Review – Episode 5 of Ken Burns Country Music Documentary
The fifth installment of the Ken Burns country music documentary zeroed in on the time period between 1964 and 1968, when the United States at large began to be embroiled in tumultuous times, and two separate epicenters in country music began to emerge. Arguably the most egalitarian of the episodes so far, “The Sons and Daughters of America” as it was titled may have started and ended again with the story of Johnny Cash, but it also spent ample time telling the stories of Roger Miller, The Ryman Auditorium, Buck Owens and the Bakersfield Sound, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn, Connie Smith, Bobbie Gentry, Jeannie C. Riley, and many others, including delving into the early portions Dolly Parton’s career. Though some will continue to complain the series hasn’t covered enough performers despite its 16 1/2-hour running time, it’s not from lack of not trying.
After first propping up the legacy of Johnny Cash as a man sworn to social justice and open-heartedness from his friendship with Bob Dylan and the championing of Native Americans through his record Bitter Tears and the story of Ira Hayes, Cash was also portrayed as a pill-popping absentee husband and father who in the middle of the portions of the 60’s was missing just as many engagements as he was making, and failed to chart a single hit. Footage from Cash’s appearance on folk singer Pete Seeger’s television show was hard to watch as Cash thrashed around, clearly very wired on amphetamine pills.
But according to country historian and WSM personality Ralph Emery, nobody took more pills back in the day than Roger Miller. “You’ve got to be careful where you keep your change, and where you keep your pills,” Emery recalls Roger Miller saying. “I got confused, and before I knew it, I’d taken 35 cents.” This was one of many anecdotes about the enigmatic singer and songwriter who has become the favorite of many over the years from both his funny and heartfelt songs.
Following up where Episode 4 left off, Music Row’s “A-Team” of go-to session players were paid specific attention to, especially steel guitar player Lloyd Green, who got a moment to play a little steel live as part of his interview. “It was an assembly line process,” said Green of The Nashville Sound era in country music. “But the magical moments were really magical.”
This set the table for the introduction of The Bakersfield Sound, and especially Buck Owens and his Buckaroos. Originally born in Texas and migrating to California as an “Okie,” Buck Owens considered The Nashville Sound “Soft, easy, sweet recordings, and then they pour a gallon of maple syrup over it … I always wanted to sound like a locomotive coming right through the front room.” And he did so with lead guitarist and harmony singer Don Rich, specifically catering their sound to AM radio with twangy treble tones, and making country music cool for many through their association with the Beatles who recorded “Act Naturally.”
The film also talked about the “Buck Owens Pledge” he posted in Music City News at the time. How many of today’s country artists would ascribe to something similar?
Loretta Lynn was also revisited, and deeply in the episode. Unlike the other artists in Nashville at the time, Lynn’s producer Owen Bradley encouraged her to write her own songs, and didn’t try to polish up her music with strings and choruses. The result was some of the most honest, and forward-thinking songs of the era, giving a voice to women in a way even rock n’ roll wasn’t doing at the time. Lynn’s catalog gave plenty of material for Ken Burns to delve into the cultural revolution happening in the United States at large in the mid and late 60’s, which segued well into the career of Charley Pride.
Though the big points of Charley Pride’s early career were all touched on—including how he played in the Negro Leagues of baseball and later the minor leagues of MLB before becoming a country star—his relationship with Faron Young was specifically singled out. Faron was the most opinionated of the country stars at the time (and the most racist, it was inferred), but counter-intuitive to his reputation, Pride ended up going over well with Faron, with the “Hello Walls” singer concluding, “Charley Pride, you sing a fine song,” and even defended Pride when a DJ said he wouldn’t play Charley because he was black.
Even though early promo materials tried to hide the fact that Pride was African American, eventually he went to be widely accepted in the genre. Ralph Emery—who had a few great anecdotes in the episode—told the story of Charley Pride walking out on stage for the first time for a big audience in Detroit, Pride cracking a joke about his permanent tan, and winning over the crowd immediately. Pride went on to be embraced as a Grand Ole Opry member and CMA winner, with race not seen as a significant factor.
Though the presence of Wynton Marsalis has been questioned in this documentary, he made a good point surrounding Charley Pride’s story, saying, “The musicians accepted [black performers] when the culture did not accept. There’s a truth in the music. And it’s too bad that we as a culture have not been able to address that truth. The art tells more of a tale of us coming together.” Again, race in country music, in both it’s ugly and positive sides, was done justice by Ken Burns in the episode, despite some criticisms in early reviews that the issue wasn’t broached properly in the film.
Nobody would question Dwight Yoakam’s presence in this film (though he did flub some lyrics in his first appearance). His cannonizing of Merle Haggard in Episode 5 made for one of the most touching moments of of the film so far, for the audience, and for Yoakam himself when he became choked up reciting the lyrics of Haggard’s “Holding Things Together.”
“Merle Haggard is one of the greatest poets ever in American music, independent of genre,” Yoakam proclaimed in the episode, and sang numerous lines from Haggard songs as the story of The Hag—from being raised in a boxcar, becoming a juvenile delinquent and escaping from jail 17 times, and reforming himself in San Quentin—unfolded in the film. “I think for me, just Merle Haggard all by himself saved country music,” Ronnie Milsap said, while Emmylou Harris said you could use any Merle Haggard record to define what country music is.
Another high point of the episode was Marty Stuart recalling the first time he ever met future wife Connie Smith. She was a fast-rising country star, and he was just a kid at the time. But he said to himself, “I’m going to marry her someday.” And 25 years later, he did. Marty Stuart speaking about how the Grand Ole Opry had become the place for “The Sons and Daughters of America” is where the episode derived its name. Stuart continues to be one of the best assets of this film, and hopefully his presence turns some people on to his music, which is just as impressive.
Episode 5 of the Country Music documentary tried to cover a lot of ground, and did so admirably. There will still be people complaining about what was not touched on, including artists and subjects that will be covered in future installments. And just like in Episode 4 when a little too much time was spend on rock n’ roll, perhaps the folk and counterculture moments could have been dialed back just a bit to get one or two more mentions of country legends in.
