25 Things We Learned Watching Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ Documentary
Ken Burns' Country Music documentary is a wealth of information, both for die-hard fans of the genre and those who are simply interested in learning more about it. The eight-part series covers nearly a century's worth of musical history, unearthing unheard stories and little-known tidbits throughout.
After amassing hundreds of hours of footage, Burns and his crew put together eight two-hour episodes that follow country music from its "Big Bang" -- what are now known as the Bristol Sessions recordings in the early 1920s -- to 1996, when Garth Brooks' career was booming. Their narrative also reaches back, to earlier forms of American music, and slightly forward, to the 2003 death of Johnny Cash, all the while looking to explain just what, exactly, makes country music country music.
"You can’t proclaim an orthodox or say it is only one thing. I think that’s a good story. We are never one thing," Burns tells The Boot. "Because we’ve tended to get back into our tribal stances, country [music] gives us a chance to remind ourselves what we share in common."
Ahead of Country Music's Sunday (Sept. 15) debut, The Boot's staff watched its eight episodes, looking for its unique stories and special moments. Read on for 25 tidbits we learned while watching:
Country Music's first episode will premiere on Sept. 15 at 8PM ET. The second, third and fourth episodes will air at the same time on Sept. 16, 17 and 18, respectively, while the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth episodes will air at the same time on Sept. 22-25.