The Highwaymen album, featuring Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, topped the list for Grammy nominations in the recently announced nominees in country music categories.
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Stagecoach, a CBS-TV movie of the week co-starring Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash, began filing in Arizona in January.
John Schneider will join the four singers, known collectively as the Highwaymen, on location for the filming. Jesse Colter, singer and the wife of Jennings, has also been added to the cast, and cameo appearances will be made by other stars.
Schneider traveled to South America in 1985 seeking a location for a Western he wants to produce, Seven Ways from Sunday.
“I do have an ulterior motive for taking this role,” the singer admitted. “Nobody wants to do a Western in Hollywood. If a Western on a major network with four major stars draws a good audience, that should say something to Hollywood.
The re-make of the famous silver screen classic was written and updated by James Lee Barren, a veteran scriptwriter known for such features as The Greatest Story Ever Told, Shenandoah and Smokey and the Bandit.
Nelson’s part in Stagecoach is a new character; he will portray Doc Holliday, replacing the drunk doctor character which won an Oscar for Thomas Mitchell in the original movie.
Kristofferson will have the part of the Ringo Kid, John Wayne’s character. Jennings portrays Hatfield, The Gambler, while Cash has the part of Sheriff Curly Wilcox.
The four had been approached in a mid-1985 about the TV movie, but they had not made a decision until they got together again to make an appearance on the Country Music Awards in October.
“All our managers were involved and nothing had been decided,” Jennings said. “Me and Johnny walked into the room where Kris and Willie were. Originally, Willie had said no. We walked in and John asked what was going to happen with the movie,’ and I said, ‘It’s up to them.’”
“Willie said that he’d read the script and wanted to do it. So we all agreed.”
Jack Thompson, a Nashville television producer who has done several specials in Music City, wil produce Stagecoach. Raymond Katz will be the executive producer.
“I know Waylon very well from my time with Dukes of Hazzard,” Schneider said. “I know Willie a little bit and Johnny Cash through my association with Waylon. I didn’t know Kris at all. I’m looking forward to getting to know them.”
An airdate for the television movie had not been announced at press time.