History

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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FAMILY PICTURES USA
North Carolina

 

Discover how this historically rural state built on tobacco and textiles is rapidly changing. Entrepreneurs find a warm welcome in Durham, Native Americans come home to ancestral lands, and families separated by race and class work toward healing.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS
Keepers of the Flame: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women

 

The lives of three extraordinary Hawaiian women, Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘Iolani Luahine and Edith Kanaka‘ole, are chronicled in this film. It shows how, together, they combined their talents and commitment to reignite the flame of tradition in a time when Hawaiian culture was gravely threatened.

 

 

 







Big Family:
The Story of Bluegrass Music

 

Examine the history of bluegrass music, from its origins to its eventual worldwide popularity, and hear from dozens of musicians who explain the ways bluegrass music transcends generational, cultural and geographic boundaries.

 

 

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Chasing the Moon

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of
the moon landing

By Jody Shiroma , PBS Hawaiʻi

 

Apollo 11 Saturn V launch vehicle lifts off from Kennedy Space Center.July 20, 1969 was a momentous day, a day whose events some would refer to later as the “greatest experience of their lifetime.” Parents around the world invited their children to join them around the television, “Come and watch this,” they said.

 

Families gathered around their television sets in awe, listening intently as messages came crackling over the airwaves. From Apollo 11, two American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, accomplished what no other humans had done – they stepped foot on the moon. Armstrong’s words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind,” echoed around the world.

 

(Image at right) Apollo 11 Saturn V launch vehicle lifts off from Kennedy Space Center.

 

As Americans and the world shared their experiences, for those living in Hawai‘i the event continued as astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins made their first landfall on O‘ahu after their capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Their quarantine unit arrived at Pearl Harbor aboard the recovery vessel, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, on their way back to Houston.

 

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and PBS Hawai‘i are premiering Chasing the Moon, a three-part, six-hour documentary series that brings the awe, excitement and unforgettable experience to life for both those who lived through it and for the generations who have come after.

 

Apollo 11 astronauts (from left): Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. share a laughFrom the space race’s earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing in 1969 and beyond, this series recasts this period as a fascinating time of scientific innovation, political calculation, media spectacle, visionary impulses and personal drama. Utilizing previously overlooked and lost archival material – much of which has never before been seen by the public – the film features a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events.

 

Among those are astronauts Aldrin, Frank Borman and Bill Anders; Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet premier and a leading Soviet rocket engineer; Poppy Northcutt, a 25-year old “mathematics whiz” who gained worldwide attention as the first woman to serve in the all-male bastion of NASA’s Mission Control; and Ed Dwight, the Air Force pilot selected by the Kennedy administration to train as America’s first black astronaut.

 

(Left) The Apollo 11 crewmen, still under a 21-day quarantine, are greeted by their wives. (Center) Poppy Northcutt became the first woman in an operational support role to work in NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston with the flight of Apollo 8. (Right) Ed Dwight, the first African American to be trained as an astronaut

 

“When we think of that breathtaking moment of the 1969 moon landing, we forget what a turbulent time that was,” said Mark Samels, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE executive producer. “The country was dealing with huge problems – Vietnam, poverty, race riots – and there was a lot of skepticism about the space program. Chasing the Moon explores the unbelievably complex challenges that NASA was able to overcome. It was a century-defining achievement, and our film tells a familiar story in an entirely new way.”

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

CHASING THE MOON

Monday – Wednesday at 9:00 pm
July 8 – 10
on PBS Hawaiʻi

Watch Preview

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Chasing the Moon - cover story

 

 

 

John Sebastian Presents:
Folk Rewind

John Sebastian Presents: Folk Rewind

 

This special focuses on the greatest singers and songwriters of the classic 1950s and 1960s folk era. Presented by the lead singer of The Lovin’ Spoonful (“Do You Believe in Magic”), the program features a treasure trove of historical footage not seen in more than four decades, plus performances by artists who are still appearing in concert today. Featuring Pete Seeger and Judy Collins singing “Turn, Turn, Turn,” Harry Belafonte’s hit “Jamaica Farewell,” Trini Lopez’s rendition of “If I Had a Hammer,” Rod McKuen’s classic “Seasons in the Sun,” Bobby Darin’s heartfelt “Simple Song of Freedom” and many more.

 

 

 

FAMILY PICTURES USA
Detroit

 

Explore America’s comeback city through photos and personal stories shared by residents. From the influence of the auto industry to labor unions to the Motown sound, Detroit’s multilayered story is revealed via family narratives and memories.

 

 

 

FAMILY PICTURES USA
Southwest Florida

 

Visit the Paradise Coast, where Native Americans, ranchers and fishermen share family stories.

 

 

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Chasing the Moon, Part 3 of 3

 

Experience the triumph of the first moon landing, witnessed by the largest TV audience in history. But dreams of space dramatically intersect with dreams of democracy, raising questions of national priorities and national identity.

 

 

 

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