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Ken Burns: Country Music. 8 episodes. 16 Hours. Starts Sep. 15.

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1 minute ago, atomheartbevo said:

I've been very impressed at how much they've covered geographically.

Marty Stuart had it right - Nashville had their business act together, otherwise it could have easily been somewhere else.  

Agreed.  Imagine if Chicago was the hub of country music.

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1 hour ago, kevwun said:

Crazy about the station in Mexico blasting it's signal out so strong that it covered the entire US all the way to Canada.  I can't imagine hearing the radio through a barb wire fence.  All because of goat balls.

I have relatives (Arkansas, North Texas, Oklahoma) who remember listening to WLS in the '60s.  That was what a lot of kids in that era listened to, because WLS had Wolfman Jack.  I had never thought about the reach of radio stations back then, since I grew up mostly listening to FM.

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9 hours ago, bamachine said:

Yeesh but that is to be expected somewhat. The best way to research something is by talking to those who lived it and that is going to make for some rather elder folks. I still cherish my parents stories(both now gone) about Hank Williams and his coming to buy shine from the local bootlegger. He supposedly bought his last shine about 2 miles from where I grew up. They saw him at the bootlegger, then heard about his death on the radio the next night.

 

You ---- and everybody who has posted on this thread ----- really should read Rodney Crowell's book "Chinaberry Sidewalks."  Some great stuff about Hank Williams and some even better stuff about growing up in Texas back in the day. Rodney is a beautiful wordsmith. 

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That book is one of the best biographies/memoirs I’ve ever read. Based on all the batshit crazy events he describes in it, I can’t imagine he held anything back either. Hits every emotion with brass knuckles.

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2 hours ago, kevwun said:

Crazy about the station in Mexico blasting it's signal out so strong that it covered the entire US all the way to Canada.  I can't imagine hearing the radio through a barb wire fence.  All because of goat balls.

Some lil' ole band from Texas even wrote a song about it.*

 

Edited by Chad Fuck
*Actually about another Mexican station, but the same idea and it fits here

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28 minutes ago, bluto said:

That book is one of the best biographies/memoirs I’ve ever read. Based on all the batshit crazy events he describes in it, I can’t imagine he held anything back either. Hits every emotion with brass knuckles.


Made the mistake of reading the final chapters in the Nashville airport, waiting for a plane.  I was getting very verklempt and my eyes were glistening.  I couldn't talk afterward.  What struck me was how, as crazy as his parents were, it was also clear that he still loved them deeply. That's a pretty hard thing to convey.

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2 hours ago, kevwun said:

Crazy about the station in Mexico blasting it's signal out so strong that it covered the entire US all the way to Canada.  I can't imagine hearing the radio through a barb wire fence.  All because of goat balls.

Are you familiar with the ZZ Top song heard it on the X?

dammit, knew I should have scrolled down, but it was a 2 hour old post about a country music documentary. Thought I was safe. 

Edited by Pato del Muerto

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2 hours ago, The University said:

we all have "our" version that we love. hard times was written in the 19th century and has been adapted so many times by a wide variety of artists. that's part of the beauty of music.

This. Bob Dylan did a great version on an album of traditional folk songs (Good As I Been To You), that I can't seem to find.  Anyhow, do yourself a favor and pick up that album.

 

 

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14 hours ago, TxTower said:

So many tie ins to O Brother Where Art Thou songs and stories like the Carters “singing in a can”.
The Coen Bros actually beat Ken Burns to this.

There was an Indie film that same year called "Songcatcher"

In 1907, Dr. Lily Penleric (Janet McTeer), a professor of musicology, is denied a promotion at the university where she teaches. She impulsively visits her sister Eleanor (Jane Adams), who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There, she discovers a treasure trove of traditional English and Scots-Irish ballads, which have been preserved by the secluded mountain people since the colonial period of the 1600s and 1700s. Lily decides to record and transcribe the songs and share them with the outside world.