The episode concludes with Johnny Cash finally getting sober, playing his legendary concert at San Quentin that was turned into one of the most iconic country music records ever, and eventually marrying June Carter.
For those wondering how in the world George Jones and Tammy Wynette haven’t been covered yet, they are the focus in the first part of Episode 6 to air Tuesday, as is Kris Kristofferson, another African American performer in Stoney Edwards, along with many other artists as Country Music heads into the 70’s.
Episodes 1 thru 5 can now be streamed online.
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September 23, 2019 @ 8:58 am
I’m excited to get into Buck Owens when I watch tonight. I was introduced to him and his music by “Cocaine and Rhinestones” and have been a big fan ever since.
September 23, 2019 @ 8:59 am
Dwight Yoakam’s commentary about Merle Haggard and Holding Things Together was absolutely moving. Dwight, Emmylou and Ronnie Milsap were already three of my favorite artists. After hearing them talk about Merle last night, l love them even more.
September 23, 2019 @ 8:59 am
This episode showed how ridiculously awesome Charley Pride and Loretta Lynn are without any need to mythologize them. And if a Hollywood producer didn’t know Haggard’s life story, it would be rejected as a script for being implausible.
John R Baker
September 23, 2019 @ 9:57 am
I thought they tied the narration together cleverly with the infamous hug. It boggles my mind that Charley Pride was not made a member of the Grand Old Opry until 1993.
September 23, 2019 @ 10:04 am
It wasn’t that he wasn’t offered membership. They have to agree to a certain number of performances at the Opry per year. Charley may not have been willing to give them that until then. There are some other big stars who aren’t members of the Grand Ole Opry for similar reasons. Of course, Crystal Gayle was just made a member in the last few years. I don’t know what she could have been doing that might prevent her from wanting to join any sooner either.
John R Baker
September 23, 2019 @ 11:19 am
I wondered if their might be something like that. They way I have seen them handle it at times like surprising people on stage leaves the impression that nobody ever says no.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:42 am
Notice George Strait isn’t a member. Nobody’s gonna tell George when and where he has to sing.
September 23, 2019 @ 6:08 pm
Dwight Yoakam’s not a member either and I’ve always wondered about that. I read somewhere that they make you agree to at least 10 shows per year although there are many members who don’t pay those dues. There are quite a few people who have appeared many times and haven’t been invited (Miranda Lambert, Eric Church) while they’ve inducted new acts like Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs. I’ve always wondered about their selection process.
September 23, 2019 @ 9:04 am
George and Tammy better get the first hour of the next episode. Thus far, Bob Dylan and The Beatles have had more time than George Jones. Unbelievable.
September 23, 2019 @ 9:15 am
After touching briefly on the folk revival and it’s ties to old time and bluegrass, the next episode will go deep into the story of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:01 am
yeah you can’t create a valid documentary on country music and get through 1968 without mentioning George Jones other than passing sentence. Meanwhile we had to hear Dylan and Cash absolutely struggle to get through a Cash song. Shit sounded like complete ass, and Burns went back to it like 3 times like it was some masterpiece, shit sounded terrible. Those side stories about Dylan have no place in a country music 16 hour episode. It just struggles to bring the story together about the true evolvement of country music. Burns focus should have been on Hank and Lefty as the driving characters (from Jimmie Rodgers ET and Acuff influence) and then his next main characters should have leaned on Jones and Hag (heavily Hank and Lefty proteges), and then branch other artists and their unique perspective to the genre (Cash, Buck, Loretta, Dolly, Tammy) as the side stories. It would have tied the story and evolvement of that sound much more cohesively, however Burns is too obsessed with discussing random tidbits about Cash. I keep saying I should wait until this ends to see how I feel, but I can already see where Burns has led this show.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:54 pm
The entire life of George Jones will be covered in the segment Tuesday night, just like the entire life of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard was. They won’t just start at 1968 and let you figure out the rest. George Jones came to prominence in the 70’s. That’s when he released “The Grand Tour,” and “The Door,” and many of his other classics. In fact the case can be made that the biggest era for George Jones was the early 80’s with “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Tennessee Whiskey,” and the like. Some important artists won’t be covered enough in this documentary. Some won’t be mentioned at all. But to grouse about George Jones who will be featured just as much as anyone in the coming episodes is silly. We’re now five episodes in, and this keeps happening. First it was Ernest Tubb, then it was Lefty, then it was Merle, then it was Buck, all of whom have received their fair share of time.
If you really want to know the name of the guy who gets left out, it’s not George Jones. It’s Conway Twitty.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:16 pm
Conway gets left out completely? With all of those number ones? Ridiculous.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:17 pm
Trigger, I assume Conway will be mentioned in the next couple episodes. He wasn’t a huge star yet at this time. I also saw something that said Cash wasn’t mentioned in the first 3 episodes but I don’t think he possibly could have since he came out in 1955 and the 4th show started in 1953 when he was first brought up.
September 23, 2019 @ 5:21 pm
I’ve seen the entire series. Trigger is right, Conway is cut out completely except for a token mention for being Loretta’s duet partner.
It’s still a great series. It would take many more hours to include all the ones left out or barely mentioned.
Episode 7 will be the most controversial in my opinion. That covers 1973-1983 and instead of trying to checklist the many stars from that era the series focuses on cult favs like Guy Clark, Burritos, etc and on Hank Jr, Emmylou and Waylon/Willie for the big stars.
Other than Emmylou and Waylon I personally don’t enjoy these artists but I enjoyed this episode because I learned a lot and expanded my knowledge.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:30 pm
George was well before both Buck and Merle. Buck talked extensively about Jones influence on his own singing style. Merle has talked extensively about George being a big star when he first came out. George was absolutely before Dolly. I disagree on the timeline and depends on your definition of prominence. But to think he wasn’t already an extremely prominent figure in the 60’s in country music would be extremely ignorant. Most were considering him the greatest ever by mid to late 60’s. Now one could certainly argue that the 70’s and early 80’s is when he experienced the most commercial success. I also disagree that a fair amount of time was given to Lefty. As great as the Merle portion was, it was not long enough considering his talent, impact, and influence on the genre. Did we really need to hear about Dylan and Cash, or Cash’s Native American album? IN the grand scheme of country music, could we not cut those 10 minutes and give 10 more minutes to the greatest singer/songwriter in the genre’s history in Haggard?
