Bluegrass sound spreads in post-war America, in COUNTRY MUSIC: “The Hillbilly Shakespeare”; Nov. 26 at 8 pm< < Back to
The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945 -1953)
Explore the history of a uniquely American art form: country music. From its deep and tangled roots in ballads, blues and hymns performed in small settings, to its worldwide popularity, learn how country music evolved over the course of the 20th century, as it eventually emerged to become America’s music. Country Music features never-before-seen footage and photographs, plus interviews with more than 80 country music artists. The eight-part 16-hour series is directed and produced by Ken Burns; written and produced by Dayton Duncan; and produced by Julie Dunfey.
Country Music explores questions –– such as “What is country music?” and “Where did it come from?“–– while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created and shaped it — from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more — as well as the times in which they lived. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people.
No one has told the story this way before.
In this episode:
See how the bluegrass sound spreads in post-war America, and meet honky-tonk star Hank Williams, whose songs of surprising emotional depth are derived from his troubled and tragically short life.
Country music adapts to the cultural changes of post-war society. Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, and Earl Scruggs transform traditional string band music into something more syncopated: bluegrass. Out of the bars and juke joints comes a new sound with electric guitars and songs about drinking, cheating, and heartbreak: honky-tonk. Its biggest star is Hank Williams, a singer and songwriter of surprising emotional depth, derived from his troubled and tragically short life.