The film's score was written by David Mansfield, who also assembled a roster of female country music artists to perform mostly traditional mountain ballads. Some of the songs are contemporary arrangements, and some are played in the traditional Appalachian music style. The artists include Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Maria McKee, Dolly Parton, Gillian Welch and Patty Loveless. Singers Emmy Rossum, Iris DeMent, and Hazel Dickens, who appeared in the film, are also featured on the soundtrack.

Worth a look if you haven't seen it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songcatcher

 

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Great ep. Knew pretty much of Hank Williams story, but the Bill Monroe stuff was new to me. 

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1 hour ago, RPM said:

Finding out Flatt & Scruggs pissed off Bill Monroe made me smile.

Seems like pissing off Bill Monroe was about as easy as cracking on Bob Stoops or Jade's chili here.

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They almost mentioned my hometown but just said he got a bottle of booze on his way towards Chattanooga. Back then it was US Hwy 11 which goes from New Orleans to New York, pre-interstate system..I imagine my neck of the woods will get it's mention when they hit the 80's.

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Random, but Randy Travis sat in front of me on the plane today. He’s a shell of his former self, but it was great to see him out and about. His wife is a saint!

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Ok csb. Kind of.

Grandfather was president of RCA records and past CMA president in the early 70s.

He had some great stories about trying to work with Willie and Waylon when they broke from the Nashville sound.

How Roger Miller was about the craziest guy in Nashville.

It would be common to go see him and walk into his house in Nashville and see Ray Price, Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins sitting in his living room. I was too young to really appreciate it.

He was backstage when Charley Pride first performed on the Opry stage.

Just some great stories.



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the floor is yours, go on sir...



Ok. So on the interesting front.

1. He passed on the Beatles. Was in NY with a bunch other RCA execs. Listened to a demo or some such. The consensus was RCA had Elvis why would they need this band from England.

2. Brought the Sex Pistols to Australia when he was president RCA Australia. Had the contracts all set to go. Sid Vicious pissed on the contracts right on his desk. My Grandad told them they would never work again. Put the word out and they didn’t. Now I don’t know about the didn’t work again but... I think they kind of reference the no working thing in Sid and Nancy. Can’t remember.

3. You can blame him .. or thank him for John Denver. He signed him ... also Abba when he was president Europe.

4. My grandmother loved Ray Price and I would see him often when he was in Nashville - Franklin when he retired. but I saw Jerry Reed the most. He was really down to earth.

5. He was just a hillbilly from Wheeling WV ... worked his way up from pressing records to President. He had a really good ear (less the Beatles thing). He passed away about 20 years ago.

I have a few gold records he got from some artists. A few pics with Dolly and Milsap. Stiff like that.

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Yeah, you're not going to get to walk after that.

We're going to need some stories. 

I'm avoiding this thread until I get caught up, but that caught my eye. 

I saw Barry Mazor mention this series yesterday. I wouldn't have known of him or Ralph Peer if it wasn't for Otis Gibbs.

I'm saving this thread and the series for the right moment.

Edit: every point is a post. Keep continue 

Edited by cactusflinthead

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I remember talking to mom after the CMA awards where Charlie Rich won for behind closed doors. She spoke to my grandfather and he was red hot bc Rich was out of control loaded. I think that was the year he was president of the Country music association.

He was more of a Nashville sound guy but oversaw probably some of the worst in Nashville offerings (in my opinion)

Kenny Rogers ... stuff like that.
Barbara Mandrel

He spent a decade or so in South America running RCa there. Signed Iglesias (the old man)





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4 minutes ago, TexasBeta said:

I remember talking to mom after the CMA awards where Charlie Rich won for behind closed doors. She spoke to my grandfather and he was red hot bc Rich was out of control loaded. I think that was the year he was president of the Country music association.

He was more of a Nashville sound guy but oversaw probably some of the worst in Nashville offerings (in my opinion)

Kenny Rogers ... stuff like that.
Barbara Mandrel

He spent a decade or so in South America running RCa there. Signed Iglesias (the old man)




 

Your newsletter. I would like to subscribe. 

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Your newsletter. I would like to subscribe. 

