Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

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Strider
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Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Strider » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:32 am

I dd not watch the Ken Burns 16-hour documentary on country music when the segments were aired on PBS. Am considering gifting the DVDs to someone who loves country music and is knowledgeable about its history and traditions.

Can I have feedback from those who did watch the series as to its historic and artistic merit.

Strider

Dottie57
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:39 am

I did not see it either but have watched many other of his documentary series. From that perspective I say buy it.

daheld
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by daheld » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:44 am

I am a fan of real country music and a history buff, as well as a huge Ken Burns fan. It's basically impossible to rate Burns' work against each other, but I will say that I enjoyed this one more than anything he's done. Buy it.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:20 am

daheld wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:44 am
I am a fan of real country music and a history buff, as well as a huge Ken Burns fan. It's basically impossible to rate Burns' work against each other, but I will say that I enjoyed this one more than anything he's done. Buy it.
+1

goblue100
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by goblue100 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:50 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:20 am
daheld wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:44 am
I am a fan of real country music and a history buff, as well as a huge Ken Burns fan. It's basically impossible to rate Burns' work against each other, but I will say that I enjoyed this one more than anything he's done. Buy it.
+1
+2

The first two episodes on the origins of country music might be hard to watch for some people, but I enjoyed learning the history. Burns always makes it come to life for me.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns

Austintatious
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Austintatious » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:07 pm

It's a remarkably comprehensive history of country music and a wonderful walk down memory lane as one is reacquainted with all those artists and their works, and is educated on the parts they played in the development of the genre over the years. It would be an excellent gift.

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CAsage
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by CAsage » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:15 pm

I have watched 5/6 of the episodes, and loved it. It's a very comprehensive history of the social times, early artists, cross-cultural influences, and many artists who developed in those times and influenced the genre. Great history of a truly American art. Would make a great gift. I will also observe ... I think if you donate $120 to PBS you can get a "PBS Passport" which allows you to stream all their shows for a year. Then you also have access to their other fine shows. Make a donation in someone's name and get them a year of PBS?
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by dsmclone » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:48 pm

Not a huge country music fan but I loved it.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Steelersfan » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm

I'm not a country music fan at all, but I loved it too.

Alf 101
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Alf 101 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:51 pm

I'll add to the chorus, I watched and enjoyed it as well.

For a serious fan of country music, you might criticize it for having more breadth than depth. That said, it had great breadth. I was surprised how many of the songs were familiar, and how many of the stories were new to me about singers and artists whose names I'd known. And it left me humming "Are You Sure Hank Done It That Way" for close to a week.

I think it would be a fine gift.

nodak
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by nodak » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:39 pm

I've watched all but the last one, but I'm a big fan. Agree with Alf 101 that it is more broad than deep. It touches on a lot of different artists in each episode. I think it would be a great gift for someone who is interested in country music.

Between Country Music, Nova, Nature, and Rick Steves, it makes my $5 a month for PBS Passport totally worth it.

Kenny911
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Kenny911 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:10 pm

I watched the entire series and the celebration concert and thought it was fantastic. The funny part is that I'm not a country music fan but after watching the series, I started to listen to some of the older country music from the 60's-80's. Buy it!

gailwinters
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by gailwinters » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:19 pm

I am a huge country music fan, my DH is not, and we both enjoyed the series. I had seen so many of the performers in concert over the years, and it brought back a lot of fun memories. It would be a great gift!

malabargold
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by malabargold » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:55 pm

Country music is a stew - now days most include old time/traditional/traditional-plus/Texas swing/bluegrass/folk/Americana, etc, in the broad genre.

Watching live performances is the best way to gain an appreciation.

Try “Merlefest” in Wilkesboro NC sometime - the annual
Woodstock of Country Music

https://merlefest.org/lineup/

planetmike
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by planetmike » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:24 am

The series was well worth the investment of time. I missed one episode, and my local library has a looong waiting list to check out the series.

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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Artsdoctor » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:01 pm

It's extraordinarily well-documented. If someone you know likes musical history, it'll be perfect. If they only like one type of country music from one general era, they may not be interested in investing the time in watching the series. Country music is a BIG topic and covers a huge geographic area, and yet he does it in a very methodical way that really puts things in perspective.

Seal the Deal
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Seal the Deal » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:51 pm

I'm far from a fan of country music, but I very much enjoyed what I saw of the series. I have no idea about the historic or artistic merit, but parts of it were quite interesting.

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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by andypanda » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:33 am

"It's extraordinarily well-documented."

I read a Marty Stuart interview the other day. He talked about writing Ken Burns early on and volunteering his time, knowledge, collection, phone book, etc. When they sat down to go through the series almost frame by frame to see if he saw any problems, he told them that he was only 11, and not 12 like they said, when he saw Connie Smith sing and got her autograph and told his mother that he was going to marry Connie Smith one day. He'd been telling people that story his entire life and was sure he was 11.

