Country music history enthusiasts, rejoice! The in-depth country music docs-series directed by filmmaker Ken Burns is eight years in the making and will finally be released this year. Titled simply Country Music, the eight-part, 16-hour series is set to debut on PBS on Sunday, Sept. 15.
The documentary traces the genre from its early years, when families would gather around the radio to hear the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, to the early '90s, when Garth Brooks began selling out massive arenas. The series will focus on country music icons such as the Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Charley Pride, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson and more.
"At the heart of every great country music song is a story," Ken Burns said in a press release. "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 from, 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."
Ahead of the documentary's release, the film's creators will set out on a 30-city national tour to host screenings and discussions about the film.
The filmmakers will also embark on a bus tour along the Tennessee Music Pathways, with stops in Cookeville, Bristol, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville. The Nashville stop includes an all-star performance at the Ryman Auditorium featuring performances from Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam, Holly Williams, Brenda Lee, Rhiannon Giddens and Asleep at the Wheel.
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