Country Music is an eight-part, over sixteen-hour documentary that will chronicle the history of a uniquely American art form, rising from the experiences of everyday people in distinctive regions of our nation. From southern Appalachia's songs of struggle, heartbreak and faith to the rollicking western swing of Texas, from California honky tonks to Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, we will follow the evolution of country music over the course of the twentieth century, as it eventually emerged to become "America's music." Like the award-winning film Jazz, this multi-episode series will focus on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created this American musical genre — from the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills, to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more — as well as the times in which they lived. Throughout, we will continually explore larger historical and cultural questions: What is country music? Where did it come from? What is its relationship with other genres of popular music? How did it both reflect and influence American culture in the twentieth century? And like the music itself, Country Music will tell unforgettable stories — stories of the hardship sand joys shared by ordinary people.
Directed by Ken Burns, written by Dayton Duncan, and produced by Ken Burns, Dayton Duncan, and Julie Dunfey.