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Thread: Ken Burns PBS Documentary Country Music

  1. #1
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Ken Burns PBS Documentary Country Music

    Anyone watching this series? Caught the first episode Sunday evening. Hell of a history lesson. Never knew that much about Jimmie Roger's. Good series.
    E-A-T

  2. #2
    Yep, I saw a good portion of it. Like any Burns effort, it's really good.

    I saw an interview with him on C-SPAN the other day talking about it. He stated that he really didn't need to consult with many historians, since so many of the artists were very well-versed in the history of the genre.
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    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    I watched it. It's quite good.

    Dolly Parton is one hell of an American. Instead of caging and torturing children, she gives children books, for free. Loved her version of Mule Skinner Blues closing out last night's episode.
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  4. #4
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    The timing of this documentary is perfect. I've been on a country binge for a few months. It has become an obsession.

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    Member progholio's Avatar
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    Got this on the recorder, can't wait!

  6. #6
    I heard the series ends in the 90s which is when country music died anyways. Modern Country is bad Pop music now. So few artists left. What is so interesting is the early tie-in to radio and hits. I didn't understand how country was money driven right from the start (commercial start) where bands would pretend to be hillbillies even though they weren't.

    Very interesting series.

  7. #7
    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.
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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    We watched last night and will continue into the 50s. Other than a handful of artists it all turned to shit at that point. Burns didn't pull any punches on the racist origins of some of that music last night.
    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

  9. #9
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    I'm very much interested in the late '60s and early '70s, when bands like the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers led the country-rock scene in Los Angeles, basically trying to bring country music to a wider and younger audience, and show that there was more to country music than the sappy, string-driven 'classic' music Nashville seemed to favor at the time, IIRC.
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  10. #10
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    ^ I think a lot of good country music in the 70s got what I like to call, "Welked-up" with soaring, sappy string arrangements. Too bad.

  11. #11
    I don't know. One of my favorite country songs ever was written in 1980:


  12. #12
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saucyjackstl View Post
    I don't know. One of my favorite country songs ever was written in 1980:

    this would be song I'd refer to as "welked-up" or even Riddled-up". Great song that didn't need the drugstore muzac acoutrema.

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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    It's the signature sound of schlockmeister Billy Sherrill, who (along with Chet Atkins and Glenn Sutton) pioneered the "countrypolitan sound". Chet Atkins called it the "sound of money". If you ever suffered through a Jim Reeves record you'll know what I'm talking about. See my signature for further details.

    Opposite of this was of course the Bakersfield Sound (I was not a fan but it was NOT schlock) and Outlaw Country (Willie, Waylon, and those boys - now there's drinkin' music).
    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

  14. #14
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saucyjackstl View Post
    I don't know. One of my favorite
    George Jones is one exception to the rule. I like every decade of George. In general I think the last great decade of country was the 70s.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by spellbound View Post
    I'm very much interested in the late '60s and early '70s, when bands like the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers led the country-rock scene in Los Angeles, basically trying to bring country music to a wider and younger audience, and show that there was more to country music than the sappy, string-driven 'classic' music Nashville seemed to favor at the time, IIRC.
    If they touch on country rock, then, yes, I'll pay attention. I don't expect that, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartellb View Post
    It's well done like all Burn's documentaries, though to me the generic formula felt a bit stale since I've been seeing it since The Civil War documentary 30 years ago. On the other hand if something is working there's no sense in messing with the formula. This will most likely turn out to be my third favorite by him behind The Civil War and Baseball which I can't see it topping.
    There's a reason why they call the panning of old photos "The Ken Burns Effect."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    It's the signature sound of schlockmeister Billy Sherrill, who (along with Chet Atkins and Glenn Sutton) pioneered the "countrypolitan sound".
    Not sure if either of those were responsible, but what they did with Hank Sr.'s music was utterly criminal.
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  16. #16
    If this is anything like his jazz documentary, it will go off the rails at some points and completely forget to cover the most important movements in the genre.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    If this is anything like his jazz documentary, it will go off the rails at some points and completely forget to cover the most important movements in the genre.
    Next episode covers Hank.

    Curious to see the CD release (assuming there's one). If it's anything like the Jazz one, I'll grab a copy. If it covers too much post-Hank and not enough of the formative years, maybe not.
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  18. #18
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Part 2 was interesting. Deford Bailey was screwed over by the GOO.

  19. #19
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    The CDs:

    Disc One:

    1. Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye) – The Carter Family
    2. Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8) – Jimmie Rodgers
    3. Barbara Allen – Bradley Kincaid
    4. I’ll Fly Away – James and Martha Carson
    5. If the River Was Whiskey – Charlie Poole with the North Carolina Ramblers
    6. Fox Chase – DeFord Bailey
    7. Blue Yodel Number 9 (Standin’ On The Corner) – Jimmie Rodgers
    8. Wildwood Flower – The Carter Family
    9. In the Jailhouse Now – Jimmie Rodgers
    10. Comin’ Round the Mountain – Uncle Dave Macon and Sam McGee
    11. Pretty Polly – The Coon Creek Girls
    12. T.B. Blues – Jimmie Rodgers
    13. Mountain Dew – Grandpa Jones and His Granchildren
    14. Home on the Range – Gene Autry
    15. I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart – Patsy Montana and the Prairie Ramblers
    16. Tumbling Tumbleweeds – Sons of the Pioneers
    17. Keep on the Sunny Side /I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes – The Carter Family
    18. The Great Speckled Bird – Roy Acuff
    19. Whoa Babe – Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
    20. New San Antonio Rose – Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
    21. Wabash Cannon Ball – Roy Acuff and His Smoky Mountain Boys
    22. Mule Skinner Blues – Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys

