New Traditionalists help it stay true to its roots on “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin”, the finale of COUNTRY MUSIC by Ken Burns, Aug. 24 at 9 pm

Posted on:

< < Back to

Ken Burns “Country Music”

Finale airs Thursday night at 9 pm on WOUB


Garth Brooks receiving the triple platinum sales award in 1991.
Garth Brooks receives the triple platinum sales award for his No Fences album, 1991. Credit: Grand Ole Opry Archives

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.

Thursday, August 24 at 9 pm

Episode Eight |  “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin”  (1984 -1996)

As country music’s popularity skyrockets, the genre questions whether it can stay true to its roots. The success of the “New Traditionalists” like Reba McEntire, George Strait, and Dwight Yoakam suggests it can.

Garth Brooks overcomes rejection and explodes onto the scene to recalibrate the yardstick of success. And after being dropped from his label, an aging Johnny Cash, at the invitation of a hip hop producer, returns to the studio with just his guitar and his unforgettable voice to record a series of albums that sell millions of copies and earn him the respect of the industry he helped to create.