Arlington, VA – July 30, 2019 – This September, PBS Distribution will release COUNTRY MUSIC, a film by director and producer Ken Burns, on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital coinciding with the national broadcast on PBS. In this new landmark documentary series, Ken Burns chronicles the history of a uniquely American art form, country music. Starting from its early days in the 1920s and following it through the mid-1990s, Burns takes viewers on a compelling journey of “America’s Music.” The DVD and Blu-ray include over 3 hours of extra bonus footage that will not be airing, including a behind-the-scenes look at how the film was made and additional material gleaned from hours of interviews. Information about the program is listed below.
Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns
The series focuses on the personal stories of the fascinating characters who created and shaped the genre – from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe and Bob Wills, to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more — as well as the times and places in which they lived. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people.
Country Music digs deep to uncover the roots of the music, including ballads, minstrel music,hymns and
the blues, and its early years in the 1920s, when it was first recorded and called “hillbilly music.” It then
shows how the music sprouted many new branches during the twentieth century: Western swing and
singing cowboys, bluegrass and honky tonk, rockabilly and the "outlaws," the smooth Nashville Sound and
harder-edged Bakersfield Sound, and many others––showing that country music never was just one style
but a broad American mixture that became a major cultural force.
Country Music is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, DC. Directed by Ken Burns, written by Dayton Duncan, and produced by Duncan, Julie Dunfey and Burns