Ken Burns has a new music documentary coming to PBS this fall.
Produced by Burns and his longtime collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey, Country Music will follow the history and evolution of the quintessentially American music genre — from the hills of Appalachia to the honky-tonk of Texas and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry — over the course of eight two-hour episodes.
“At the heart of every great country music song is a story,” Burns said in a release. “As the songwriter Harlan Howard said, ‘It’s three chords and the truth.’ The common experiences and human emotions speak to each of us about love and loss, about hard times and the chance of redemption. As an art form, country music is also forever revisiting its history, sharing and updating old classics and celebrating its roots, which are, in many ways, foundational to our country itself.”
The documentary will also focus on the trailblazers who helped shape country music through the decades — from early pioneers like the Carter Family, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams to modern country icons like Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and countless others.
In support of the film, a Country Music bus tour will be making stops in several Tennesse cities important to the development of the genre, including Knoxville, Bristol and Memphis before filming a concert special at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on March 27. Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill and Dwight Yoakam are among the performers on the lineup.
The first four episodes of Country Music will premiere Sept. 15 on PBS. Watch the trailer for the documentary below.