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Country Music

  • 2019
  • Season 1
  • 8 episodes
  • Music
  • Documentary and factual

Summary

Ken Burns’s eight-part, 16-hour documentary series, COUNTRY MUSIC, chronicles the history of a uniquely American art form, focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created it. The film follows the evolution of country music from its diverse and humble origins as it emerged, by the end of the twentieth century, into a worldwide phenomenon.

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Episode 3: The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945-1953)

Summary

How country music adapted to the cultural changes of immediate post-war society between 1945 and 1953. Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs transformed the traditional string band music into something more syncopated - bluegrass. And out of the bars and juke joints came honky-tonk, a new sound with electric guitars and songs about drinking, cheating and heartbreak. Contributors include Kris Kristofferson, Brenda Lee, Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill. Narrated by Peter Coyote

Review

“For a country musician, saying ‘Do you want to join the Opry?’ is like saying ‘Do you want to go to heaven when you die?’” says singer/songwriter Bill Anderson, neatly summing up the importance of Nashville and its country music showcase, the Grand Ole Opry.

Ken Burns’s superb documentary series moves on to the period immediately after the Second World War, when honky tonks, bluegrass music, the Grand Ole Opry and the songs of Hank Williams – the Hillbilly Shakespeare – were big news in America.

Part four charts country music’s evolution between 1953 and 1963 including, at Sun Studios in Memphis, the birth of rockabilly. Take to the stage Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. You won’t want to miss Cash’s irreverent on-stage impersonation of the King in the early days.

Details

Languages
English
Formats
Colour

Credits

Crew

rolename
NarratorPeter Coyote
UnknownKris Kristofferson
UnknownBrenda Lee
UnknownRicky Skaggs
UnknownVince Gill
DirectorKen Burns

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