How to Watch Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’
By Katie Quine • Updated December 27, 2019
How to Watch
Those who didn’t get to watch the original airing of Country Music, the latest project by preeminent filmmaker Ken Burns, will have another chance. The docuseries will rebroadcast on PBS on Fridays at 9 p.m. EST from January 3 through February 21, 2020. The film, divided into eight two-hour episodes, explores the origin and many dimensions the uniquely American genre.
PBS Passport members can already 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
Before you settle in on the couch, read up on what we can’t wait for fans to see in the film.
Episode 1: “The Rub” (Beginnings – 1933) | January 3
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) |January 10
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) | January 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) | January 24
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) | January 31
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) | February 7
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) | February 14
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) | February 21
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