They pulled out the calendars and research and showed him he was 12 when it happened. :) No wonder it took them 8 or 9 years to put the series together. And they probably have enough interviews and videos to do at least 3 or 4 more series on the subject. (It's hard to fault his memory of his early years because he was busy. He dropped out of school at 13 to tour with Lester Flatt.)

He and Connie Smith got married in 1997 iirc.

My wife likes classical music and '60s rock and roll. She watched every minute of the country series and completely enjoyed it.
___________

Trivia: Did you know that Dolly Parton wrote Jolene and I Will Always Love You on the same day?

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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by daheld » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:07 am

andypanda wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:33 am
Trivia: Did you know that Dolly Parton wrote Jolene and I Will Always Love You on the same day?
I did know this. Dolly is often unfairly categorized based on her appearance (ala her joke "it takes a lot of money to look this cheap"), but she is a brilliant songwriter and artist, not to mention an incredible humanitarian.

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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:51 am

daheld wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:07 am
andypanda wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:33 am
Trivia: Did you know that Dolly Parton wrote Jolene and I Will Always Love You on the same day?
I did know this. Dolly is often unfairly categorized based on her appearance (ala her joke "it takes a lot of money to look this cheap"), but she is a brilliant songwriter and artist, not to mention an incredible humanitarian.
Not a big listener of country, but I certainly enjoyed “Jolene” and I think I remember the second song too. She is a fabulous singer and song writer.

gailwinters
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by gailwinters » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:38 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:51 am
daheld wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:07 am
andypanda wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:33 am
Trivia: Did you know that Dolly Parton wrote Jolene and I Will Always Love You on the same day?
I did know this. Dolly is often unfairly categorized based on her appearance (ala her joke "it takes a lot of money to look this cheap"), but she is a brilliant songwriter and artist, not to mention an incredible humanitarian.
Not a big listener of country, but I certainly enjoyed “Jolene” and I think I remember the second song too. She is a fabulous singer and song writer.
I love the story of how she turned Elvis down when Colonel Parker wanted him to record “I Will Always Love You” because she would have to give up half of the publishing rights to the song. Good decision on her part, but pretty gutsy (and probably scary) at that time.

daheld
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by daheld » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:41 pm

gailwinters wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:38 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:51 am
daheld wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:07 am
andypanda wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:33 am
Trivia: Did you know that Dolly Parton wrote Jolene and I Will Always Love You on the same day?
I did know this. Dolly is often unfairly categorized based on her appearance (ala her joke "it takes a lot of money to look this cheap"), but she is a brilliant songwriter and artist, not to mention an incredible humanitarian.
Not a big listener of country, but I certainly enjoyed “Jolene” and I think I remember the second song too. She is a fabulous singer and song writer.
I love the story of how she turned Elvis down when Colonel Parker wanted him to record “I Will Always Love You” because she would have to give up half of the publishing rights to the song. Good decision on her part, but pretty gutsy (and probably scary) at that time.
All hail Queen Dolly.

rterickson
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by rterickson » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:12 pm

Steelersfan wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm
I'm not a country music fan at all, but I loved it too.
+3

I detest modern country music, but loved this series.

Just ordered the set as a Christmas gift.

andypanda
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Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

Post by andypanda » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:25 pm

"and I think I remember the second song too."

You may have heard it in the '70s, '90s, '00s, etc. Two words, Whitney Houston.

https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainm ... s-love-you

""I Will Always Love You," which Parton originally wrote in 1972, has long been a chart-topping hit.

It became a No. 1 hit on the country music charts after its release in 1974. Decades later, actor Kevin Costner brought it to composer David Foster, who rearranged the song as a pop music ballad for Houston, who recorded it for the 1992 film, "The Bodyguard." The film was a blockbuster, and the song enjoyed 14 weeks at the top of Billboard's Hot 100. It became the anthem of Houston's career.

Parton said she didn't know how Foster had rearranged her song until she heard it on the radio months later while driving in her car.

"All of a sudden I hear this- this a capella sound, I just hear this, 'If I should stay,' and it didn't register, and I thought, 'what is that?'" Parton said. "And just still just kind of- 'That's my song,' but it still didn't register it was Whitney, because it was just this solo voice, and then all of a sudden it went into the 'I will always love you,' and I thought I was gonna wreck. It just overwhelmed me."

The day after Houston's death on Feb. 11, "I Will Always Love You" was No. 1 on Billboard's music charts and was the No. 1 downloaded song on Apple's iTunes. Houston's 2000 album, "Whitney: The Greatest Hits," which includes the song, became the leading album, knocking Adele's Grammy-winning "21? from the top slot.

Singer Jennifer Hudson's stirring tribute performance at the 2012 Grammys and the TV show "Glee's" rendition of "I Will Always Love You," also helped the song make a resurgence."

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