Ken Burns’ Country Music Docuseries Coming To PBS This Fall
Ken Burns’ latest documentary chronicles the rise of country music. It will premiere on PBS in the fall — the eight-part, 16-hour film will air in September. Its first four parts will play from 9/15 through 9/18, and its last four parts will play from 9/22 through 9/25. Country Music, which was previously announced last year, is only Burns’ second documentary to focus on music, following 2001’s Jazz.
“At the heart of every great country music song is a story. As the songwriter Harlan Howard said, ‘It’s three chords and the truth,'” Burns said in a statement. “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 film will focus on the culture that created and gave rise to musicians like the Carter Family, Jimmie Rogers, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and more.
The documentary will also get an accompanying book, written by co-producer Dayton Duncan, and a soundtrack, put together by Legacy Recordings. There will also be a 30-city national discussion tour surrounding the documentary, and a concert at the Ryman Auditorium on 3/27 — it’ll feature performances by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, and more.
Here are some clips from the documentary: