Country Music: A Film By Ken Burns
- Written by Belinda Elliott
- Category: Arts & Entertainment
- Published: 08 August 2019
Begins Sunday, September 15, at 8 p.m.
Explore the history of a uniquely American art form: country music. From its deep and tangled roots in ballads, blues and hymns performed in small settings, to its worldwide popularity, learn how country music evolved over the course of the twentieth century. This new series, directed by Ken Burns, features never-before-seen footage and photographs, plus interviews with more than 80 country music artists.
From southern Appalachia’s songs of struggle, heartbreak and faith to the rollicking western swing of Texas, from California honky tonks to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, the series follows the evolution of country music over the course of the 20th century, as it eventually emerged to become America’s music.
“For over a century, country music has been a pivotal force in American culture, expressing the hopes, joys, fears and hardships of everyday people in songs lyrical, poignant and honest,” said PBS President Paula A. Kerger. “It is fitting that we have two of America’s master storytellers, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, tell the story on film of an art form that for generations has told America’s story in song.”
Country Music explores questions such as “What is country music?” and “Where did it come from?” while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created and shaped it — from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more — as well as the times in which they lived. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people. No one has told the story this way before.
Learn about Hampton Road's connection to some of country music's greatest pioneers.