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Thread: Ken Burns PBS Documentary Country Music

  1. #26
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Here's an interesting article on what's good about Burns take on the genre, what's missing, and some links to deeper material

    https://slate.com/culture/2019/09/co...es-review.html
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  2. #27
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I'll probably stop watching when it hits the 1950s. Just not a fan of what they might call classic country. The later stuff (the most recent 20 years or so) isn't even country.
    Itís Journey with a Stetson hat. IMO.
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  3. #28
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    A friend of mine, who recently passed away, described modern country as rock with cowboy hats.
    Ahem. I concur.
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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

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  4. #29
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    But without the piss and vinegar (there are exceptions but they tend to be more Americana - Sturgill Simpson, Highwomen, Isbell, etc). I got trapped in a pickup with my then-boss several times last winter. I heard tons of Stones licks, all drained of all swagger and attitude. Put on Sturgill and hear country rock/Americana with BALLS

    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  5. #30
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    A friend of mine, who recently passed away, described modern country as rock with cowboy hats.
    Some of it is like hair metal with violins, banjos, and twangy vocals.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  6. #31
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Really enjoying this series. Last night's episode was great. The whole bluegrass part was fantastic. I know it seems like Marty Stuart gets a lot of face time on this doc but he started out as a bluegrass musician from the age of 11-12 playing mandolin. Great series. Can't wait for tonight's episode.

  7. #32
    Member progholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    A friend of mine, who recently passed away, described modern country as rock with cowboy hats.
    I have to somewhat disagree, there's a lot of damn fine new country out there if you know where to look.

    Someone mentioned Sturgill Simpson who is great.

    Also check out Hayes Carl, Dale Watson, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Moot Davis.

    Dwight Yoakam and Marty Stuart are still turning out some excellent stuff too (hard to believe they're now old timers).


    One completely disturbing trend though is Bro-Country, there should be criminal charges associated with this.

  8. #33
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    I've learned over the years that if Ken Burns even makes a movie about paint drying, one should watch it, or you'll miss something worth seeing.

    I didn't read the previous posts since so far I've only watched half of 1 of 4, but I've already learned things I didn't know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Here's an interesting article on what's good about Burns take on the genre, what's missing, and some links to deeper material

    https://slate.com/culture/2019/09/co...es-review.html
    RE; Haggard. I find 'Okie From Muskogee' quite fun and not particularly offensive. 'The Fighting Side Of Me', however...yikes!

    With a few exceptions like Johnny Cash the only 'classic country' that really crossed over here in the UK was some of the Nashville sound stuff. The first I ever heard of Merle Haggard was his frequent mentions by a character in a fictional 80s TV series! Buck Owens, it would have been Ringo doing 'Act Naturally'.

    Charlie Rich's card-burning incident mentioned in the article...I don't think it was ever intended as a slight towards John Denver, although it's always seen as that. More likely that Rich was pretty out of it! And Rich's big 70s hits were as slick/'countrypolitan' as you could get in the first place.
    Last edited by JJ88; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:27 AM.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    With a few exceptions like Johnny Cash ...
    In a category all by himself.
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  11. #36
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progholio View Post
    One completely disturbing trend though is Bro-Country, there should be criminal charges associated with this.
    Bro-anything is disturbing. Not sure if I've heard any bro-country but pretty much anything modernish in country I avoid. I've heard Sturgill Simpson on YT. He's pretty good.

