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It’s Now or Never – John Schneider

TV shows are often a great launching pad into musical stardom (or vice versa). David Soul parlayed his success as Hutch from Starsky and Hutch into a massive number one hit with “Don’t Give Up on Us” in 1977. John Schneider followed Soul’s lead and turned an Elvis Presley cover of “It’s Now or Never” into a #14 hit on the Billboard Top 40 in 1981.

What do Soul and Schneider have in common? Let’s explore…

Blonde hair. Check.

Decent pipes and performing chops for guys known as actors first and musicians second. Check.

Rabid teen girl and boy fan base. Double check.

The similarity we like the most, though, is amazing, iconic muscle cars.

Starsky and Hutch’s 1976 Ford Gran Torino

Starsky and Hutch (Soul played Hutch) drove a red 1976 Ford Gran Torino with a dramatic stripe across the top. This powerful car made these two cops seem infinitely more macho than any cop working the beat in our neighborhood. In fact, the car and their clothes made them tougher than just about anyone besides Mr. T.  from The A Team, but that came later so we won’t count it.

Many consider the 1976 Ford Gran Torino the greatest muscle car on a TV show ever.

Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee 1969 Dodge Charger

Bo and Luke Duke (Schneider played Bo) drove the iconic 1969 Dodge Charger that is the serious competitor for the title of greatest muscle car on a TV show. We tend to favor the Dodge Charger. And here’s a piece of trivia for you: approximately 320 General Lee’s were driven and destroyed in some manner during the Dukes of Hazzard’s seven-season run. Of all those Lee’s only 23 are still known to exist. If you happen to own one and get a little tight on money, sell it; John Schneider sold his General Lee for $450,000 in 2008.

The muscle car/sensitive ballad formula revealed

So our one-hit wonder formula is simple: get cast in an outlaw role driving a truly bad-ass muscle car. Have blonde hair. Then release a sensitive ballad at the peak of your popularity. Your Billboard Top 40 hit awaits.

Read “It’s Now or Never” lyrics

If only it were that simple. Both Soul and Schneider actually have real musical chops and have spent a good part of their lives recording music, making records and selling songs. Like David Soul, Schneider only hit the Billboard Top 40 once. But he notched four #1 Billboard country music hits and 13 songs on the Billboard country music Top 40. So no, he’s no one-hit wonder on the country charts, but he is a one-hit wonder on the Billboard Hot 100.

Bo Duke, we salute you (and your killer car).

Listen to “It’s Now or Never”

It’s Now or Never – John Schneider

Written by

I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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3 Responses to "It’s Now or Never – John Schneider"

  1. strwrsgrl says:

    I don’t think having 4 No.1 hits on the country charts and 4 songs, not just the one, on the Billboard Hot 100, makes John Schneider a one-hit-wonder. He also had 12 songs to make it on the Billboard country charts. Of course when I listen to music, I don’t do so because of where it charted. I listen because I like it. But since you’re counting, I figured I might want to refer you to some better research on, lol.

  2. Michael Waterman says:


    You are absolutely correct that John Schneider had many, many country hits. He also charted songs in the Billboard Hot 100. But he only placed “It’s Now or Never” in the Billboard Top 40. That’s the focus of Top One-Hit — songs that charted in the Top 40. I have to draw a line in the sand somewhere and that’s the criteria. That doesn’t demean any one-hit wonder artist at all. In fact, I have amazing respect for ANYONE who could hit the Billboard Top 40 even once. Read What’s a One-Hit Wonder at and About Top One-Hit Wonders to learn more about the criteria. And thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. dave says:

    hey there just saw your site

    did you know that the original Starky & Hutch David Soul & Paul
    Michael Glaser are appearing at the Hollywoodshow in feb 2012 in Burbank
    Ca to meet their fans sign autographs and take photos with them you
    might want to come down and maybe even bring your car


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