September 23, 2019 @ 1:43 pm
Again, I agree less time could have been spent on other things, but I trust the filmmakers here to introduce George Jones when they feel like it fits best in the country music narrative and when they can give him their undivided attention as opposed to just mentioning him in passing. Just because he’s just appearing now doesn’t mean they won’t connect all the dots with other performers and the influence he’s had on them, just like they did with Buck and Merle. It’s also the job of the filmmakers to frame country music in the greater culture. I’m glad they mentioned the “Ballad of Ira Hayes.” It was an important moment. I don’t feel Merle was disrespected in any way by mentioning it.
King Honky Of Crackershire
September 23, 2019 @ 4:11 pm
Are you me?
King Honky Of Crackershire
September 23, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
“George Jones came to prominence in the 70’s.”
You need to pull your head out if ever want to be taken seriously as a C(c)ountry music journalist.
Lefty never did get his fair share of coverage.
September 23, 2019 @ 4:27 pm
Huh, I’m really surprised that you’re disappointed in this documentary, Honky.
Lefty and George Jones wouldn’t have been mentioned at all if it was never made. A lot of ungrateful, whining country fans when it comes to this documentary. This is only the second American genre Ken Burns has covered in this capacity.
September 24, 2019 @ 8:02 am
Someone who is constantly complaining finds something to complain about instead of celebrating a 16 hour documentary about something he supposedly loves….shocking.
King Honky Of Crackershire
September 24, 2019 @ 8:20 am
This documentary is playing out so predictably like I an others said it would. Even so, I’m impressed with how incredibly right we are.
It’s basically a Johnny Cash biography, where all the great legends revolve around his life.
September 24, 2019 @ 9:34 am
Let’s not get hyperbolic. The first three episodes barely dealt with Johnny Cash, so it’s a bad biography if that was the intent. Episode 6 is where they went too far in trying to have everything center around Cash. But even then that isn’t my biggest beef. Why spend so much time showing Vietnam era file footage when they could have been featuring more artists?
King Honky Of Crackershire
September 23, 2019 @ 8:24 pm
Amen on the Conway point. It’s unbelievable how they’ve written this. It’s getting disgraceful.
September 23, 2019 @ 8:30 pm
I’ll have a review of Episode 6 up on Tuesday…
September 24, 2019 @ 4:12 am
Like Steve said,
‘Other than Emmylou and Waylon I personally don’t enjoy these artists but I enjoyed this episode because I learned a lot and expanded my knowledge.’
That’s why I really like the approach they’ve used. They are looking at the side roads that lead to Country Music, really establishing how it all ties together. If the timeline suffers a bit because of it, then so be it.
I don’t believe they mentioned how the progression of multi-track recording played out in Nashville (or I missed it). I suspect 3-track was sufficient for music row’s needs well after others had moved on to 4 and 8 track? Something for a little extra study, I suppose.
September 24, 2019 @ 5:58 am
Trigger, you’re right, it had to be a very difficult task putting this all together. You can’t cover everyone to the degree they deserve or it would be 24 episodes. I’m not a filmmaker, so I don’t know what goes into it, but I do know the history of the genre and am passionate about what I think is important. That doesn’t mean that they thought it was essential their story.
September 23, 2019 @ 9:26 am
Enough on Johnny Cash already. Did I miss something? Was he head and shoulders more influential than others? We know that all of our faves won’t get ample mention but the Cash saga is soaking up time better spent on others.
September 23, 2019 @ 9:37 am
Boy do I have some bad news for you!
September 23, 2019 @ 10:09 am
The first three episodes barely mentioned Johnny Cash at all. The 7th episode only mentions him briefly in relation to Rosanne Cash and Marty Stuart. That’s half the documentary. That said, Ken Burns and writer Dayton Duncan have been up front that they see Johnny Cash as a central figure to the story of country music with his ties to The Carter Family, Sun Studios, his revival through his prison recordings, The Highwaymen, and the revitalization of his career with Rick Rubin. They see his his story as one of redemption that parallels country music itself, and he’s a guy that the public beyond country music fans recognize and relate to. Dayton Duncan has said this film was never meant to be an encyclopedia or history book of country. Those things are inherently boring. Instead, they see themselves as storytellers, trying to tell the story of country music in a way that will ingratiate it to a general audience, and perhaps compel them to dig deeper on their own. And in the story of country music, Johnny Cash is a seminal character.
I completely understand the frustrations some feel that other artists aren’t getting enough due, and I will slightly agree that perhaps Johnny Cash is getting too much face time. But at the same time, I think there is an irrational hatred for Johnny Cash by some country fans that is clouding their judgement on this matter. If you don’t like Johnny Cash, you should be applauding Ken Burns for showing BOTH sides of the Man in Black. If you think including the scenes of Cash all wired on Pete Seeger’s show was flattery, you don’t understand the what’s going on here. Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan are portraying the REAL Johnny Cash, not the Hollywood version, and I think this is healthy for all music fans, and the accurate portrayal of history.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:30 am
There is no irrational hatred for Cash. I, like most folks, generally like Johnny Cash and also some of his music. He isn’t the best singer or songwriter, but his story is very important to country music and any documentary on the genre should absolutely have him as an important figure. The problem is Burns is letting the Cash popularity train try to tie everything together and Cash be the main character and it just doesn’t work. Cash was never the greatest talent, never the torchbearer for traditional country music, and never the greatest country musical influence to the starts to come by after. He’s discussing Bob Dylan at large, Cash’s marriage to Vivian and subsequent love with June Carter. Its like a “walk the line” recap. Its exaggerated, just like the entire Cash persona, and somewhere the music just takes a back seat. Leaving Cash and then coming back to him later, meanwhile giving us nice time with the Loretta and Merle (the best parts of the episode), to ultimately come back and close with Cash again. Its just too Cash focused, like we all knew it would be.
