Music documentary

How to Watch and Stream Ken Burns’ Documentary “Country Music” on PBS

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Country music gets the Ken Burns treatment.

On Sunday, September 15 at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT), PBS will air the first of eight episodes exploring the history of the genre. Burns approaches the subject with the same in-depth, detailed look that made his explorations of baseball, the Civil War, and the Vietnam War so fascinating.

“’Country Music’ features never-before-seen footage and photography, as well as interviews with over 80 country music artists,” PBS said of the show. “The eight-part, 16-hour series is directed and produced by Burns, written and produced by Dayton Duncan, and produced by Julie Dunfey.”

The first four episodes will air nightly September 15-18, and the final four will air September 22-25.

All episodes will also be available to stream on PBS Passport starting September 15.

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Here’s how to watch and stream each episode of the multi-part documentary.

Episode 1: The Rub (Debut-1933)

The description: Find out how what was originally called “music of the hills” reached new audiences with phonographs and radio, and launched the careers of the first big country music stars, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.

Dated: Sunday September 15th.

Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT

Channel: PBS

Flux: PBS passport

Episode 2: Difficult times (1933-1945)

The description: Watch Nashville become the heart of the country music industry. The genre gained popularity during the Great Depression and World War II as America fell in love with singing cowboys, Texan swing, and the Roy Acuff of the Grand Ole Opry.

Dated: Monday September 16.

Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT

Channel: PBS

Flux: PBS passport

Episode 3: The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945-1953)

The description: Hear how the bluegrass sound spread throughout post-war America, and meet honky-tonk star Hank Williams, whose songs of surprisingly emotional depth are drawn from his troubled and tragically short life.

Dated: Tuesday September 17th.

Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT

Channel: PBS

Flux: PBS passport

Episode 4: I Can’t Stop Loving You (1953-1963)

The description: Travel to Memphis, where Sun Studios artists Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley usher in the era of rockabilly. Ray Charles crosses the racial divide in America by recording a country album. Patsy Cline shows off Music City’s new Nashville Sound.

Dated: Wednesday September 18.

Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT

Channel: PBS

Flux: PBS passport

Episode 5: The Sons and Daughters of America (1964-1968)

The description: Find out how country music reflects a changing America, with Loretta Lynn speaking to women around the world, Merle Haggard becoming “The Poet of the Common Man” and audiences looking beyond race to embrace Charley Pride.

Dated: Sunday September 22.

Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT

Channel: PBS

Flux: PBS passport

Episode 6: Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (1968-1972)

The description: Hear how country music responds to a nation divided by the Vietnam War, as Army Captain turned songwriter Kris Kristofferson sets a new lyrical standard and artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds find a home of registration in Nashville.

Dated: Monday, September 23rd.

Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT

Channel: PBS

Flux: PBS passport

Episode 7: Are You Sure Hank Made It This Way? (1973-1983)

The description: Witness a vibrant era in country music, with Dolly Parton enjoying mainstream success; Hank Williams, Jr. and Rosanne Cash emerging from the shadows of their famous fathers; and Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings starting the “Outlaw” movement.

Dated: Tuesday September 24.

Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT

Channel: PBS

Flux: PBS passport

Episode 8: Don’t Go Over Your Budget (1984-1996)

The description: Find out how “new traditionalists” like George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds are helping country music stay true to its roots. Witness both the rise of superstar Garth Brooks and the return of an aging Johnny Cash to the industry he helped create.

Dated: Wednesday September 25.

Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT

Channel: PBS

Flux: PBS passport

What is the PBS passport?

“PBS Passport is a member benefit of participating PBS stations that gives eligible donors and supporters extensive access to an on-demand library of quality public television programming online.”

By donating to your local public station, you will have access to several episodes of popular programming, as well as the acclaimed “art, science, history and lifestyle programs” on public television.

For the most specific information, eligibility requirements, and membership activation, contact your local station or visit their website.

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