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“The Hillbilly Shakespeare” (1945 – 1953)

Episode 3 | See how the bluegrass sound spreads in post-war America, and meet honky-tonk star Hank Williams, whose songs of surprising emotional depth are derived from his troubled and tragically short life.
Season 1 Episode 3 Length 1:53:15 Premiere: 9/15/19

Brought to you by:

Funding for Country Music was provided by Bank of America, the Annenberg Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Belmont University, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Rosalind P. Walter and by members of ‘The Better Angels Society,’ including: The Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Schwartz/Reisman Foundation, the Pfeil Foundation, Diane and Hal Brierley, John and Catherine Debs, the Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, the Perry and Donna Golkin Family Foundation, Jay Alix and Una Jackman, Mercedes T. Bass, Fred and Donna Seigel, Gilchrist and Amy Berg, James R. Berdell Foundation, David Bonderman, Deborah P. and Jonathan T. Dawson, Senator Bill and Tracy Frist, Susan and David Kreisman, Rocco and Debby Landesman, Lillian Lovelace, John and Leslie McQuown, Mindy's Hope Foundation, the Segal Family Foundation, Michelle Smith. Major funding was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

Comment on Kentucky logo and a "Check Schedule" button.A close-up of Comment on Kentucky host Bill Bryant smiling in a dark suit and purple tie against an image of Kentucky's capitol building. with a "Check Schedule" button.

Program Details

Country Music

About Country Music

Explore the history of country music – from its roots in ballads, hymns and the blues to its mainstream popularity – and meet the unforgettable characters and storytellers who made it “America’s Music.” Directed by Ken Burns.


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Season 1 Country Music | Broadcast Version Episodes

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

S1 E8 Length 1:54:03 Premiere Date 9/22/19

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

S1 E7 Length 2:19:24 Premiere Date 9/22/19

"Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” (1968 – 1972)

S1 E6 Length 1:51:17 Premiere Date 9/22/19

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

S1 E5 Length 1:54:09 Premiere Date 9/22/19

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

S1 E4 Length 1:50:53 Premiere Date 9/15/19

“The Hillbilly Shakespeare” (1945 – 1953)

S1 E3 Length 1:53:15 Premiere Date 9/15/19

“Hard Times” (1933 – 1945)

S1 E2 Length 1:52:49 Premiere Date 9/15/19

“The Rub” (Beginnings – 1933)

S1 E1 Length 1:51:30 Premiere Date 9/15/19

Episode 3 Preview | “The Hillbilly Shakespeare”

Preview Length 00:30 Premiere Date 9/15/19

Ralph Stanley: The First Song Mother Taught Me

Clip Length 03:13 Premiere Date 9/15/19

Hank Williams: The Songwriter and Performer

Clip Length 08:34 Premiere Date 9/15/19

The Carter Scratch, Travis Picking, Doc Watson

Clip Length 03:17 Premiere Date 9/15/19

John McEuen: Earl Scruggs’ Banjo Style

Clip Length 05:35 Premiere Date 9/15/19

Don Maddox: The Most Colorful Hillbilly Band in the World

Clip Length 07:24 Premiere Date 9/15/19

Loretta Lynn Describes Her Songwriting Philosophy

Preview Length 00:30 Premiere Date 2/1/19

The Tradition Continues | PBS Previews: Country Music

Clip Length 02:40 Premiere Date 7/13/19

A Family Business

Clip Length 04:53 Premiere Date 7/13/19

Making the Film | PBS Previews: Country Music

Clip Length 07:03 Premiere Date 7/13/19

Why Country Music

Clip Length 04:29 Premiere Date 7/16/19

Trailer | Country Music: Live at the Ryman Concert

Preview Length 00:30 Premiere Date 9/8/19

A Look Ahead

Preview Length 00:30 Premiere Date 9/15/19


Country Music: Live at the Ryman Concert

Length 1:54:41 Premiere Date 9/3/19

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