John R Baker
September 23, 2019 @ 12:12 pm
I understand the frustration to people who care explicitly about country music. But I think it’s a misunderstood point. Ken Burns documents American history not specifically music genres and this is why he sees Johnny Cash as more central than others. I grew up on Johnny Cash because he made gospel records so my parents liked him. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” was the first thing I remember listening to on the radio and leaving a deep impression on me. I also remember watching his show and getting exposed to new things that I would not have otherwise. When I got older and more rebellious Johnny Cash was the one guy who was still cool with everyone. He was one of the very few people that my parents and my friends thought was respectable. He was an icon everywhere. Later when I got sick of punk and thrash metal and started looking for stuff that was weirder or more like my country roots there was Johnny Cash doing Danzig and Tom Waits songs. Nobody else really did that the same way. He bridged all kinds of divides in American society.
September 27, 2019 @ 6:27 pm
I don’t necessarily like or dislike Johnny Cash, but as someone who happened to be around and listening to country music back then, fans weren’t gaga over him. And his songs lack the nuance of Haggard or the joy of Buck. Again, Cash is the country singer that people who don’t like country music always hold up as the golden god. Burns could have spent more time including artists who were sadly ignored. That said, I do appreciate this series immensely. And I knew going in that it would lean heavily on Cash. I’ll endure that for the pure joy of reliving the amazing memories.
September 23, 2019 @ 10:32 am
So here’s a perspective from someone who was not a country fan growing up.
Johnny Cash is a household name more than basically any other country singer. Ask a country fan who the greatest of all time is, and you’ll get a few different answers: Hank Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard, any number of others… ask someone who isn’t a fan? Johnny Cash is the likely answer.
I’m not saying that it’s right for a documentary aimed at educating country music outsiders on country music not to have a focus on raising awareness of the other critical figures of country music history. But it’s not surprising that a documentary made by people who aren’t dyed-in-the-wool country fans focuses on the singer who has had maybe the greatest impact outside of country music of any country musician.
September 23, 2019 @ 10:53 am
This. Well said and accurate.
September 26, 2019 @ 4:27 am
If it was a bit shit that Cash was almost omnipresent, ‘it’s not surprising’ does nothing to insulate Burns from claims of abitshitness.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:05 am
Although I’m a reasonable fan of Cash, I agree. We didn’t need 10 minutes of look ” what a drugged up train wreck ol Johnny is.” That story has been told everywhere else. Would have been nice to get a Don Rich mention during the Buck section, they showed him playing but made no mention. Should mention that Buck did get a little psychedelic on Whos Gonna Mow Your Grass, but i suppose its still a country song, albeit a strange production. Wynn Stewart deserved a nod but didn’t get mentioned. Dave Dudley maybe?
Love Loretta, but literally every last article and documentary always mention “The Pill” as proof of her social consciousness; ok we get it, but cmon, there’s more to her than that. Waaay more that could be highlighted. Her duet records with Ernest Tubb are must listens IMO. You wanna hear country music, give em a listen.
Haggard, Haggard, Haggard, yes, yes and yes! I’ve been a fan for decades and am finding myself convinced with each day that he is THE greatest songwriter in the history of Country music! No such thing as too much Hag.
Finally, I’m thrilled with the Charley Pride coverage. You just gotta love that man, personality, voice, he’s the real deal.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:52 am
I knew they wouldn’t mention Wynn Stewart. I just had a feeling. They did mention Don Rich though. Something about him playing guitar and singing harmony with Buck.
September 23, 2019 @ 6:19 pm
I thought for sure Wynn would get a much-deserved mention in the Haggard section of episode 5. A disappointment and a real miss there in an otherwise marvelous episode.
September 23, 2019 @ 2:39 pm
Cocaine and Rhinestones does an excellent podcast on Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, with lots of detail about Don Rich. Don is one of my favorite pickers who always seemed to me to be a bit of a square. Boy was I wrong.
September 23, 2019 @ 9:38 am
Was the bit about Charley Pride playing in the majors a typo or did the film actually state that? Because although he did work out with the Texas Rangers during spring training long after he became a celebrity (and eventually became a shareholder in the team), he never came close to the Majors during his playing career. He only played nine games in the minor leagues, none above class C.
September 23, 2019 @ 10:10 am
I revised that slightly. I just wanted to underscore that Pride’s baseball career went beyond the negro leagues and that he actually was a decent player.
September 23, 2019 @ 9:39 am
How crazy talented was Roger Miller? I have been really diving in to his music lately because of this episode (Streamed last week). That line about the Pills was funny, but also makes sense why he died when 1992 when he was only 56 (smoking as well caused that). A song like “Dang Me” is so upbeat sounding and then you listen to the lyrics and you’re like, man this guy is a dick.
John R Baker
September 23, 2019 @ 9:45 am
Calm down, they structure the episode to coincide with career peaks. I watched ahead and it seemed like George and Tammy had more time than anybody else.
September 23, 2019 @ 10:58 am
If you’ll excuse us George Jones fans, the problem is, despite his personal demons, George Jones’ output was very consistent throughout his career. In other words, his whole career was a peak.
By this point in the series (1968) George was already VERY relevant. His breakthrough was in 1955 with “Why Baby Why” and by 1968 had already posted 4 solo #1’s and 24 other top 10’s. He scored solo #1’s in 4 consecutive decades (50’s-80’s), 8 total, and 52 other top 10’s from 1955-1989. This doesn’t account for any of the success he had with duet partners like Tammy, Melba Montgomery, Gene Pitney, Paycheck, Haggard, etc.
