Explore the history of a uniquely American art form: country music. From its deep and tangled roots in ballads, blues and hymns performed in small settings, to its worldwide popularity, learn how country music evolved over the course of the 20th century, as it eventually emerged to become America’s music. Country Music features never-before-seen footage and photographs, plus interviews with more than 80 country music artists. The eight-part 16-hour series is directed and produced by Ken Burns; written and produced by Dayton Duncan; and produced by Julie Dunfey.
Country Music explores questions –– such as “What is country music?” and “Where did it come from?“–– while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created and shaped it — from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more — as well as the times in which they lived. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people.
No one has told the story this way before.
Video | Trailer
KUED Country Music Events
Special 4-part Course: Why You Love Country Music, Even if You Don't
September 11, 3:15-4:45PM
In partnership with Osher, Lifelong Learning, and the Salt Lake City Library, this four-part course will teach you all about country music’s roots in ballads, hymns, and the blues. Train your ear with musicologists and songwriting experts to explore where country music came from and how it reflects and influences American society today. The course culminates with a bonus film screening featuring highlights from Ken Burns’ new documentary series, Country Music, along with live music by local music artists and bands from other genres covering their favorite country music songs.
Join KUED at the Salt Lake City Library for a special night honoring country's roots and influence.
You will watch a 35-minute highlight reel from Ken Burns’ new documentary Country Music that chronicles the history of a uniquely American art form. 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, the film will follow the evolution of Country Music over the course of the twentieth century, as it eventually emerged to become “America’s music.” Interspersed among the film highlights, you'll enjoy live music performed by local Utah musicians.