You know I wish he had written a book about all that before he died.

He was right there from late 60 to mid 70s - so in the PBS series right after patsy died or so. Episode 4





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Sometimes it's up to us to pry the story out of them. 

I broke out the tape machine for a great aunt. She went from riding a mule to school to watching roads go where there was nothing. 

Write it down, and I say it because I need to. 

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Sometimes it's up to us to pry the story out of them. 
I broke out the tape machine for a great aunt. She went from riding a mule to school to watching roads go where there was nothing. 
Write it down, and I say it because I need to. 

Last one for the night.

He hated John Denver with a real passion. When he was president Australia he gave Denver a good deal of money to cut a new album with new material.

Denver took that money, recorded a live album (an evening with john Denver - 1975) and from what I gather spent and or snorted the rest of the money.

I remember when Denver died, the old mans response was “good”. He was a tough old bird.

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8 hours ago, cactusflinthead said:

I wouldn't have known of him or Ralph Peer if it wasn't for Otis Gibbs.

Now that I know more about Peer, I'm very impressed/pleased that Burns gave him the credit he was due.

And it's hard to pin it on any one thing, but I just love this series - they seem to have a reverence for the source material that they maybe haven't since the Civil War series.  And like their Vietnam series, they do an amazing job of tying events/people to things that happened decades earlier.  It's like they are drawing lines from such-and-such artist in the '50s back to the Carters or Rodgers (or earlier).

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Did not know the story about Chet Atkins and the Carters.   
Every episode has topped the previous.  

Neither did I. I just thought Chet Atkins spring whole from the mind of Fred Gretsch.

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8 hours ago, RPM said:

I would have had a mild to slightly severe stroke if I ever met Jerry Reed.

What a coincidence, I would have had to refrain from stroking it if I had ever met Barbara Mandrell.

Hmmm...that sounded better in my head, but I had such a huge crush on her, and Louise as well.

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4 minutes ago, Chad Fuck said:

Neither did I. I just thought Chet Atkins spring whole from the mind of Fred Gretsch.

He apparently was bestowed with supernatural powers.  Because of his later jazz work, I kind of figured maybe he started out with some kind of formal education/jazz background.  Nope, self-taught, and had to walk miles uphill both ways.

Quote

Atkins became an accomplished guitarist while he was in high school. He used the restroom in the school to practice, because it had good acoustics. His first guitar had a nail for a nut and was so bowed that only the first few frets could be used. He later purchased a semi-acoustic electric guitar and amp, but he had to travel many miles to find an electrical outlet, since his home didn't have electricity

 

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7 minutes ago, Steamboat1874 said:

Hank Williams was and is the "king" of country music in my opinion.

I like what Kristofferson said at the end - if he had lived to be an old man, how many more songs he would have written.

Williams was truly the epitome of the whole "the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long" thing.

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4 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

I like what Kristofferson said at the end - if he had lived to be an old man, how many more songs he would have written.

Williams was truly the epitome of the whole "the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long" thing.

You know all of the great musicians write and perform with an incredible amount of emotion and passion.

The greatest performer I ever saw with this passion was Stevie Ray who I saw live over 1000 times at least.

Hank however wrote songs with more passion than any artist I have ever seen. 

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10 hours ago, TexasBeta said:

Ok csb. Kind of.

Grandfather was president of RCA records and past CMA president in the early 70s.

He had some great stories about trying to work with Willie and Waylon when they broke from the Nashville sound.

How Roger Miller was about the craziest guy in Nashville.

It would be common to go see him and walk into his house in Nashville and see Ray Price, Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins sitting in his living room. I was too young to really appreciate it.

He was backstage when Charley Pride first performed on the Opry stage.

Just some great stories.


 

Remind me never to mention the time I met Jerry Wexler when you are posting in a thread.

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9 hours ago, TexasBeta said:

 

 


Ok. So on the interesting front.

1. He passed on the Beatles. Was in NY with a bunch other RCA execs. Listened to a demo or some such. The consensus was RCA had Elvis why would they need this band from England.

