On September 15, 2019, PBS will present the first episode of the documentary from director Ken Burns Country music, a detailed exploration of the genre that has been in the works for eight years.
Directed by Burns and produced by acclaimed filmmaker with longtime collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey, Country music Premieres Sunday, September 15 through Wednesday, September 18 and Sunday, September 22 through Wednesday, September 25 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations. The episodes will also be available for streaming. The documentary follows Burns’ exploration of the Vietnam War in 2017.
Ahead of the next series, on Wednesday March 27, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium will be the site of a concert hosted by Burns and featuring a cast of country greats. The extensive roster of artists includes Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Brenda Lee, Kathy Mattea, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Asleep at the Wheel, Holly Williams and Dwight Yoakam. For 31 years, from 1943 to 1974, the Ryman hosted the Grand Ole Opry and for more than 125 years it presented shows encompassing all musical genres and other forms of entertainment.
“Country Music: Live at the Ryman,” which will be taped for airing on PBS at a later date, will also feature selected clips from the upcoming film. Comprised of rare stock photos and video footage, over 100 people were interviewed for the upcoming film, including 40 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Details of a soundtrack, a book and a national tour will be announced soon.
“In country music we have found a love for storytelling that translates everyday experiences into universal truths that we can all relate to,” Burns said in a statement. “We are very happy to share this film with the country, in cities large and small, coast to coast. But we are very happy to share it in the areas that gave birth to this most American art form. “
Tickets for “Country Music: Live at the Ryman, a Concert Celebrating the Film by Ken Burns” go on sale Friday, February 8 at 10 am.