History

Country Music

Explore the history of country music – from its roots in ballads, hymns and the blues to its mainstream popularity – and meet the unforgettable characters and storytellers who made it “America’s Music.” Directed by Ken Burns.

"Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” (1968 – 1972)

1h 51m

Episode 6 | Learn how country music responds to a nation divided by the Vietnam War, as Army captain turned songwriter Kris Kristofferson sets a new lyrical standard, and artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds find a recording home in Nashville.

Episodes

  • “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’” (1984 – 1996): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’” (1984 – 1996)

    S1 E8 - 1h 54m

    Episode 8 | Learn how “New Traditionalists” like George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds help country music stay true to its roots. Witness both the rise of superstar Garth Brooks and the return of an aging Johnny Cash to the industry he helped create.

  • “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” (1973 – 1983): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” (1973 – 1983)

    S1 E7 - 2h 19m

    Episode 7 | Witness a vibrant era in country music, with Dolly Parton finding mainstream success; Hank Williams, Jr. and Rosanne Cash emerging from their famous fathers’ shadows; and Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings launching the “Outlaw” movement.

  • "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” (1968 – 1972): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” (1968 – 1972)

    S1 E6 - 1h 51m

    Episode 6 | Learn how country music responds to a nation divided by the Vietnam War, as Army captain turned songwriter Kris Kristofferson sets a new lyrical standard, and artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds find a recording home in Nashville.

  • “The Sons and Daughters of America” (1964 – 1968): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “The Sons and Daughters of America” (1964 – 1968)

    S1 E5 - 1h 54m

    Episode 5 | See how country music reflects a changing America, with Loretta Lynn speaking to women everywhere, Merle Haggard becoming “The Poet of the Common Man” and audiences looking beyond race to embrace Charley Pride.

  • “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1953 – 1963): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1953 – 1963)

    S1 E4 - 1h 50m

    Episode 4 | Travel to Memphis, where Sun Studios artists Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley usher in the era of rockabilly. Ray Charles crosses America’s racial divide by recording a country album. Patsy Cline shows off Music City’s smooth new Nashville Sound.

  • “The Hillbilly Shakespeare” (1945 – 1953): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “The Hillbilly Shakespeare” (1945 – 1953)

    S1 E3 - 1h 53m

    Episode 3 | See how the bluegrass sound spreads in post-war America, and meet honky-tonk star Hank Williams, whose songs of surprising emotional depth are derived from his troubled and tragically short life.

  • “Hard Times” (1933 – 1945): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “Hard Times” (1933 – 1945)

    S1 E2 - 1h 52m

    Episode 2 | Watch as Nashville becomes the heart of the country music industry. The genre grows in popularity during the Great Depression and World War II as America falls in love with singing cowboys, Texas Swing and the Grand Ole Opry’s Roy Acuff.

  • “The Rub” (Beginnings – 1933): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “The Rub” (Beginnings – 1933)

    S1 E1 - 1h 51m

    Episode 1 | See how what was first called “hillbilly music” reaches new audiences through phonographs and radio, and launches the careers of country music’s first big stars, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.

  • Spanish Version | “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’": asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Spanish Version | “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’"

    S1 E16 - 1h 55m

    Spanish Version - Episode 8 | A medida que la música country surge, los artistas, como George Strait, Randy Travis y los Judds, trabajan para mantener el género fiel a sus raíces. El ascenso de Garth Brooks y el regreso de Johnny Cash.

  • Spanish Version | "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Spanish Version | "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

    S1 E14 - 1h 52m

    Spanish Version - Episode 6 | La música country atrae a los artistas a Nashville, Tennessee, mientras que la guerra en Vietnam continúa. Kris Kristofferson establece un estándar lírico. Bob Dylan y The Byrds, entre otros, visitan Nashville, Tennessee, para grabar.

  • Spanish Version | "The Sons and Daughters of America": asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Spanish Version | "The Sons and Daughters of America"

    S1 E13 - 1h 55m

    Spanish Version - Episode 5 | Los artistas de la música country, como Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard y Charley Pride, reflejan el cambio de Estados Unidos, debido al variado público que convocan.

Extras + Features

  • Episode 8 Preview | "Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 8 Preview | "Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’”

    S1 E8 - 30s

    Learn how “New Traditionalists” like George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds help country music stay true to its roots. Witness both the rise of superstar Garth Brooks and the return of an aging Johnny Cash to the industry he helped create.

  • Marty Stuart's Mandolin: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Marty Stuart's Mandolin

    S1 E8 - 1m 56s

    Marty Stuart reminisces about the time he spent in Johnny Cash's band and describes the marks and inscriptions on his mandolin and how they got there.

  • Johnny Cash: His Legacy: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Johnny Cash: His Legacy

    S1 E8 - 5m 19s

    Friends and family discuss Johnny Cash's return to simple songwriting and record-making and his legacy and impact.

  • Marty Stuart: Back to the Source: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Marty Stuart: Back to the Source

    S1 E8 - 1m 43s

    Marty Stuart reminisces about a quiet moment he had to himself listening to Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter family.

  • Johnny Cash: Following the Gospel: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Johnny Cash: Following the Gospel

    S1 E7 - 11m 57s

    Rosanne Cash, John Carter Cash, Marty Stuart, Don Reid and the Oak Ridge Boys discuss Johnny Cash's faith in God and his fellow musicians.

  • Episode 7 Preview | "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 7 Preview | "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?”

    S1 E7 - 30s

    Witness a vibrant era in country music, with Dolly Parton finding mainstream success; Hank Williams, Jr. and Rosanne Cash emerging from their famous fathers’ shadows; and Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings launching the “Outlaw” movement.

  • Episode 6 Preview | “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 6 Preview | “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

    S1 E6 - 30s

    Learn how country music responds to a nation divided by the Vietnam War, as Army captain turned songwriter Kris Kristofferson sets a new lyrical standard, and artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds find a recording home in Nashville.

  • Episode 5 Preview | "The Sons and Daughters of America": asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 5 Preview | "The Sons and Daughters of America"

    S1 E5 - 30s

    See how country music reflects a changing America, with Loretta Lynn speaking to women everywhere, Merle Haggard becoming “The Poet of the Common Man” and audiences looking beyond race to embrace Charley Pride.

  • Music Row's A Team: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Music Row's A Team

    S1 E5 - 10m 7s

    Music row musicians discuss their days as members of the fabled “A Team,” describe the mechanics of the pedal steel guitar, and perform excerpts from some of their biggest hits – including one or two surprises.

Schedule

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