COUNTRY MUSIC by Ken Burn continues with “The Hillbilly Shakespeare” Thursday, July 21 at 9 p.m.


COUNTRY MUSIC by Ken Burn continues with “The Hillbilly Shakespeare” Thursday, July 21 at 9 p.m.

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Ken Burn’s “Country Music”

Thursday evenings at 9 p.m. on WOUB

Ernest Tubb and His Texas Troubadours, California, c. 1950. Credit: Grand Ole Opry Archives

Explore the history of a uniquely American art form: country music. From its deep, tangled roots in ballads, blues and anthems performed in small settings, to its worldwide popularity, learn how country music evolved during the 20th century before it became American music. Country Music features never-before-seen footage and photography, plus interviews with over 80 country music artists. The eight-part, 16-hour series is directed and produced by Ken Burns; written and produced by Dayton Duncan; and produced by Julie Dunfey.

Country Music explores questions such as “What is country music?” and “Where does he come from?” – while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created and shaped it – from the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson , Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more – as well as the times they lived in. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by ordinary people.

No one has told the story this way yet.

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July 21 at 9 p.m.

Episode three | The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945 -1953)

Country music adapted to the cultural changes of post-war society. Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs transform traditional string band music into something more syncopated: bluegrass. From bars and juke joints comes a new sound with electric guitars and songs about drinking, cheating and heartbreak: honky-tonk. Its biggest star is Hank Williams, a singer and songwriter of surprising emotional depth, derived from his troubled and tragically short life.


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