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Country Music

Ken Burn's highly anticipated film airs Sunday, Sept. 15 – Wednesday, Sept. 18 and Sunday, Sept. 22 – Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m.

Country Music

More About Country Music

Step back in time and journey through the compelling history of a truly American art form with 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.

The documentary 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 surveys the evolution of country music over the course of the 20th century as it eventually emerges to become “America’s music.”

“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.”

Country Music asks 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 and Bill Monroe to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, and many others.

Watch a Preview of Country Music