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Ken Burns - Country Music Documentary

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Rick Bartlett, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    Most PBS stations are showing it again right after the 8 eastern/7 central initial airing, at 10 eastern/9 central. The Tuesday Sept 24 episode ("Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973 -1983)") is 2 1/2 hours, so the repeat will be at 10:30 eastern, 9:30 central.

    Sun 9/15 - “The Rub (Beginnings -1933)”
    Mon 9/16 - “Hard Times (1933 -1945)”
    Tue 9/17 - “The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945 -1953)”
    Wed 9/18 - “I Can't Stop Loving You (1953 -1963)”

    Sun 9/22 - “The Sons and Daughters of America (1964 -1968)”
    Mon 9/23 - “Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (1968 -1972)”
    Tue 9/24 - “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973 -1983)”
    Wed 9/25 - “Don't Get Above Your Raisin’ (1984 -1996)”
    PonceDeLeroy, The MEZ, Yovra and 4 others like this.
  2. raveoned

    raveoned Forum Resident

    Ambler, PA
    During the concert, they show a clip from one of the episodes, mentioning how his home with Susanna was host to people like Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell and Townes Van Zandt. I like that this was mentioned and gets some time in the series.
    pablo fanques and The Panda like this.
  3. Frangelico

    Frangelico Forum Resident

    I wonder if Burns will succeed in doing to country what he did to jazz - make it seem boring and uncool.
    mr. steak and rod like this.
  4. Quakerism

    Quakerism Monk

    Pennsylvania, USA
    I’ve been to the Ryman and I’ve been to Luckenbach, Texas......the Blue Ridges Of Western North Carolina and the Wheeling Jamboree. I’ll be looking forward to it even if it doesn’t cross the t’s and dot the i’s.
    panasoffkee and BeatleJWOL like this.
  5. Ernest T

    Ernest T Forum Resident

    I've been looking forward to this for years!

    BeatleJWOL likes this.
  6. Bradd

    Bradd Now’s The Time

    Chester, NJ
    I’ve found his series rather formulaic lately. His job on Jazz wasn’t very good. This will be the same. The media will gush over it but the real fans will find fault.
    GodShifter likes this.
  7. GodShifter

    GodShifter Forum Anhedoniac®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    Agreed; I’m not interested in this in the least.
  8. QuestionMark?

    QuestionMark? 4TH N' GOAL

    The End Zone
    Reminder to myself: Set your DVR on PBS tonight! Must see TV!
    panasoffkee and baptistbusman like this.
  9. baptistbusman

    baptistbusman Compact Disc Advocate

    Bloomsdale, MO
    To be honest, I don’t need a Johnny Come Lately to give me a Country Music lesson. More than likely I know more than the documentary will present. What I’m looking forward to is old footage and interviews. Will it save country music? No. Most newbies will turn it on tonight and get bored with the Carter Family and no signs of Garth or Blake and turn it off.
    Mr. H, SOONERFAN and QuestionMark? like this.
  10. QuestionMark?

    QuestionMark? 4TH N' GOAL

    The End Zone
    I'm watching because I do need an education! I saw Ken Burns this morning talking with such enthusiasm about the music and the people that he made me want to see this. I won't get bored by the Carter family or anyone else. The little clips I saw were very amusing!
    panasoffkee and baptistbusman like this.
  11. clashcityrocker

    clashcityrocker Forum Resident

    Great White North
    A few reviews are out:

    What Ken Burns’ 16-Hour ‘Country Music’ Epic Leaves Out

    Filmmaker Ken Burns Goes Wide, But Not Deep, In His Chronicle Of 'Country Music'

    They tell a similar story: Burns tries to please everyone but misses the target. I don't look forward to the slow pans over B&W stills we've seen before while Peter Coyote cashes in another narration cheque. One of the reviews mentions most musical clips don't go past 20 seconds. I understand the breadth of the subject but there is no way someone can understand the impact of a Hank Williams in a few clips and some talking head gushing about his greatness. The big stars will be well represented but how much will we see about the tragic story of Ira Louvin or Spade Cooley. How much will we hear Lefty Frizzell except in some public domain clip. For true fans this will be a joke, for the unitiated a decent but incomplete overview. I like how it stops at 1996 ignoring the last 23 years. What is Burns point? All the people into the new artsists today now aren't even listening to country music? Just nonsense. I'll check out the Hank stuff (part 3) and part 5 with the years 64-68 (Hag, Possum, Buck, Dolly, Loretta).
    maui jim likes this.
  12. baptistbusman

    baptistbusman Compact Disc Advocate

    Bloomsdale, MO
    Just remember what is presented isn't "it." For every Bristol Sessions there was a Johnson City Session and Knoxville Session. For every Jimmie Rodgers there was a Gene Autry or early Ernest Tubb. For Every Patsy Cline there was a Marion Worth or Skeeter Davis. For every Jim Reeves there was a Roy Drusky. For every Buck Owens and Merle Haggard there was a Bob Morris or Bobby Austin. There are so many recordings still out there dating back to the 20's that the story of the 20's and 30's is still being written. There are so many recordings that could have been massive that radio programmers didn't play because the performer was too fat, too old, too country or didn't do the proper favors.

