The tireless Ken Burns has a new project in the works for PBS — “Country Music,” a multi-episode documentary slated for 2018. It will be directed by Burns, who’ll produce alongside writer Dayton Duncan, Burns’ longtime producing partner.
“Country Music” will chronicle the history of a uniquely American genre, from southern Appalachia to Texas, California honky-tonks to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. “For over a century, country music has been a pivotal force in American culture, expressing the hopes, joys, fears and hardships of everyday people in songs lyrical, poignant and honest,” said PBS President Paula A. Kerger. “It is fitting that we have two of America’s master storytellers, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, tell the story on film of an art form that for generations has told America’s story in song.”
“Country Music” will look at artists like the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills,Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Garth Brooks. It’s only the latest project to be added to what PBS has dubbed “the Ken Burns pipeline.”
The filmmaker has the feature-length “The Address” (about the Gettysburg Address by way of a Vermont school that has its students memorize and recite the famous speech) set to premiere on PBS on April 15, the 14-hour “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” airing this fall, “Jackie Robinson” and the six-hour “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” scheduled for 2015, “Vietnam” in 2016-2017 and “Ernest Hemingway” out in 2019-2020.