GPB Southern Lit Cadre member, Frank Reiss provides commentary on his interview with Congressman, Author, Actor, Entrepreneur Ben Jones, which airs Sunday at 8pm on Cover To Cover:
As I told former Congressman Ben Jones when I met him before our interview, he was my representative when I moved back to my hometown of
But having missed the entire run of The Dukes of Hazzard, the hit television show which made him famous, I hadn't appreciated what an unusual political figure he was at the time.
After reading his highly entertaining memoir, Redneck Boy in the Promised Land, and talking to him for "Cover to Cover," it's impossible not to recognize his many gifts. I half-jokingly asked him during the interview if he would consider being Barack Obama's running-mate to be the ticket balance the young liberal from
Jones is the real deal, though. A man who grew up in dire poverty, he understands and champions the plight of working people. A man who nearly drank himself to death by his mid-30s but who sobered up to have not just one, but two successful careers, he is intimately familiar with both ends of the American Dream. And a man who takes his craft of acting seriously enough to proudly embrace the easy-to-mock role and show that made his career. In fact, because of the show's ongoing popularity, Jones is now enjoying a third career as an entrepeneur, having created the wildly successful" Dukesfest" and also "Cooter's Place," a Dukes of Hazzard emporium in Nashville and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
He's a great talker. Enjoy listening.
Frank Reiss' interview airs this Sunday on Cover to Cover at 8:00PM on GPB Radio.