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The documentary series Country Music explores the evolution of American country music. The miniseries traces the path of the genre from a fringe rural form to a commercial juggernaut. The series is directed by documentarian Ken Burns.

1 Season, 8 Episodes
September 15, 2019
Documentary & Biography, Mini-Series
Cast: Peter Coyote, Marty Stuart
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Country Music Full Episode Guide

  • As the genre takes off, country music artists such as George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds work to keep country music true to its roots; the rise of Garth Brooks and the return of Johnny Cash.

  • Mainstream crossovers and a new "Outlaw" sound are prevalent in country music during the years 1973-1983.

  • Country music draws artists to Nashville, Tenn., as the war in Vietnam wages on; Kris Kristofferson sets a lyrical standard; Bob Dylan and The Byrds, among others, come to Nashville, Tenn., to record.

  • Country music artists like Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard and Charley Pride reflect a changing America as they appeal to wide audiences.

  • A visit to Memphis, Tenn., during the age of rockabilly with Sun Studios artists Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley; Ray Charles crosses over racial borders by recording a country album; Patsy Cline rises to stardom with a smooth new sound.

  • The country stars of post-war America, including Hank Williams, whose songs are inspired by his troubled and tragically short life.

  • Nashville, Tenn., becomes the center of the country music industry as it grows in popularity during the Great Depression and World War II.

  • "Hillbilly music" reaches new listeners through phonographs and radio, launching the careers of country music's first big stars -- the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.

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Country Music is available to watch and stream on PBS. You can also buy, rent Country Music on demand at PBS online.