Then after all this, George recorded one of his best albums in the late 1990’s, THE COLD HARD TRUTH. George Jones is regarded by many in the industry, past and present, as the greatest Country Music singer ever and to have him presented thus far as an also-ran is inexcusable. This is one of only 2 gripes I have with the series.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:51 pm
Absolutely agree. I do think this documentary introduces Jones in quite an effective way, narratively speaking, and I don’t envy the task the documentary makers had on their hands trying to do justice to such a number of great artists in a short space of time, but Jones would’ve benefitted from appearing across episodes from his emergence, especially as it would’ve allowed wider exhibition of his stunningly good early recordings, which ought not have just been written off as imitations of Lefty and Hank, and also it would’ve really honed in on the development of his voice.
September 23, 2019 @ 6:33 pm
Agree with this, and dreading how when the Jones segment arrives, we’ll have to endure hearing once again about how “….He Stopped Loving Her Today is regarded by many as the greatest country song ever…” Let’s start a thread naming George Jones songs that may not qualify as “greatest country song ever” but are nevertheless greater than “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. I’ll start with just a few: “You’re Still on My Mind”, “Accidentally on Purpose”, “A Good Year for the Roses”, “Things Have Gone to Pieces”….
September 23, 2019 @ 9:59 am
not to single out loretta’s story ….but man …..such an amazing career overcoming odds and circumstances on all fronts by sheer talent and determination . did I mention TALENT ? yes she seemed to have chosen career over family ( for a time , at least ) but it begs the hypothetical question : how many wouldn’t do the same blessed with her honest character , her vocal ability , her writing talents and her natural beauty . when you are bitten by the artistic bug and you have a gift IT IS WHO YOU ARE , you can’t NOT ‘ go for it ‘ …win , lose or draw . you are driven by something unexplainable and loretta’s husband not only understood and supported but promoted her knowing himself that this may be a ‘ way out ‘ for the family .
loretta , as with dolly and merle and others, seemed destined for this success and artistic life regardless of the circumstances they may have been born into or lived . its cosmic …..and should be BEYOND inspiring …particularly to anyone aspiring to an artistic career
September 23, 2019 @ 10:01 am
Again, I do have one quibble about what I think is a major oversight. Some may disagree because he was too much a symbol of “The Nashville Sound”, but Jim Reeves was a huge country music star at the time. He probably did more to spread the goodwill of country music internationally than anyone else before him, but his death – which fell in the time frame of last night’s episode – was not even mentioned. I know not everything can be covered, but they could leave out some minor Cash tidbits to cover some other things of note – such as the death of one of the biggest stars of the era.
September 23, 2019 @ 10:40 am
Jim Reeves was, in some senses, the male counterpart to Patsy Cline. The amazing voice, the association with the Nashville sound, the crossover pop success, the tragic death in a plane crash (even both planes heading toward Nashville and crashing in bad weather). It would have been interesting to see a little more of his life talked about while discussing Patsy.
John R Baker
September 23, 2019 @ 11:43 am
I think it’s because he didn’t leave a lasting impression on American culture. Kids still discover and listen to Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. I’m 50 and I only know who Jim Reeves is because my parents loved his gospel records.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:59 am
I at least hear him in the movie ELF every Christmas. His “Jingle Bells” is a staple of Christmas playlists all over the country each year. There is also an award named after him by the ACMs. I can see your greater point though, but to me, not leaving a lasting impression on American culture is part of what this documentary is setting out to correct by informing and educating about some of the lesser known artists.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:00 pm
How much of an impression has DeFord Bailey left on American culture? See what I mean?
John R Baker
September 23, 2019 @ 3:09 pm
Honestly I think that though his name was forgotten the mark DeFord Bailey left was incalculably large and unique. The way he played harmonica was a ubiquitously American sound and enormously influential.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:06 pm
I agree Jim Reeves is one of the guys that should have been mentioned more. Interesting that in the companion book, the Jim Reeves plane accident IS mentioned at the beginning of the 5th chapter (which follows the 5th episode), as is the death of Ira Louvin. Reeves is mentioned six times in the companion book total. My guess is the mention of his death got edited out for time. Will be interesting to see if it made the director’s cut.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:07 pm
While I am immensely enjoying this series, it presents the Nashville Sound as a betrayal of country music and thus villainous or even somewhat irrelevant. By the same token it presents those who departed from the Nashville Sound as the heroes (Lynn, Owens, Haggard). I don’t mind this narrative since I have little affinity for the Nashville Sound, but the way this story is presented isn’t really conducive to discussing Jim Reeves, who was closely associated with that sub-genre. So that might explain why he was overlooked (unless they return to him in tonight’s episode or something). I can’t say this oversight bothers me too much, but I think it’s the explanation of why he’s been left out.
September 23, 2019 @ 2:45 pm
I don’t know, they covered Eddy Arnold plenty.
September 23, 2019 @ 10:31 am
The interviews with Haggard throughout the series are a treasure. His knowledge is deep and the way he tells anecdotes with just a bit of dry wit and a sly grin are highlights of the show. But the standout of THIS episode for me was Loretta Lynn. She is hysterical. I’d love to watch the full interview they taped with her. It was also very amusing (and endearing) how Jack White was totally in awe of her. Overall, this was my favorite episode so far.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:29 am
likewise , dft ……my favourtie epsiode as well for some of the reasons you point out . also because of the ‘behind the scenes’ look at how the sessions were conducted for almost every ‘artist’ . the session guys WERE the sound of country music ….nashville’s ‘ wrecking crew ‘ …heard on literally thousands of recordings over decades . these guys could make a 16 part doc themselves , I’m sure , with all of the stories they could tell us .
September 23, 2019 @ 10:39 am
The overall narrative got bogged down this ep.
Previously, when they rang of a brief bio of someone they merged it seamlessly into the story.
The most obvious example of shoehorning was the 2 or 3 minutes Bobby Gentry.
Her story felt that it was a post it note they tacked onto the thing in post.
Loving everything I’ve been seeing so far but Ken’s team was trying to wrap their arms around our whole musicial world and they’re fumbling a bit here in the second half.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:09 pm
This is the risk you run trying to mention every artist in a documentary like this. That’s why I’m not going to fault the filmmaker for not trying to cover everyone. I agree the Jennie C. Riley and Bobbie Gentry segments felt like interjections. Then again, they were both historically important, and probably deserved it.