2. Brought the Sex Pistols to Australia when he was president RCA Australia. Had the contracts all set to go. Sid Vicious pissed on the contracts right on his desk. My Grandad told them they would never work again. Put the word out and they didn’t. Now I don’t know about the didn’t work again but... I think they kind of reference the no working thing in Sid and Nancy. Can’t remember.

3. You can blame him .. or thank him for John Denver. He signed him ... also Abba when he was president Europe.

4. My grandmother loved Ray Price and I would see him often when he was in Nashville - Franklin when he retired. but I saw Jerry Reed the most. He was really down to earth.

5. He was just a hillbilly from Wheeling WV ... worked his way up from pressing records to President. He had a really good ear (less the Beatles thing). He passed away about 20 years ago.

I have a few gold records he got from some artists. A few pics with Dolly and Milsap. Stiff like that.

 

 

I'd be stiff like that as well had I got a pic with Dolly.  

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3 hours ago, TexasBeta said:

I haven't looked into the future series topics... but surely they will cover Van Zandt and the Austin / Texas scene.. right?

From looking at the episode titles and the matching soundtrack, the whole Outlaw/Austin scene gets huge coverage - it's one of the main parts of Episode 7's description (specifically mentions Willie and Waylon creating the Outlaw scene), and then Episode 8's description specifically calls out Randy Travis and George Strait as getting back to the roots.

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6 hours ago, TexasBeta said:

I haven't looked into the future series topics... but surely they will cover Van Zandt and the Austin / Texas scene.. right?

 

Episode One | “The Rub” (Beginnings – 1933)

Explore the history of country music, from its deep roots in ballads, fiddle and banjo tunes, church music, and the blues to the beginnings of its mainstream popularity.

Episode 2 | “Hard Times” (1933 – 1945)

Watch country grow in popularity during the Great Depression and World War II as America falls in love with singing cowboys, Texas Swing, and the Grand Ole Opry’s Roy Acuff.

Episode 3 | “The Hillbilly Shakespeare” (1945 – 1953)

See how, amid the cultural changes of post-war America, the hard-driving sounds of bluegrass and honky-tonk are born, and a new star, Hank Williams, emerges on the scene.

Episode 4 | “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1953 – 1963)

Travel to Memphis, where Sun Studio artists Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash usher in the era of rockabilly. 200 miles east, a softer side of country – the Nashville Sound – emerges from the studios on Music Row.

Episode 5 | “The Sons and Daughters of America” (1964 – 1968)

Watch as, in a time of cultural upheaval, country music reflects a changing America, as Loretta Lynn addresses women’s concerns, Merle Haggard champions the common man, and audiences look beyond skin color to embrace Charley Pride.

Episode 6 | “Will the Circle be Unbroken?” (1968 – 1972)

Learn how country music responds to a nation divided by the Vietnam War, as Army captain turned songwriter Kris Kristofferson sets a new lyrical standard, and artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds find a recording home in Nashville.

Episode 7 | “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” (1973 – 1983)

Witness a vibrant era in country music, with Dolly Parton finding mainstream success, Hank Williams Jr. and Rosanne Cash emerging from their famous fathers’ shadows.  The Flying Burrito Brothers reinvent themselves and compete with another California band, the Eagles, to be the top band in country music.  Out in Texas, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings rebel against Nashville and launch the “Outlaw” movement, only to be quickly over-shadowed by the new "King of Country Music", Kenny Rogers.

Episode 8 | “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’” (1984 – 1996)

Learn how “New Traditionalists” like George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds help country music stay true to its roots. Witness the rise of superstars Garth Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus, who dethrone Kenny Rogers as the news "Kings of Country Music", with Shania Twain reigning as the "Queen of Country Music".  An aging Johnny Cash returns to the industry he helped create and sinks into hopeless depression.  The decade closes out with Chris Gaines taking country music in a completely different direction, and Chet Atkins' lifelong dream of the fiddle being dropped from mainstream country music is finally realized.

Spoiler

just kidding

 

Edited by atomheartbevo

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