    So whatever is presented tonight and in the future episodes is a great primer, but don't call it quits with the learning part.
    Mr. H, Sunset Sam, McLover and 8 others like this.
  13. PonceDeLeroy

    PonceDeLeroy Forum Resident

    Hungry for old footage and interviews but if they get to Ernest Tubb in the first 2-3 hours they will have missed a whole bunch, imo. There should be discussion of regional field recordings in Memphis, San Antonio, New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, etc, and some footage of how records were pressed in Camden New Jersey etc. . I hope they cover the different recording labels and their relative sound quality.
    QuestionMark? likes this.
  14. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    I'm hoping there will be some early '50s and earlier stuff of interest (I hope there is a lot on Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, and the Maddoxs, but the Carters have had large parts of shows and entire shows before, but maybe more Chet Atkins in with them, we'll see) , it's likelier to be the top mid '50s onward artists I am not really going to be as into or who have already been covered a lot before, and then if there are newer artists I know less about or maybe don't even know of at all that would be great... I would love to learn more about say Foster & Lloyd, or just Radney Foster, Sweethearts Of the Rodeo, Highway 101, Desert Rose Band, Raul Malo/Mavericks, Rodney Crowell, Carlene Carter, Ricky Skaggs.... I would love there to be stuff with Roy Acuff, Cowboy Copas, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells, Marvin Rainwater, Jimmie Dickens, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Stringbean, Johnny Roderiguez, Patsy Montana, Slim Clark, Hank Snow, Anita Carter, Freddy Fender...
    MikaelaArsenault and brownie61 like this.
  15. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Uhh, guys, these are documentaries and there's only so much he can cram in, without turning it into a whirling rolodex of names and shortening already brief performance excerpts . . .

    It's not like a Norton Anthology Of English Literature anthology where each new edition packs in 300 more pages of bible paper to make everyone happy.
  16. Unbelievably, Burns found a way to shoehorn one of the guilty parties into Country Music. :yikes: :)
    beccabear67 likes this.
  17. PonceDeLeroy

    PonceDeLeroy Forum Resident

    It touched on things I mentioned before so I was kind of surprised! I thought the emphasis on the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers was fitting. I was wondering if it would cover Henry Ford's fiddle contests and what that was all about. Lots to cover in the next episode, including Roy Acuff, Blue Grass, singing cowboys, and Western Swing!
    4xoddic and beccabear67 like this.
  18. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    Episode One: 9.8 out of 10, just about a perfect one hour and fifty-two minutes! There was a lot of depth here without diminishing the Carters, Jimmie Rodgers or Bristol TN at all (.2 deduction for the film of Sarah and Maybelle from so much later though, that did not fit for me there). WSM, Uncle Dave Macon and Deford Bailey covered fully also, and I really feel a full picture of what happened, where and when was conveyed. People who didn't watch just cheated themselves that's all.

    Oh, and I even thought Wynton M. was fine. :D
  19. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    I just finished the first episode and thought it was great. Sorry your favorite obscure 78 wasn’t featured, but even a 16-hour documentary can’t touch every base. What was presented was very well done, in my opinion.
  20. EddieMann

    EddieMann I used to be a king...

    Geneva, IL. USA.
    The first hour was kind of losing me for awhile. But it came back so strongly in hour two that I’d say it was a great start to the series.
  21. Agree - overall I thought it was two hours very well spent, but became more engaging in the second hour with the introduction of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family - the two great foundational artists of the music. I was already pretty familiar with their music, but it was interesting to see a lot of the details of their lives fleshed out so vividly. And I have to admit I had no idea Rodgers recorded a session with Louis Armstrong! Looking forward to more...
  22. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    I knew Jimmie Rodgers had recorded with Louis Armstrong, but I didn’t realize that he was quite such a rock star, for lack of a better term.
    jimbo3688 and Jack Lord like this.
  23. Quakerism

    Quakerism Monk

    Pennsylvania, USA
    It was all very well laid out and most of the foundational stuff covered in the Burns formula. Some of the more obscure characters were even touched on. I’d rate it 8.8/10.

    Most appropriate was the influence religion had on its adaptation of tunes. We could have never gotten to Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill’s performance of “How Great Thou Art” without it. Those types of hymns and songs were really instrumental in creating some of the best known country artists.
    Witchy Woman likes this.
  24. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Great for you folks in the USA, usually us 'foreigner's' miss out unless we source it illegally.
    Some things never change.....
    DavidD and budwhite like this.
  25. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident

    The first episode exceeded my expectations, although generally speaking, I didn't really learn very much about the early history of C&W that I didn't already know. The Carter Family story was well-told in the Winding Stream doc that came out awhile back, and in several older books, and I've been buying records and CDs by the Carters and Jimmie Rodgers for a long time now, so it was familiar territory, but the Burns team wove their stories together in a compelling way, and they did cover a lot of ground in just under two hours.

    To be honest, I did groan when I saw Garth Brooks pop up in the first part of the episode, and I'm not crazy about a few of the other interview subjects, but 95% of them were great choices, and I hope to hear more from the likes of Merle, Dolly, Ricky Skaggs, Roseanne & Carlene, Harold Bradley, and especially Marty Stuart -- that guy knows what it's all about. I haven't seen a list of all the featured interviewees, but I hope they caught a lot more of the artists who are no longer around.

    BTW: I really liked seeing those old record company documents -- the ones from the Bristol Sessions, wow, those are like the Magna Carta or something. I'd love to have a book of reproductions of those, such historic material.

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