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Ken Burns’ Country Music on PBS

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by fenderesq, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    I got my hair cut this morning, and the first thing the lady who cuts my hair asked me was, “Have you been watching that country music series on PBS?” She has been, and she loves it. And she’s an ordinary person, not an internet music message board warrior, so mission accomplished, Ken Burns. As @lazydawg58 notes above, this is aimed at a general audience, not people here who think they know more about music than Wynton Marsalis.
    asindc, marmil, ConnieGuitar and 13 others like this.
  2. detroit muscle

    detroit muscle Senior Member

    I don't think we will ever know if Burns tried to get some (or all) of the songs you listed but couldn't get past licensing hell. I can't imagine how long it took to get clearance from artists / publishers / record labels for this.
    lazydawg58 and majorlance like this.
  3. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    His film; his opinions & views.
    I say to those who don’t agree with the political slant: “Make Your Own Forkin’ Film”.
    nickg, ConnieGuitar, sberger and 7 others like this.
  4. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    The Southeast
    From "San Antonio Rose: The Life and Music of Bob Wills," by Charles Townsend, which is still the definitive biography of Wills. (Townsend was tight with the Playboys, was actually in the studio for their final recordings with Bob.)

    Naturally, Wills welcomed the honor of being voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, but he had never thought he would be elected. By 1968 the distinction between his western swing and country was blurred. Trade magazines, disc jockeys, record companies and historians made little or no distinction between them. Bob Wills always made a distinction, and every member of his band made the same distinction. Not one of them thought their music should be categorized as country music. Leon McAuliffe expressed their feeling best: “Our music was never country music. Country and western is an inappropriate term, in my opinion. I can’t think of a country artist we ever listened to and learned their tunes. We listened to Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and (Bob) Crosby.” McAuliffe added that they did not listen to country artists because there was no one in country music “near our level at that time.” McAuliffe’s remarks reflected the aloof attitude Wills and his musicians had toward country music. In fact, there were times they left the bandstand and fought with people who referred to them as country.
    Tord and Bobby Buckshot like this.
  5. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    Vince Gill Calls Ken Burns ‘Country Music’ Docu Series ‘Profound’ and ‘Honest’

    Dunfey observed that “Country Music” was a challenging production in part because it required them to clear so many music rights — the series has some 584 music cues and 101 interviews across 16 hours. Music costs in past Burns’ productions have typically run about 3%-4% of the total budget; in “Country Music,” music rights accounted for about 25% of the budget, Dunfey said.
    RSteven and JoeRockhead like this.
  6. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    Where does your hostility come from?
  7. Kevin j

    Kevin j The 5th 99

    Seattle Area
    you call that hostile? oh crap, I bet i'm being hostile now!
    Turmatic, The Beave and audiomixer like this.
  8. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    Whatever floats their boat. One thing I firmly believe is the idea espoused by Wynton Marsalis, Rhiannon Giddens, and others in this documentary is that all American music - blues, jazz, country, rock and roll, etc. - is a big mongrel mess, which is ultimately the source of its strength and worldwide popularity, and that attempts to draw hard genre boundaries such as Wills apparently did by refusing to consider his music “country” in any way are pointless.

    As discussed in this documentary, that the banjo is from Africa, the fiddle is from Europe, and the steel guitar is from Hawaii shows that country is a mix of all sorts of influences, and that attempts to impose purism on it are stupid.
  9. JoeRockhead

    JoeRockhead Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    a better question is why the hostility toward Marsalis' appearance. What he actually has to say contributed to the shows. The man is a major cultural figure.
  10. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    The Southeast
    The thing about Wills ... the Texas Playboys in their prime were as good a band, an amalgamation of people with musical talents on stage or in a studio practicing their craft, as has ever played a note in the history of popular music in this country in any genre, plus unlike most traditional country acts their music was about improvisational solos (Junior Barnard, Wills' best guitar player, was bending strings and overdriving his amp before Hendrix was even born). I'm sure all those soloists had some fairly healthy egos and didn't want to be lumped in with mere hillbillies plunking away on banjos and mourning their mamas.
  11. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    There have been plenty of session cats in Nashville from Chet Atkins onwards, not to mention guys like Bill Monroe and his band, who have been masters of their instruments and masters of music, as much as anyone in any genre. Country isn’t all hillbillies plucking away on banjos. And whether Bob Wills wanted to be part of it or not, a song like Faded Love is clearly in the country tradition.
    PRW94 likes this.
  12. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    The Southeast
    I used that hyperbole deliberately to convey what I figured Leon McAuliffe, etc., thought about the folks they viewed as country. I do not share that opinion.

    The difference between Wills' musicians and the session cats is that Wills' musicians weren't doing it on records in the studio in controlled circumstances, they were doing it on stage pretty much every night. They were a dance band, and in their prime ... which IMO ended when Wills fired Tommy Duncan for calling him out about his drinking ... there were few people who could touch them.
  13. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    And good for them. They’re part of the rich tapestry of country music, even if they’re not exactly like other artists in the genre. The term “western swing” does a good job of capturing the fusion of country and jazz elements in their music, in my opinion. But pretty much all American popular music is a fusion of one sort or another, in my opinion.
    Tord, lazydawg58 and PRW94 like this.
  14. I would think that certain physical stuff, like coffee table books, are more important to sell the rest of it in an era where the visuals and music can be downloaded - see the plethora of super deluxe editions, etc.

    That said, the prices PBS are asking for the various tie-ins are pretty stupid - I mean, $75 for what appears to be a fairly bare bones 5 CD + booklet box set? GTFO of here, boy.
  15. And Marty Stuart's got the hair. More glam metal than country, perhaps, but still.
    lazydawg58 and Mr. D like this.
  16. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    New York, NY
    It could have easily been three hours!
  17. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    The 5 “CDs” are all streaming on Tidal.
    $75 divided by $19.99 (Tidal monthly subscription) equals 3.75 months of Tidal with this set & millions of others.
    A much better deal! :righton:
    Spencer R likes this.
  18. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    The Southeast
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  19. Reid Smith

    Reid Smith Forum Resident

    N Ky/Cincinnati
    Yes Junior was so good,he could have just as easily been playing in a blues band in the late 40's, the period he was with Wills..he was playing electric blues that same time T-Bone was.Junior is just not talked about as much for being a ground-breaking player.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  20. One of the many pleasures of seeing a Marty Stuart gig are the historical stories he tells about country music. The man is a walking encyclopedia.
  21. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Northeast USA
    Ken Burns, ALWAYS a good show.

    I'm waitin' for "Pistol Packin' Mama" to air ... fun tune.

    Good to see Rosanne, Marty Stuart and Wynton.
    Really love how Ken shows the cross-pollenation among
    the musics. Country had a baby and we named it "Rock'n'Roll".

    Never heard of "The Maddox Bros and Rose".
    I wonder if "Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose" pinched the name.
    Mr. D, lazydawg58 and audiomixer like this.
  22. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! And don’t I forget it!

    Or Paramount records which recorded a ton of old time and ethnic music.
    Farmer Mike likes this.
  23. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    Hard to cover it all.
  24. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    The Southeast
    He died very young, at 30, in a car wreck, so he was like a meteor across the sky I guess, but he was just a savage player.
  25. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    englewood, nj
    Thx. I'll look 'em up.

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