Ken Burns could make a documentary film about the process of how grass grows on any given day and it would still be the best thing you’d watch all week. The acclaimed documentary filmmaker is skipping grass and going right to the world of country music as the subject for his next project. His forthcoming eight-part mini-series, Country Music, is scheduled to air on PBS starting on September 15th.
According to reports, Burns once again teamed up with collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey to produce the eight-episode series on the widely adored American music genre. Burns continues to focus on American-based subjects, as this will follow acclaimed documentary dives into topics like baseball, jazz, WWII, national parks, Prohibition, the Roosevelts, and the Vietnam War.
Over the course of eight two-hour episodes, Burns and his team will go into detail on the history of country music from its birth out of the Appalachian mountains to its evolution in markets like Nashville and Texas in the 1950s and 60s to its eventual growth into a billion-dollar business in today’s entertainment landscape.
Some of the notable country artists from over the years to be discussed throughout the series include Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Garth Brooks.
“At the heart of every great country music song is a story,” Burns explained in a statement about his upcoming series. “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”.
To help promote the series, a Country Music bus will tour a mix of notable country music cities across Tennessee including Knoxville, Bristol, and Memphis, before arriving in Nashville for a full concert at the Ryman Auditorium on March 27th. Scheduled performers at the concert include Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, and Dwight Yoakam.
Fans can check out the first trailer for the upcoming series in the video below, where Marty Stuart can be heard discussing the early glory years of Nashville’s “Grand Ole Opry.”
Ken Burns: Country Music – Teaser Trailer
Country Music will be Burns’ first project focused on music since his Jazz series arrived back in 2001.