About the Film

Ken Burns Explores the History of Country Music

Country Music explores questions –– such as “What is country music?” and “Where did it come from?“–– while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created and shaped it — from 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 — as well as the times in which they lived. Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people. No one has told the story this way before.

Vist Bristol Today!

Bristol’s reputation as a Mecca for music was launched in 1927, along with the careers of musical legends the Carter FamilyJimmie Rodgers and others, in what has been lauded the “Big Bang” of country music — the historic Bristol Sessions.

How big a role did the 1927 Bristol Sessions play in country music? The legendary Johnny Cash called them “the single most important event in the history of country music.” In 1998, Congress designated Bristol the official “Birthplace of Country Music.” Today, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum keeps local music traditions alive and continues to tell the story of the musical and cultural heritage of the region, its role in the birth and development of country music, and its influence on music around the world.

Photo Gallery

Photos of Ken Burns Visit to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in March 2019.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

The Birthplace of Country Music® Museum, a 24,000 square foot facility, which opened in August, 2014, in affiliation with the Smithsonian Institute, tells the story of Bristol’s musical heritage. The Museum provides the BCM with a new, permanent facility to house its operations, including the museum, educational programs, and artistic programming.

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