How many of you enjoyed Country Music, a film by Ken Burns? What comes to mind when we say “country music”?
Country music is defined as “a style and genre of largely string-accompanied American popular music having roots in the folk music of the Southeast and cowboy music of the West, usually vocalized, generally simple in form and harmony, and typified by romantic or melancholy ballads accompanied by acoustic or electric guitar, banjo, violin and harmonica.”
Pioneer PBS held three events that gave people from all around Pioneer PBS’ viewing area the opportunity to view a sneak peek of County Music. From Fergus Falls to the Breezy Barn in Tracy to Pioneer PBS’ studio in Granite Falls, each event featured knee-slappin’ live music, boot-scootin’ dancing and thoughtful songwriting.
We also screened a teaser of our locally-produced documentary, Country Music: Made in Minnesota, produced by Diana Pierce and edited by Pioneer PBS' Timothy Hale Bakken.
Each Country Music screening event gathered friends and neighbors from throughout the state who reminisced about favorite songs and childhood memories that revolved around country music. Many of these conversations would start out with “remember when...” Hearing the buzz of conversation is what makes these events so rewarding!
If you watched the full eight-part, 16-hour documentary, you saw country music artists like 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. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people.
Watching these documentaries brought me back to my childhood, when my dad would play his guitar with friends and neighbors. Songs such as Wabash Cannonball, The Yellow Rose of Texas, Take me Home, Country Roads and The Auctioneer were some of the tunes I would hear as his music traveled upstairs to our living room.
If you missed any of the episodes, you can stream them online and on the free PBS video app! Episodes one and two are now only available for Pioneer PBS Passport members, but if you become a member of Pioneer PBS at $5 a month, you can stream all of the County Music episodes — I think it’s a great deal! If you have any questions about becoming a member contact 1-800-372-3178. You can also watch Pioneer PBS’ local documentaryCountry Music: Made in Minnesota!
‘Till next time,
Ginny on the Road