    Disc Two:

    1. Honky Tonkin’ – Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys
    2. It’s Mighty Dark to Travel – Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys
    3. New Mule Skinner Blues – Maddox Brothers and Rose
    4. I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) – Eddy Arnold and his Tennessee Playboys
    5. Foggy Mountain Breakdown – Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys
    6. Molly and Tenbrook – The Stanley Brothers
    7. Lovesick Blues – Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys
    8. I Saw the Light – Hank Williams
    9. Hey, Good Lookin’ – Hank Williams
    10. It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels – Kitty Wells
    11. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys
    12. Jambalaya – Little Brenda Lee
    13. New Step It Up and Go – Maddox Brothers and Rose
    14. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash & the Tennessee Two
    15. Crazy Arms – Ray Price
    16. Bye, Bye Love – The Everly Brothers
    17. The Long Black Veil – Lefty Frizzell
    18. El Paso – Marty Robbins
    19. Night Life – Ray Price
    20. Hello Walls – Faron Young
    21. I Fall to Pieces – Patsy Cline
    22. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
    23. Crazy – Patsy Cline
    24. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles

    Disc Three:

    1. Dang Me – Roger Miller
    2. I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail – Buck Owens
    3. Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind) – Loretta Lynn
    4. Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn
    5. Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ – Charley Pride
    6. Hungry Eyes – Merle Haggard and the Strangers
    7. Mama Tried – Merle Haggard and the Strangers
    8. Harper Valley P.T.A. – Jeannie C. Riley
    9. Don’t Touch Me – Jeannie Seely
    10. Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
    11. Stand by Your Man – Tammy Wynette
    12. She Thinks I Still Care – George Jones
    13. You Ain’t Going Nowhere – The Byrds
    14. Me and Bobby McGee – Kris Kristofferson
    15. Help Me Make It Through the Night – Sammi Smith
    16. Sunday Morning Coming Down – Kris Kristofferson
    17. Okie From Muskogee – Merle Haggard and the Strangers
    18. Man in Black – Johnny Cash
    19. Girl from the North Country – Bob Dylan with Johnny Cash
    20. Grand Ole Opry Song – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
    21. Will the Circle Be Unbroken – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

    Disc Four:

    1. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way – Waylon Jennings
    2. Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8) – Dolly Parton
    3. Jolene – Dolly Parton
    4. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
    5. We’re Gonna Hold On – George Jones and Tammy Wynette
    6. Texas Cookin’ – Guy Clark
    7. If I Needed You – Townes Van Zandt
    8. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Johnny Rodriguez
    9. I’ve Been a Long Time Leaving (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone) – Waylon Jennings
    10. Love Hurts (Live) – Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels
    11. Boulder to Birmingham – Emmylou Harris
    12. Bluebird Wine – Emmylou Harris
    13. Whiskey River – Willie Nelson
    14. Miles and Miles of Texas – Asleep at the Wheel
    15. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain – Willie Nelson
    16. Good Hearted Woman – Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson
    17. Family Tradition – Hank Williams, Jr.
    18. Seven Year Ache – Rosanne Cash
    19. Pancho and Lefty – Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
    20. He Stopped Loving Her Today – George Jones

    Disc Five:

    1. Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’ – Ricky Skaggs
    2. On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
    3. Amarillo by Morning – George Strait
    4. Somebody Should Leave – Reba McEntire
    5. Diggin’ Up Bones – Randy Travis
    6. Why Not Me – The Judds (Wynonna and Naomi)
    7. Honky Tonk Man – Dwight Yoakam
    8. Streets of Bakersfield – Dwight Yoakam with Buck Owens
    9. Where’ve You Been – Kathy Mattea
    10. I’m No Stranger to the Rain – Keith Whitley
    11. Go Rest High on That Mountain – Vince Gill
    12. Guitar Town – Steve Earle
    13.She’s In Love With the Boy – Trisha Yearwood
    14. Tennessee Flat Top Box – Rosanne Cash
    15. Get Up John – Emmylou Harris & the Nash Ramblers
    16. Uncle Pen – Ricky Skaggs
    17. I Still Miss Someone – Rosanne Cash 18. Will the Circle Be Unbroken – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  20. #20
    That's an impressive 5 CD collection

  21. #21
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Today is Hank Williams' birthday. 9/17/23-1/1/53.
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  22. #22
    I'm only interested in disc 1. Oh well.
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  23. #23
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I'm only interested in disc 1. Oh well.
    If it's like previous PBS packages, there will be single discs at some point.
    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. #24
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saucyjackstl View Post
    Modern Country is bad Pop music now. So few artists left.
    A friend of mine, who recently passed away, described modern country as rock with cowboy hats.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  25. #25
    Have enjoyed it so far. Like many here, I'll probably bail after the next episode or two.

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