After an eight-year exploration, Ken Burns’ 16-hour Country Music documentary will premiere on PBS on Sept. 15.
In celebration of the new film, PBS will air its all-star concert, Country Music: Live at the Ryman, on Sept. 8. Recorded at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in March, the concert will feature performances by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Brenda Lee, Kathy Mattea, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Asleep at the Wheel, Holly Williams and Dwight Yoakam.
Country Music: Live at the Ryman Set List
- “Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man” – Rhiannon Giddens and Ketch Secor
- “In the Jailhouse Now” – Ketch Secor
- “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” – Riders in the Sky
- “New San Antonio Rose” – Asleep at the Wheel
- “Uncle Pen” – Marty Stuart and Ricky Skaggs
- “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” – Holly Williams
- “Orange Blossom Special” – Marty Stuart
- “Crazy” – Rhiannon Giddens
- “Hungry Eyes” – Dwight Yoakam
- “Streets of Bakersfield” – Dwight Yoakam and Dierks Bentley
- “Coal Miner’s Daughter” – Kathy Mattea
“Sunday Morning Coming Down” – Larry Gatlin
- “Pancho & Lefty” – Rodney Crowell
- “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” – Dierks Bentley
- “I Will Always Love You” – Vince Gill
- “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’” – Ricky Skaggs
- “I Still Miss Someone” – Rosanne Cash
- “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” – Full Cast
Country Music: Live at the Ryman will air on PBS on Sept. 8 from 8 p.m.–10 p.m. ET, as well as stream on PBS.org and PBS apps.
Ken and his team spent eight years researching and producing the film, as well as conducting interviews with more than 100 people, including 40 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Interviewees include 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 more than two hours of archival footage, including rare and never-before-seen photos and footage of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash and more.
“In country music we found a love for storytelling that translates everyday experiences into universal truths that we can all identify with,” said Ken Burns. “We’re very excited to share this film with the country, in towns large and small, from one coast to the other. But we are most excited to share it in those areas that gave birth to this most American of art forms. Bringing our film to Ryman Auditorium, the Mother Church of Country Music, and a character itself in our film, is a dream for us.”
Watch Vince Gill’s incredible cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” below.
photo by Jason Simanek/NCD