PBS Announces That Ken Burns’s Country Music Will Premiere September 15

February 1, 2019

16-Hour Documentary Chronicles History of Country Music — from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and Many More –

– 30-City National Tour Will Precede Broadcast to Spark Conversation About Unique American Art Form and the People Who Created it. Multi-Artist Concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on March 27 –

 Step back in time and journey through the compelling history of a truly American art form when COUNTRY MUSIC, a new eight-part, 16-hour film directed by Ken Burns, and produced by Burns and his long-time collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey, premieres Sunday, September 15 through Wednesday, September 18, and Sunday, September 22 through Wednesday, September 25 at 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET. The first four episodes will stream on station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS apps, timed to the Sunday, September 15 premiere and the second four timed to the broadcast of Episode 5 on Sunday, September 22 (each episode will stream for a period of three weeks). PBS Passport members will be able to stream the entire series for a period of six months beginning Sunday, September 15. 

The documentary, written by Duncan, who also wrote the illustrated companion book (coming from Alfred A. Knopf on September 10), chronicles the highs and lows of country music’s early days, from southern Appalachia’s songs of struggle, heartbreak and faith to the rollicking Western swing of Texas, California’s honky-tonks and Nashville’s “Grand Ole Opry.” The film follows the evolution of country music over the course of the 20th century as it eventually emerges to become “America’s music.” 

COUNTRY MUSIC explores crucial questions –– “What is country music?” and “Where did it come from?”–– while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating trailblazers who created and shaped it — from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe 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. 

Trailers for the film are available here

 

#CountryMusicPBS.