Music documentary

Filmmaker Ken Burns launches ‘Country Music’ documentary in Bristol

Ken Burns has a new story to tell.

The man who is arguably one of the most successful and well-known documentary filmmakers has turned to country music. And starting in September, it will tell the story through an eight-part series of how the raw and simple music of rural America evolved into an entertainment industry loved around the world.

Ken Burns with Josh Smith in Bristol, Virginia on Sunday afternoon outside the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

From Southern Appalachian songs of struggle, grief and faith to frenzied Texas swing western, California honky tones at the Grand Ole in Nashville Oprywe will follow the evolution of country music during the 20th century, as it eventually became American music, according to Burns’ website.

“Country Music: A Ken Burns Film” will be traces its origins to minstrel music, ballads, anthems and the blues, and its early years when it was called hillbilly music played over the barn dance waves of radio stations.

Burns, famous for his previous documentaries including Civil war and Jazz, promotes the series with a bus tour through Tennessee making stops at significant locations in country music history.

He told News Channel 11 that a stop in Bristol was essential.

Bristol is the beginning, Burns said. This is where it happened, where the Big Bang happened. This is where the Carter family landed in the summer of 1927 and a few days later Jimmy Rodgers.

The tour ends with a concert in March 27 at 7 p.m. to Ryman Nashville Auditorium.

Country music a film by Ken Burns will debut on Sunday, September 15 on PBS stations across the country. This first episode will include the 1927 Bristol Sessions.