The newest documentary from Ken Burns offers an in-depth look at the history of country music.
Whether or not you’re a fan of the genre, music and pop culture fans alike can still recognize the importance of country singers like Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and Garth Brooks. These country icons and more have helped start and shape the genre into what it is today and its unique place in American culture. It is this theme and exploration into the genre’s history that is at the center of Ken Burns’ new documentary “Country Music.”
Burns’ new film will air on PBS on September 15 as an eight-part series. With 16 hours of footage, the series will cover different stories from country music’s journey in the 20th century to the songs of some of its most influential stars.
And, while country music may be more synonymous with states like Tennessee and Texas, Washington still holds a spot in the history of country music with stars including Loretta Lynn. Lynn, originally from Kentucky, who moved to Custer, Washington where she began her music career. Although her songs were typically banned from the radio, they were hits among fans due to her open and frank nature.
With ties to Washington, Burns and PBS have decided to host a special preview screening of “Country Music” at the University of Washington. After the preview, attendees will get to hear a special panel discussion from the film’s director and producer, Burns, and Emmy-winning producer Julie Dunfey. The panel will be facilitated by Billy Joe Huels of the Dusty 45s, who will perform after the panel.
The screening will be held on July 22 from 7:30-9 p.m. in the Katharyn Alvord Gerlich Theater.