THE NEW 8-EPISODE SERIES TRACES THE EVOLUTION OF COUNTRY MUSIC OVER THE 21ST CENTURY, AND FEATURES INTERVIEWS AND PROFILES OF THE MANY TRAILBLAZERS WHO CREATED AND SHAPED THE GENRE
The documentary series, Country Music, directed by Ken Burns and produced by Burns with longtime collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey, is an eight-part, 16-hour film following the evolution of country music over the course of the 20th century as it eventually emerges to become “America’s music.”
Duncan, Burns and Dunfey spent eight years researching and producing the film, conducting interviews with more than 100 people. Among those storytellers are a wide range of country artists, including Marty Stuart, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, and Naomi and Wynonna Judd, as well as studio musicians, record producers and others. The film uses more than 3,200 photographs and over two hours of archival footage, including rare and never-before-seen photos and footage of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash and others.
“At the heart of every great country music song is a story,” said Ken Burns. “As the songwriter Harlan Howard said, ‘It’s three chords and the truth.’ The common experiences and human emotions speak to each of us about love and loss, about hard times and the chance of redemption. As an art form, country music is also forever revisiting its history, sharing and updating old classics and celebrating its roots, which are, in many ways, foundational to our country itself.”
The series will have its Bay Area premiere Sunday, September 15 on KQED 9 with episodes airing episodes Sundays through Wednesdays at 8pm through the series finale on September 25. Each episode will be available for free streaming on video.kqed.org and the PBS Video App for three weeks after airing, and the series will be available to Passport members for a period of six months.