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COUNTRY MUSIC
A Film by Ken Burns

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COUNTRY MUSIC premieres September 15, 2019
All programs begin at 8:00 pm

Preview

 

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 twentieth century. The series, directed by Ken Burns, features never-before-seen footage and photographs, plus interviews with more than 80 country music artists. No one has told the story this way before.


 

COUNTRY MUSIC: A Film by Ken Burns - The Rub (Beginnings – 1933)

The Rub (Beginnings – 1933)

Sunday, Sept. 15, 8:00 pm

See how what was first called “hillbilly music” reaches new audiences through phonographs and radio, and launches the careers of country music’s first big stars, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.

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COUNTRY MUSIC: A Film by Ken Burns - Hard Times (1933 – 1945)

Hard Times (1933 – 1945)

Monday, Sept. 16, 8:00 pm

Watch as Nashville becomes the heart of the country music industry. The genre grows in popularity during the Great Depression and World War II as America falls in love with singing cowboys, Texas Swing and the Grand Ole Opry’s Roy Acuff.

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COUNTRY MUSIC: A Film by Ken Burns - The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945 – 1953)

The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945 – 1953)

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 8:00 pm

See how the bluegrass sound spreads in post-war America, and meet honky-tonk star Hank Williams, whose songs of surprising emotional depth are derived from his troubled and tragically short life.

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COUNTRY MUSIC: A Film by Ken Burns - I Can’t Stop Loving You (1953 – 1963)

I Can’t Stop Loving You (1953 – 1963)

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 8:00 pm

Travel to Memphis, where Sun Studios artists Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley usher in the era of rockabilly. Ray Charles crosses America’s racial divide by recording a country album. Patsy Cline shows off Music City’s smooth new Nashville Sound.

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COUNTRY MUSIC: A Film by Ken Burns - The Sons and Daughters of America (1964 – 1968)

The Sons and Daughters of America (1964 – 1968)

Sunday, Sept. 22, 8:00 pm

See how country music reflects a changing America, with Loretta Lynn speaking to women everywhere, Merle Haggard becoming “The Poet of the Common Man” and audiences looking beyond race to embrace Charley Pride.

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COUNTRY MUSIC: A Film by Ken Burns - Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (1968 – 1972)

Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (1968 – 1972)

Monday, Sept. 23, 8:00 pm

Learn how country music responds to a nation divided by the Vietnam War, as Army captain turned songwriter Kris Kristofferson sets a new lyrical standard, and artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds find a recording home in Nashville.

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COUNTRY MUSIC: A Film by Ken Burns - Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973 – 1983)

Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973 – 1983)

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 8:00 pm

Witness a vibrant era in country music, with Dolly Parton finding mainstream success; Hank Williams, Jr. and Rosanne Cash emerging from their famous fathers’ shadows; and Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings launching the “Outlaw” movement.

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COUNTRY MUSIC: A Film by Ken Burns - Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’ (1984 – 1996)

Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’ (1984 – 1996)

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 8:00 pm

Learn how “New Traditionalists” like George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds help country music stay true to its roots. Witness both the rise of superstar Garth Brooks and the return of an aging Johnny Cash to the industry he helped create.

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COUNTRY MUSIC:
Live at the Ryman, a Concert Celebrating the Film by Ken Burns

 

Join celebrated musicians for a concert celebrating the film by Ken Burns. Hosted by Burns and featuring performances and appearances by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam and more.

 

COUNTRY MUSIC: Live at the Ryman, a Concert Celebrating the Film by Ken Burns

 

 

 

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES
Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration

 

The songs of legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s are among the most sublime musical landscapes of human emotion ever created. Mitchell’s unique musical and lyrical gifts are an unprecedented marriage of intimacy and universality, creating a sound that is incomparable, yet relatable to all.

 

Preview

 

 

 

NATURE
Soul of the Elephant

NATURE: Soul of the Elephant

 

Ironically, every dead elephant with its ivory intact is a reason to celebrate. It means an elephant died of natural causes, not bullets, snares or poison, and a soul was allowed to be celebrated and mourned by its herd. Award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert start with the remains of two bull elephants and through a series of key flashbacks, look at the lives they would have led, the dramas they may have seen, their great migrations for water with their families, and their encounters with lions and hyenas. This film, shot over two years, is an intimate look at elephants through the lens of two great storytellers of natural history.

 

Preview

 

 

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Won't You Be My Neighbor? Fred Rogers (left) with Francois Scarborough Clemmons (right) in an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

 

One of the most celebrated theatrical releases of 2018, this feature length documentary takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Fred Rogers. The film tells the story of a soft-spoken minister, puppeteer, writer and producer whose show was beamed daily into homes across America for more than 30 years. In his beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Rogers and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues in a simple, direct fashion. There hadn’t been anything like Mister Rogers on television before, and there hasn’t been since.

 

Preview

 

 

 

NATURE
Animal Reunions

 

Feel the emotion as keepers and caregivers reunite with the wild animals that were once in their care to learn whether the close interspecies bonds that developed over many years in refuges and orphanages have stood the test of time.

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Farmer/Veteran

 

A combat veteran starts a farm to help cultivate a healthier life outside the Army. While the sense of duty he once felt as a soldier returns, his crippling PTSD remains as he and his wife nervously anticipate the birth of their first child.

 

NATURE
Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, Part 2

 

The Spy Creatures continue to reveal the world of dolphins, their mysteries of communication and strategies. Go undercover to meet the orca, the largest dolphins, and race the Dall’s porpoises, the fastest dolphins in the world.

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
National Bird

 

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film National Bird, Heather, a former U.S. military drone pilot who is now a masseuse, talks about the emotional distress caused by knowing she was responsible for the deaths of people, something she tried to push out of her mind but found impossible to shake. “You see someone die, because you said it was okay to kill them,” she says.

 

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