Music documentary

Ken Burns’ Country Music Documentary Is Worth Your Time

But music is not my forte. I attended a Grand Ole Opry performance shortly after the new building opened. Much has changed in the 45 years since my visit.

I watched the movie Country Music by Ken Burns. More than 3 days. Like all his films, it is well researched and gives great flavor to the history of the genre. There are obvious time limits and I understand there are tough decisions in what gets told in any story and what gets left out.

Alan Jackson was briefly mentioned, and there was a photo of Alison Krauss briefly onscreen.

My parents were avid country music fans. Especially my father. His tastes ran the gamut from country, classical piano, opera, Teresa Brewer and the Rolling Stones. He would have enjoyed the movie without any serious discussions about Kitty Wells.

Between the women named Carter and the brief arrival of Patsy Cline, there were really only two influential women on stage. Sarah Colley (as Minnie Pearl and unrelated) was an actress, not a musician. Kitty Wells has been a dominant singer for a very long time. There were only two brief mentions of her on the show. The final episode ends in the late 1990s and then mentions the deaths of Johnny and June Carter Cash, which occurred early in the following decade.

Maybe I was out of the room and pouring a glass of water, but I didn’t hear Tim and Faith’s names either. Alan Jackson was briefly mentioned, and there was a photo of Alison Krauss briefly onscreen.

A good chunk of one episode focused on the Vietnam War and the turmoil of the 1960s. I guess at the expense of some of the names I mentioned above.

Let me tell you that while some country artists were raising political issues at the time, the listeners I knew, my parents, my extended family, and my neighbors were not in favor of a changing worldview.

Overall, however, I enjoyed the program. Much of the story is carried by Marty Stuart and Vince Gill. They are wonderful storytellers.