By Katie Quine●September 10, 2019
How to Watch Ken Burns’ Country Music
How to watch
Country Music, the latest project by preeminent filmmaker Ken Burns, premieres September 15 on PBS. It will explore the origin and many dimensions the uniquely American genre. The eight-part docuseries is divided into two-hour episodes, which will air over the course of two weeks.
PBS will broadcast Country Music on local stations and offer free live streaming on PBS.org and the PBS Video App. The program will begin at 8/7c each night and re-air immediately after.
PBS Passport members can stream the series on demand, and those who wish to own the docuseries can purchase the Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns DVD collection.
Watch the Trailer
What each episode is about
There will be a lot of exciting things to take in, so pace yourselves and join the Opry in conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #CountryMusicPBS. Before you watch, read up on what we can’t wait for fans to see in the film.
Episode 1: “The Rub” (Beginnings – 1933) | September 15
Country music’s eclectic influences create room for the genre’s earliest stars.
Key players: Jimmy Rogers, The Carter Family, and more
Episode 2: “Hard Times” (1933 – 1945) | September 16
The cowboy makes his entrance as the Great Depression makes radio a booming business.
Key players: Gene Autry, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, and more
Episode 3: “The Hillbilly Shakespeare” (1945 – 1953) | September 17
As honky-tonk music takes off, bluegrass is invented.
Key players: Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, and more
Episode 4: “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1953 – 1963) | September 18
Nashville gets a polished sound in the rise of Music Row, and rockabilly ruffles some feathers.
Key players: Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Ray Price, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Wanda Jackson, Marty Robbins, and more
Episode 5: “The Sons and Daughters of America” (1964 – 1968) | September 22
Unlikely stars shape the course of the genre in ways that never could have been predicted.
Key players: Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Connie Smith, Buck Owens, Minnie Pearl, Roger Miller, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Porter Wagoner, Hank Snow, and more
Episode 6: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” (1968 – 1972) | September 23
As the nation is faced with social strife, its music characterizes captures the growing divide.
Key players: Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Roy Clark, The Byrds, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and more
Episode 7: “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” (1973 – 1983) | September 24
Dolly Parton has a meteoric rise to fame as fellow country artists redefine their own legacies.
Key players: Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart, and more
Episode 8: “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’” (1984-1996) | September 25
Bluegrass experiences a revival as country music’s best-selling artist becomes known to the world.
Key players: Garth Brooks, George Strait, The Judds, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, and more