Fridays, May 7-June 25, at 9 PM
Step back in time and journey through the compelling history of a truly American art form with this eight-part film directed by Ken Burns, and produced by Burns and his long-time collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey.
The documentary, written by Duncan, who also wrote the illustrated companion book (released by Alfred A. Knopf), 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.
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. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people.
“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.”