  12. #37
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Buck Owens, it would have been Ringo doing 'Act Naturally
    I saw a documentary about Ernest Tubb on YT a couple days ago. It was mentioned that Ringo was a huge fan of ET and attended one of Ernest's shows. Ringo went backstage to meet Ernest but was speechless and just froze from being starstruck. Hilarious. The Beatles were big country fans.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I'll probably stop watching when it hits the 1950s. Just not a fan of what they might call classic country. The later stuff (the most recent 20 years or so) isn't even country. I think the doc ends with Garth Brooks. I'll be long gone by then.
    Ron, you've got to go through the 50's. That's probably when country music became cemented into American culture. Before the 50's, it was struggling to find itself. Sort of knowing you as I do, I also understand what you are saying. I agree, after this time, it began to turn into something else. Of course money helped change the landscape a great deal. Think I heard him say it took 7 years to do this one.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  14. #39
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    In a category all by himself.
    And Merle Haggard.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  15. #40
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    We could play the name game but I hope, Charlie Pride gets a special nod. He sold almost as many records as Elvis For RCA.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    I saw a documentary about Ernest Tubb on YT a couple days ago. It was mentioned that Ringo was a huge fan of ET and attended one of Ernest's shows. Ringo went backstage to meet Ernest but was speechless and just froze from being starstruck. Hilarious. The Beatles were big country fans.
    Ringo was the biggest country fan of them AFAIK. I remember George Harrison briefly mentioning Jimmie Rodgers in the Anthology series. (There's some track on bootleg from the All Things Must Pass sessions which sounds very Rodgers-influenced...forgotten the name of it!) But they all loved Carl Perkins, who still had a considerable link to country.

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Ron, you've got to go through the 50's.
    I probably will. I'll play it by ear. Gotta give Johnny Cash some viewing time. Certainly, by the time they hit the 60s, I'll likely be back to my political viewing.

    To Geez's point, anything Burns does is worth watching. I caught a bit of his Parks series, which, like the others, is pretty riveting.
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  18. #43
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progholio
    One completely disturbing trend though is Bro-Country, there should be criminal charges associated with this.
    I have never heard of this, but there are a lot of modern things I don't hear about, and they turn out to just be trends that don't matter, easily forgotten.

    I do enjoy occasionally listening to Sturgill Simpson, Dale Watson, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Dwight Yoakam, and Marty Stuart. I'm unfamiliar with Davis and Carl.
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  19. #44
    I started watching this last night.. got thru the first two and half way into the 3rd.. I'm enjoying it.. I remember a few years back when I was laid up with a leg injury and I made it thru the Baseball doc he did.. Thoroughly enjoyed that one as well..

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I'll probably stop watching when it hits the 1950s. Just not a fan of what they might call classic country. The later stuff (the most recent 20 years or so) isn't even country. I think the doc ends with Garth Brooks. I'll be long gone by then.
    The man who put the cunt in country.

    (Full disclosure: It's a genre I don't care for. To misquote the Blues Brothers, I hate both kinds of music - country AND western , although I have a sneaking admiration for Johnny Cash.)

    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    A friend of mine, who recently passed away, described modern country as rock with cowboy hats.
    I remember an article in a music magazine with a load of good ol' boys crying into their beer when Shania Twain cleaned up at a C&W awards shindig some years ago, complete with pink Stetson and pants suit.

  21. #46
    Looks like I'm out. Once they got into the Nashville Sound, that's all it took. Not to say there aren't more redeeming stories. But, my interest has waned.
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  22. #47
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    I missed parts 1&2, which I'll try to see somewhere. I caught episodes 3&4 on PBS. I thought it was well produced and interesting. The Hank Williams story was really sad. Some great commentary from Marty Stuart throughout the series.

  23. #48
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    It picks up again next week. My guess is at some point in this week or the next they'll rerun some episodes.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  24. #49
    From here on out for me, coverage of Buck, Willie and maybe a few others is all I'm interested in.

  25. #50
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    I saw some of Epi 3. The details about Bill Monroe and all the offshoots (Foggy Mountain Boys) were fascinating.

    But I figured out right away that Marty Stuart is the real reason to watch. That guy is insanely talented and he also is THE guardian of Country Music's history (he has collected tremendous amounts of instruments, costumes, lyrics, etc. and plans to start a Country Music museum).

    Anyhoo, he was describing how Monroe brought new techniques to the mandolin. Marty had a mandolin around his neck throughout the episode so as to demonstrate techniques and examples. After he briefly mentioned Monroe's talent he played an amazing Monroe sequence on the mandolin while he channeled the classic, Bluegrass affect of making it look like it was nothing. He barely moved the rest of his body. He hardly looked down. No emotion. Just draw-dropping skills. After he finished, he simply said (about Monroe), "He could do that. (another pause) And because he could do that, he forced everyone around him to better their technique."

    Just sublime! The man is such a student of the old times.

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