COUNTRY MUSIC – A Film By Ken Burns (The Soundtrack) showcases essential recordings, drawn from the nearly 600 music cues used in the documentary, covering the wide historic terrain of 20th century American country music. A tree with deep roots and ever-expanding branches, American country music evolved from songs passed down from generations of settlers and slaves until 20th century recording technology made it possible for hundreds and thousands (if not millions) of listeners to share the same musical experience on a record.
COUNTRY MUSIC journeys from early Appalachian “hillbilly” recordings through “singing cowboys” and bluegrass, Texas swing and Tennessee rockabilly and more, all the while paying attention to the impact of radio, Hollywood and television on the evolution of American country sounds and attitudes.
COUNTRY MUSIC is the culmination of eight years of research and production, including interviews with more than 100 people (40 of whom are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and 20 of those interviewed have since passed on). Among those storytellers are historian Bill Malone and a wide range of country artists such as Marty Stuart, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, and Naomi and Wynonna Judd, as well as studio musicians, record producers and others. The film uses more than 3,200 photographs and over two hours of archival footage, including rare and never-before-seen photos and footage of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash and others.