On the 'tube

Ken Burns Country Music Documentary


Ken Burns' History of Country Music documentary starts tonight on PBS. Set your DVR's.


I saw a 30 minute preview a few weeks ago. It looks really good.


Done. It runs for 4 nights this week and then 4 more nights next week (8 segments in total).

This is a good time to have TiVO and its "One Pass Manager" (via CATV). Our "box" is now set to record all new episodes via one step.


Everything Ken Burns does is excellent. I'm really looking forward to this series. I have it set to record on DVR as well. Even if you're not a die hard country fan, it'll be worth watching as C&W is one of the progenitors of rock and roll. Watch it just for the history alone.


I am of a different opinion on his films... I find them slow to the point of monotony, and very formulaic.

Really hoping he does better with this one — there is so much richness there.


I think he does. I saw a one hour preview at our local theatre,it will be killer , one thing Burns does well is finding old film,photos and such.


I’ve ordered the Blurays, the CD boxset and book for my Dad.

Shipping Sept 17.


Thanks for the heads-up. If it's anything like his doc series covering the history of jazz, it should be good watching.


The Live at the Ryman concert/teaser was really great. We’ve watched it twice so far.


His Jazz series was excellent to a point, but then kind of veered off into the traditionalist Marsalis stream at the expense of the new doors opened by free jazz. I wonder where he would place the new revival with people like Kamasi Washington.

I wonder if this series will be similar... I’m sure there will be top notch documentation of the golden era, but once the scene starts splintering into Nashville commercialism and various alternative movements (say starting with Outlaw country), the narrative becomes more difficult to trace. From the Carters to Hank to Patsy, Cash, Parton and Merle is not so hard to map, but how we get to Old Dirt Road as last year’s biggest hit is a little messier.


It will not cover the last 20 years or so. He said you just can't have any historical perspective in that time.

Episode titles...

The Rub (Beginnings-1933)

Hard Times (1933-1945)

The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945-1953)

I Can’t Stop Loving You (1953-1963)

The Sons and Daughters of America (1964-1968)

Will the Circle Be Unbroken (1968-1972)

Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973-1983)

Don’t Get Above Your Raisin (1984-1996)


I thought his JAZZ series was excellent. I own it. The later episodes did kind of slow down, but at that point, jazz was shrinking, so he had less to work with... I agree his stuff can get kind of long-winded, but others may find that as being "thorough." I'm looking forward to watching the Country series.

And Burns really needs to stop wearing that rug, he looks ridiculous.


Is this being broadcast again tonight?


I’m digging it! Sure, some are going to dwell on the flaws, and there are def some to be sure, but it’s so cool that Mr Burns puts so much time and energy into telling this hugely complex story!!! And to PBS for broadcasting it! Thanks!

Next I want to see Ken Burns take on Rock And Roll!


One thing I’ve learned, Marty Stuart is dangerous.


While this series is not as annoying as I imagined it would be, the amount of time spent on Johnny Cash seems unwarranted. The 1950s was a golden era of country music, in the opinion of this country musician. There was scant mention of Ray Price. Webb Pierce was reduced to a guy with with a swimming pool, and unless I missed it, there was no mention of Carl Smith. The list of genre defining performers and writers not mentioned is a long one.

Oh, well. There haven’t been any glaring factual errors and the presentation is pretty good. I’ll finish watching the series. The opening segment featuring banjo players taking turns singing lines of “Wagon Wheel” makes me ask every time, “How the smurf is this connected to country music?”


They spent a lot of time on Kristofferson last night. Most likely because he fit the Counter-Culture image of the day.

He has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. Everybody knows "Bobby McGee", there are a few other "Songwriter's Songs", but things slip from there.

He gave up a lot, more than once, struggled a lot, more than once, kinda quit music for acting...

I still can't make sense of what he wanted out of life.

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