September 24, 2019

Ken Burns' Country Music

I love learning through documentaries. The combination of the narration, visuals, film footage, music, and interviews make it so easy for concepts to sink in. The recent documentary on PBS has been one of my favorites to date. Even if you don't dig country music, it's a fascinating lesson in 20th century American history. My dad would often break out into tunes I had never heard before, at times with a strange, yodelly twang. Those songs make so much sense to me now after seeing the segments from the 1930s and 40s. The sections of the documentary from the 1950s and 60s made me the most tingly. This music always makes my ears prick up. The backstories are so interesting to me – how one's life progressed from being dirt poor, troubled or doubted by others to becoming world-famous and influencing so many. Yippee-ki-yay!

I love the talent that came out of 1950s and 60s country music:

Johnny Cash    Patsy Cline     The Everly Brothers
Elvis Presley    Kris Kristofferson    Dolly Parton
Faron Young    George Jones    Tammy Wynette
Jeannie C. Riley   Bobbie Gentry   Loretta Lynn 
Glen Campbell    Don Gibson    Marty Robbins
Brenda Lee   Hank Snow   Hank Williams

If you have any interest in music, it'll behoove you to catch this series.
I challenge you not to tap your feet and want to sing along.

Above are photos of my parents in the 1930s during the Great Depression when they were hearing folks like Gene Autry and Jimmie Rodgers while gathered around the radio like the Walton family.