Master storyteller and American documentarian Ken Burns is helming a new docu-series about country music coming to PBS this September.
The new eight-part series is set to premiere starting 15 September while next three episodes will air from 16 September through 18 September and the final four episodes will be released on 22 September through 25 September in the US.
“All these elemental things — birth, death, falling in love, falling out of love, seeking redemption and erring and all the things human flesh is heir to — that’s the stuff country music is about,” Burns told the Los Angeles Times.
This marks the second time Burns has tackled a musical genre, following his critically acclaimed mini-series Jazz from 2001.
“At the heart of every great country music song is a story. As the songwriter Harlan Howard said, ‘It’s three chords and the truth,’” Burns said in a statement. “The common experiences and human emotions speak to each of us about love and loss, about hard times and the chance of redemption. As an art form, country music is also forever revisiting its history, sharing and updating old classics and celebrating its roots, which are, in many ways, foundational to our country itself.”
The series will highlight all of country music’s defining figures from Johnny Cash to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline to Merle Haggard, as well as other icons like Jimmie Rogers, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and more.
In addition to the docu-series, there will be an accompanying book written by co-producer Dayton Duncan, a soundtrack, a 30-city tour with the filmmakers and a special concert at Ryman Auditorium on 27 March featuring performances by many artists directly involved with the documentary including Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Crowell and more. For those who can’t make it to Nashville, the concert will also be filmed and broadcasted for viewers at home.
Visit PBS’s official site for air dates and details.