make the song list.
“I'm hoping that if the crowd recognizes a song that they know, and I'll tell them: Sing along,” he said. “This is audience participation month.”
In addition to his concert, Schneider will have autographed copies of his latest film, Christmas Cars, available for purchase at the Palace. Distributed through CineFlix, the film is an independent project, and his ninth film, produced by his own film studio, John Schneider Studios and will be available to order online this week.
“We've been having tremendous success with this movie we made,” he said.
Schneider portrays a fictionalized version of himself, an independent studio owner who recovers after a natural disaster destroys his property by selling replica General Lee toys for the holidays, until controversy arises over the Confederate flag displayed on its roof.
“It's not The Dukes of Hazzard because we don't own that, but it's as close as you can possibly get with tempo, and feel, and friendship, and community,” he said. “I'm so proud of it.”
“It also gives voice to my feelings about the flag,” he added. “You can't tell me what I think that flag means. It may mean something to you, but chances are it sounds like that's not what it means to me.”
Schneider noted that the enduring appeal of The Dukes of Hazzard is due to it catapulting fans back to a very happy time spent together with family, or pretending to drive the General Lee in their imaginations.
“Everything is now kind of specialized to the point where there is no community anymore,” Schneider said in reference to newer and more individualized television content.
Not one to be idle, the entertainer has also been busy writing his memoirs about his life and time in Hollywood. The book, titled My Life, My Way, was co-written with Jamie Blaine and River Jordan, started being written a year ago under the title John Schneider Naked.
The autobiography was edited and written at the same time, inspired by the events of Schneider's new film. The book highlights the success and hardships of his personal and professional life, and never before shared stories of those early auditions of The Dukes of Hazzard and the working actor life in Los Angeles.
“Welcome to the lifestyles of the broke and famous,” Schneider joked about some of those early struggles and the work needed to maintain a professional acting career.
“Rich and famous is more comfortable,” he said. “Broke and famous is where the real lessons are. That's where you learn how to pull yourself out. That's where you learn how to get creative.”
The artist notes that his personal style is “a combination of New York sarcasm, and a Southern appreciation for fine food that kind of comes together.” His book has been getting positive reception from fans, and is available at Amazon and JohnSchneiderStudios.com.
With his upcoming Corsicana visit, Schneider said he is also ready to try the town's world-famous fruitcake.
“I love fruitcake,” he said. “And I do dunk it in case anyone wants to know. Yes I do. I dunk it in my coffee. If that offends you, I'm sorry.”
In the spirit of the holidays, we can keep an open mind about the dessert preferences of our guests.