September 23, 2019 @ 6:01 pm
I was also considerably disappointed in Gentry being reduced to a footnote. Loved the Cocaine & Rhinestones episode about her, though!
September 23, 2019 @ 10:42 am
1. I wish they would have mentioned Johnny Russell when they talked about Act Naturally.
2. Marty always says 25 years in interviews, but 1997 when they married and 1970 when they met is 27 years. I guess 25 just sounds better to him?
September 23, 2019 @ 11:18 am
I agree completely with you Michael. Every episode i say George ought to be next and it just ain’t happened. I mean Johnny Cash said George Jones was his favorite country singer so why hasn’t at least that quote made it into the show since it seems like mostly Johnny Cash of late.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:28 am
I love the documenty 1 thing I think you missed was Buddy Holley or was he more pop music. But so far it’s been wonderful.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:08 pm
Buddy was mentioned briefly on the rock ‘n roll-focused episode 4. I don’t think he ever charted on the country charts. He was pretty much completely rock ‘n roll.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:57 pm
Waylon Jennings has yet to have his background explained, so Buddy Holly will likely be mentioned there.
John R Baker
September 23, 2019 @ 11:32 am
Growing up I watched Buck Owens on Hee Haw every week and always thought of him as a TV star more rather than a radio star. I associated him most playing the red, white and blue acoustic guitar. I was surprised later when I got into punk rock and learned more about what else he did because he was a huge influence in that genre. The funny that about that quote was that he was one of the people who could deeply respected across musical and cultural boundaries. I think today anybody who made that quote would be doing it in a very different context. Tyler Childers came sort of near that with his infamous speech.
September 23, 2019 @ 11:55 am
Just curious, how was Buck an influence on punk rock? Never heard that before. Did the Ramones or Sex Pistols cite the Buckaroo’s as a major influence? Not trolling here, just wondering. You will though, see the Cash name on the shirts and Tattoos of quite a few punk bands.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:17 pm
The Bakersfield Sound was a huge influence on some of the more rockabilly-oriented LA punk bands like X and The Gun Club (one of my personal favorites). Yoakam also played with punk bands in the 80s and to some extent was accepted in that scene.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:44 pm
Bands like Los Lobos and Lone Justice were tied into “cowpunk” if I have my facts straight.
From what I can tell, Dwight was cool enough and authentic enough to be accepted by the punk scene.
John R Baker
September 23, 2019 @ 12:34 pm
Honestly I don’t know and may just be talking from personal experience. Johnny Cash was much bigger because of the middle finger poster, Gothic image, and general attitude. I went through every musical sub culture when I was young and he was the only guy I can think of who was really universally respected. But hippies and punks liked Buck Owens because of the respective connection to Beatles and the Stones. Honestly I hadn’t thought about that for a long time because I got bored with punk more than 25 years ago and I can’t cite specifics. What I remember was that most of the time I started talking to or jamming with other punk rockers who played he came up as an important guy in getting the stripped down and jangly sound right.
September 23, 2019 @ 4:16 pm
Thanks John. Some here were making reference to The Palomino scene in California where Dwight played around the Cowpunk bands as well as X and Rosie Flores, The Blasters and others. That makes a lot of sense that some of them liked Buck. At the very least, Dwight may have put him on their radar. At first I was laughing picturing Sid Vicious singing “Act Naturally” in his punk whine with lots of angst and contempt! Not that it ever happened mind you, but a funny idea anyhow.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:10 pm
I’ve been watching the documentary with my wife, who didn’t grow up listening to country. We’re at the point where I’m pretty familiar with the history and I’m annoying her by trying to anticipate which artists get mentioned and what gets said about them.
But I think anyone who says the documentary doesn’t have much to offer serious fans isn’t being honest with themselves. Maybe music scholars or the aficionados who post on this site know a lot of these stories, but the average fan is going to enjoy seeing all of these dots connected and backstories filled in. I didn’t know every single one of those details about Loretta Lynn and Marty Stuart and I bet some of y’all didn’t either.
The Cash haters are not going to like the next two episodes. Burns shows how Cash was not just a musical influence, he was instrumental in building and maintaining country music as an institution and a family. He truly loved the music and took care of and helped the careers of so many people.
And don’t worry, George Jones definitely gets his due. Personally, I wish they would’ve spent more time on Marty Robbins (a better singer) than Jones, but I’m not complaining.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:25 pm
Yeah, Marty Robbins was “The Artist of the Decade” for the 1960s. Other priorities, I guess. I still love the doc, and am looking forward to watching all of my extras on the Blu-ray after the doc proper wraps up. I’m watching the episodes as they air. It’s event television for me.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:15 pm
My best friend does not like country, except for Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, and Johnny Cash. My nephew doesn’t really listen to country music much (he prefers…rap), but he loves Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash’s impact – outside of just the country music sphere – is huge. With that being said, I think Burns could have made an American Masters doc on Cash and minimized his focus on him in this some. I personally love Cash, and I’m a conservative Republican, so it has nothing to do with his politics or his counter-culture cache.
September 23, 2019 @ 7:51 pm
I agree with you. Cash transcends politics in my opinion. For all of his personal demons and contradictions he was about decency, fairness and Faith especially after he got his act together in the late 60s. These are not Republican or Democratic values; they are American values.
Cash gave huge career boosts to two super groups who appealed mostly to conservative audiences: the Statlers and Oaks. To this day members of both groups sing his praises and talk about his kindness. Don and Harold Reid, of the Statlers, co-wrote a book a few years ago about their career. They traveled with Cash from ’64-72 so they saw him from his very worst to his best. However they said they’d never tell a story that made him look bad. That’s how much respect JR commanded 40+ years after the fact.
Duane Allen (Oaks) talks about how Cash wrote them a $25k check(which they didn’t accept) to get them out of debt. This was in he mid 70s when they were still a gospel group.
