Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, in association with Universal Music Group (UMG), will release Country Music - A Film By Ken Burns (The Soundtrack) on Friday, September 13. Legacy will release a suite of soundtrack products, including 2CD, 2LP and digital configurations of the multi-artist album.
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the diverse roots, evolution and stylistic diversity of 20th century American country music in his new 8-part (16.5 hour) documentary.
Legacy Recordings invites music fans to enjoy, follow, and share a selection of official Ken Burns: Country Music playlists here.
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.
Burns' documentary explores crucial questions––"What is country music?" and "Where did it come from?"––while telling the stories of the fascinating trailblazers who created and shaped it. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people.
"At the heart of every great country music song is a story," said Ken Burns. "As the songwriter Harlan Howard said, 'its three chords and the truth.' The common experiences and human emotions speak to each of us about love and loss, about hard times and the chance of redemption. As an art form, country music is also forever revisiting its history, sharing and updating old classics and celebrating its roots, which are, in many ways, foundational to our country itself."
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.
Australian premiere date is TBC.
1. Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye) - The Carter Family (3:06)
2. Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8) - Jimmie Rodgers
3. Fox Chase - DeFord Bailey
4. I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
5. Mountain Dew - Grandpa Jones and His Grandchildren
6. I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart - Patsy Montana and the Prairie Ramblers
7. New San Antonio Rose - Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (2:37)
8. Wabash Cannon Ball - Roy Acuff and His Smoky Mountain Boys
9. Honky Tonkin' - Hank Williams with his Drifting Cowboys
10. It's Mighty Dark to Travel - Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys
11. New Mule Skinner Blues - Maddox Brothers and Rose
12. Foggy Mountain Breakdown – Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys
13. It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels - Kitty Wells
14. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - Hank Williams with his Drifting Cowboys
15. Crazy Arms - Ray Price
16. The Long Black Veil - Lefty Frizzell
17. El Paso - Marty Robbins
18. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
19. Crazy - Patsy Cline
20. I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles
21. Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
22. Kiss an Angel Good Mornin' - Charley Pride
23. Hungry Eyes - Merle Haggard and the Strangers
1. Stand by Your Man - Tammy Wynette
2. You Ain't Going Nowhere - The Byrds
3. Me and Bobby McGee - Kris Kristofferson
4. Girl from the North Country – Bob Dylan with Johnny Cash
5. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way - Waylon Jennings
6. Jolene - Dolly Parton
7. Boulder to Birmingham - Emmylou Harris
8. Whiskey River - Willie Nelson
9. Pancho and Lefty - Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
10. He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
11. Don't Get Above Your Raisin' - Ricky Skaggs
12. Somebody Should Leave - Reba McEntire
13. Why Not Me - The Judds (Wynonna and Naomi)
14. Streets of Bakersfield - Dwight Yoakam with Buck Owens
15. Where've You Been - Kathy Mattea
16. Go Rest High on That Mountain - Vince Gill
17. I Still Miss Someone - Rosanne Cash
18. Will the Circle Be Unbroken - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band