Three Chords & the Truth: Screening of Documentary Clips from Ken Burns' "Country Music"

Aug 2, 2019

High Plains Morning was thrilled to have Chip Chandler live in the studio this week to remind folks that this Tuesday, August 6th from 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Panhandle PBS will host a preview screening of Ken Burns’ anticipated new documentary series Country Music, which charts the genre’s evolution from its beginnings as “hillbilly music” through the Nashville neotraditionalists of the 1990s. It’ll take place in the Hazlewood Lecture Hall at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon. The eight-part series will premiere in September. The screening event also will include a capsule exhibition of country music material from Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum’s archives. Event is free, and refreshments will be served. Click here to RSVP!

Click to hear our full interview:

Here's more about the documentary series, COUNTRY MUSIC: Country Music will chronicle the history of a uniquely American art form, rising from the experiences of remarkable people in distinctive regions of our nation.  From southern Appalachia’s songs of struggle, heartbreak and faith to the rollicking western swing of Texas, from California honky tonks to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, we will follow the evolution of country music over the course of the twentieth century, as it eventually emerged to become America’s music.  

It will be directed and produced by Ken Burns; written and produced by Dayton Duncan; and produced by Julie Dunfey— Emmy-award winning creators of PBS’s most-acclaimed and most-watched documentaries for more than a quarter century, including The Civil War, Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, The Dust Bowl, and many more. Country Music will be a sweeping, multi-episode series, exploring the questions, “What is country music?” “Where did it come from?” while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created it—from the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills, to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more—as well as the times in which they lived.  We will trace its origins in minstrel music, ballads, hymns, and the blues, and its early years when it was called hillbilly music played across the airwaves on radio station barn dances. We will follow the rise of bluegrass music with Bill Monroe and we will note how one of country music’s offspring—rockabilly— mutated into rock and roll in Memphis.  And we’ll see how Nashville slowly became not just the mecca of country music, but “Music City USA.” All the while, we will note the constant tug of war between the desire  to make country music as mainstream as possible and the periodic reflexes to bring it back to its roots.