As a singer, Cash is probably not even in my top 30. However as a man I have a lot of respect for him.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:19 pm
I had forgotten how stunningly beautiful Dolly Parton is until they started showing that early footage of her when she was 21. What an incredible voice, what an incredible talent, what an incredible personality! If I ever forgot what an icon she is, this served to remind me.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:02 pm
I know, right? Good lord she was pretty. That smile and those dimples. She was even a beautiful little girl. I can understand why Porter didn’t want to let her go. There was probably a good portion of the audience tuning in to his show just to look at her.
September 23, 2019 @ 12:42 pm
Forgive me if I missed it on the doc, but have they mentioned Waylon Jennings yet? And if not, when?
September 23, 2019 @ 1:13 pm
Waylon Jennings is a big part of Episode 7, which focuses mostly on The Outlaws and the Texas side of country. It is the only episode that goes over two hours. Waylon will get his due for sure.
H.P. @ Hillbilly Highways
September 23, 2019 @ 12:44 pm
This was probably my favorite episode thus far. Dwight’s emotion talking about Buck Owens and Merle Haggard is a joy to watch. (I’ve seen him play a couple times in the last few years, and both times he devoted a good chunk of his set to covering Merle songs.)
September 23, 2019 @ 1:34 pm
Yes! I remember seeing Dwight last fall, and him playing moving renditions of “The Fugitive” as well as Owens standards like “Buckaroo,” and “Tiger by the Tail.”
September 23, 2019 @ 12:48 pm
5 episodes in, and I’ve already added 53 albums to my library. This series is amazing for that reason alone.
Agree that Cash may be getting a little too much time in relation to others, but that was expected. He’s an easy link to the beginning with the Carter family connection, and then the hand-off to the outlaw movement/Highwaymen coming up in the next episodes; and with his resurgence at the end, his timeline is just too perfect for a storyteller to pass up.
Glad to see Loretta getting her due as one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived. You want to write a good song, just write about real life and tell the truth. And nobody has ever been more honest than Loretta.
September 23, 2019 @ 3:49 pm
I have felt the same way about adding music to my collection! I have picked up so many cds in the last few week after hearing them on the show! I have so enjoyed this documentary and had just finished reading “Country Music USA”and returned from a trip to Nashville, so everything was so relevant. I especially enjoyed learning about the Maddox Brothers and Rose who sadly I had never heard of before. A great backstory of how they came to be and what a fun musical group-paired with Bob Wills music, it is great great stuff!
September 23, 2019 @ 1:07 pm
No, but this next episode he will probably get a mention, and tomorrow night he should get a chunk of time.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:20 pm
This was in reference to Waylon Jennings. It appears to have shifted to the bottom of the page.
September 23, 2019 @ 1:28 pm
I was so excited to see Dwight Yoakam on the documentary last night. I was wondering how long it would be until he poked his head out. And, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard are two of my favorites. After last night, I have even greater appreciation for them and the Bakersfield Sound.
September 23, 2019 @ 2:10 pm
Maybe this wasn’t a huge part of the episode for everyone, but I really liked Tom T. Halls input in the episode. Something about him and Don Williams just always feels “right” and I enjoy their input on most anything… despite only one of the two being around to share their insights these days.
September 23, 2019 @ 2:19 pm
Tom T. Hall talking about the Nashville aristocrats warming up the the rednecks singing through their nose once country performers started contributing to their charities was gold.
September 23, 2019 @ 4:41 pm
One of my favorite lines in this segment by none other than ?r. Wordsmith himself.
September 23, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
I cried my way through this episode. The Charley Pride segment, the Loretta Lynn segment- their music was a huge part of my childhood. And when Dwight sang “Holding Things Together,” wow. THAT is country music. Those lyrics, & the legacy of Merle, THAT is why we need to save country music! I cannot think of any other genre with lyrics that hurt like that and touch the soul like that. A stupid 2 minute rap meme about boobies is NOT country music. We cannot let this genre fall apart any further!
September 23, 2019 @ 4:15 pm
I guess everyone has someone that was ignored or brushed over….that was inevitable. Speaking of Don Williams, unless he was mentioned while i stepped out of the room, he has been overlooked. And Patry Loveless was barely mentioned. People were bound to be disappointed about a few of their favorites….but again, that was probably inevitable.
September 23, 2019 @ 4:24 pm
Don Williams is featured in Episode 7.
Once again, I bold and underscore the need for folks to be a little patient in waiting for their favorite artists to be featured. Some haven’t been, and won’t be. But the majority of complaints I’ve seen for artists being overlooked are for ones being featured in upcoming episodes. It’s a real shame because many viewers are undercutting the enjoyment they could find in this documentary by making holes in its coverage where they don’t exist. It’s tough enough to cover country music as a subject like Ken Burns is trying to do. It’s even worse when many of the complaints are unfounded. The dates for each episode are just loose guidelines. Aside from the final episode, the first 7 cover artists ranging across country music history. Some artists already featured also get get revisited. Patience.
September 23, 2019 @ 5:40 pm
I was surprised at no mention of Johnny Horton, especially considering his tie to Hank Williams through Billie Jean. Also, there’s no mention of Sonny James, whose nickname was The Southern Gentleman. BUT I’m not complaining. I have loved this so far and went through withdrawal during the gap after the first 4 episodes (I am watching in real time).
September 23, 2019 @ 6:05 pm
Irony….I’ve seen all of the episodes….and still did miss the Don Williams feature. Good excuse to re-view episode 7. Thanks.
September 23, 2019 @ 7:28 pm
Watched episode 7 again…still missed the reference to Don Williams…but then I am pretty tired. Is it possible he made the accompanying book, but not the film itself?
September 24, 2019 @ 9:39 am
I asked someone who’s seen the full series and they said Don Williams was mentioned in Episode 7. The companion book has a feature on Don that would have coincided with Episode 7. I am personally watching the series as it unfolds with everyone else to share my opinions in real time. If he’s not featured, I apologize. Every indication I had is that he was.
