Tags: ken burns | documentary | country music

Ken Burns' 'Country Music' Explores Complicated Genre

Ken Burns' 'Country Music' Explores Complicated Genre

Ken Burns, right, director of the upcoming PBS documentary series "Country Music," takes part in a panel discussion alongside country music performer Roseanne Cash during the 2019 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

By    |   Sunday, 15 September 2019 05:21 PM

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns tries to explain nearly a century of history in his latest work, “Country Music,” which begins airing this week on PBS, Variety reports.

The series reviews in great detail how the genre was borne out of frustration and by those who felt overlooked and under-appreciated. 

CNN called the series essential viewing as the country experiences increasing gaps in red state vs. blue state tribalism as reflected in the different outlooks in rural and urban America, saying the documentary can “help break down these divides by increasing understanding and appreciation of our shared American story.”

Burns told CBS News that he decided to take on the project when he “realized that this would be American history firing on all cylinders,” and indeed he traces the roots of country music back to America's coming of age from the fiddlers and the banjo players to Jimmie Rodgers and his yodeling.

Among the themes Burns emphasizes in the documentary is the critical role of women in the genre, Axios reports.

In an interview with PBS, Burns talked about why he put such a focus on the topic.

“Women are central to this story in a way they aren't in jazz or other forms, which are fraternities, Burns said.

“When you get through Patsy [Cline] to Loretta [Lynn], we're in the mid-'60s. Nobody in rock 'n' roll is singing, ‘Don't come home a drinking with loving on your mind.’ Think about what we're talking about - spousal abuse, spousal rape, a woman's right to her own body, even in marriage, women's rights in general. Now, this is the same year that the National Organization for Women is founded [1966].”

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Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns tries to explain nearly a century of history in his latest work, "Country Music," which begins airing this week on PBS, Variety reports.
ken burns, documentary, country music
278
2019-21-15
Sunday, 15 September 2019 05:21 PM
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