September 23, 2019 @ 5:11 pm
I am not a country music fan. I am a Ken Burns fan. And I am loving this documentary, as I learn about, and come to appreciate, the talent and commitment of these great country artists. It is interesting to me that it took an outsider like Burns to make this documentary. I have been reading many of the criticisms of the series above, and many of the names cited are unfamiliar to me, and so my question is – why hasn’t Nashville, or the GOO, made an in-depth documentary that does satisfy the obvious desire of true country fans to learn more about their favourite artists of the past? Seems to me it would drive sales.
I am looking forward to the rest of the series, learning more about country music, about America, about human nature, and about the music business, the good and the bad. Fascinating and compelling.
September 24, 2019 @ 8:05 am
Fantastic point you made. Why doesnt the country music industry do something like this? The sad answer is the powers that be in Music Row, don’t care two hoots about the rich history of their genre. They only care about $$$$ right now. They certainly don’t want to promote anything tied to the history or the legends as they wish to change the music into a bland electronic monogenre. Think I’m kidding? Nope, listen to country radio and you will see.
Really cool that you weighed in, its fun to hear the perspective of a Ken Burns fan. Who knows, you might just become a country music fan! Don’t fight it, you hear how great it is , embrace it and welcome aboard.
September 23, 2019 @ 5:20 pm
No comments from me about Cash on this episode. Cash-fatigue has well settled in.
Great to see time spent on Buck Owens. And who cannot love Connie Smith?
I wish Porter would have been presented in a more positive light.
And I think Burn’s segment on Charley Pride was my favorite. I have been concerned about underscoring race too much throughout this series, though I do feel Burns has been fair.
Here is what I take away from his segment on the great and first-class Charley Pride: He was not a black man singing country music. He was a country singer singing great songs who just so happened to be black. Charley is a dignitary and could teach some today a lesson or to.
Ah, the great Faron Young. I was aware long ago of his relationship to Charley. Faron sometimes gets a bad rap. But in his day, he was pure bad-ass. And I mean that as a compliment.
Trigger has been painstakingly reminding us all that every artist cannot be covered. Burns has done a fine job thus far in weaving an overall narrative.
Now I read above where Don Williams would me in the next episode. It’s getting better and better!
September 24, 2019 @ 5:14 am
I think they were more than fair to Porter.
September 23, 2019 @ 5:22 pm
Welp, finally an episode about music. I cheered the part about the Nashville cats, gained more respect for Faron Young, thought my God did Loretta ever have a whale of a voice, and smiled all the way through the Merle portion.
The emphasis on Cash has to do with his being so close to the Carters. Like it or not, he’s an icon. I take back what I said about this series being about money, career, and the industry. It’s clearly about country music as America’s music. Burns wants to tell the biggest story with the biggest frame. Cash fits that bill better than anyone else. If you don’t believe me, ask Merle.
Cash’s influence was more cultural than musical. This reflects the Burns agenda to make country music as “American” a music as jazz, a music for all of us. We’ll see how it goes.
September 23, 2019 @ 5:32 pm
Well, my post just disappeared. I am going to shoot my computer. I will summarize my eloquent thoughts in the following points.
1. Cash-fatigue has well settled in.
2. Great to see Buck Owens get his due.
3. I wish Porter could have been presented in a more positive light. If that is all the reference we have of him in this documentary, he has been dealt a disservice.
4. How can you not love Connie Smith?
5. My favorite part was the Charley Pride segment. He was presented not as a black man singing country music, but as an outstanding country singer who happened to be black. He is a dignitary among us.
6. Faron Young was a bad-ass in his day, and that is a compliment. Some of us were aware of the relationship between Charley Pride and Faron. Hopefully others are now exposed to that.
7. And yes, Trigger, not everyone and everything can be covered. I wish people would read!
8. My all-time favorite in the next episode! Getting better and better.
September 23, 2019 @ 7:59 pm
September 23, 2019 @ 8:12 pm
I found your previous comment in the spam filter. The site is getting especially bombarded with spam comments at the moment, which might be the reason some are having posting problems. We’re working to mitigate it.
September 23, 2019 @ 7:15 pm
If anyone doesn’t already know this, Dwight did a fine cover of “Holding Things Together” on the Tulare Dust tribute album that came out in ’94. That whole album was really good; most folks probably remember the mainstream Hag tribute that came a little bit before that with Brooks & Dunn, Radney Foster, and all those folks, but I thought TD was the better album. It also had great covers of “White Line Fever” by Joe Ely, “Big City” by Iris DeMent, and “Ramblin’ Fever” by Billy Joe Shaver. I bought that album for Shaver’s contribution, but it was well worth the money for all the other songs too.
September 23, 2019 @ 7:18 pm
There are plenty of artists that I wish had been included. I would have loved to see more of the Louvin Brothers, the Stanley Brothers and Steve Earle but I totally understand Burns’ need to pick and choose. The thing is, those of us who are commenting already know plenty about the performers we want to see more of and this doc is also for those who know little or nothing about Country. I couldn’t care less about baseball but I found Burns’ ‘Baseball’ totally fascinating. By providing the Carter Family/Johnny Cash arc Burns gives viewers something to hang on to. Otherwise it would just be a chronological parade of a million different performers, which would lose casual viewers very quickly.
September 23, 2019 @ 10:18 pm
Thinking a little more about this series, there is a definite wish list of artists I think should be mentioned.. The whole Steve Earle, Guy Clark. And Townes Van Zandt group would be a thrill. Frankly, I think these “lesser known” legends (to the general population) would benefit for a spot in this documentary. Sure WE all know how great they are, but I think we are in the minority.
September 24, 2019 @ 5:29 am
In episode 5 Kris Kristofferson recited a great quote from the poet William Blake. Can someone come up with where it came from. The full quote or the poem. I can’t find it anywhere. Thanks
September 24, 2019 @ 9:37 am
I have been asking the same question, and cannot put my hands on it as of yet. Must be a pretty obscure piece of work. Kristofferson was a Rhodes Scholar in English Literature, and he proved his depth of knowledge with that recitation.
September 24, 2019 @ 6:55 am
Jim Reeves deserves better than what he got. He was very popular and brought a lot of people to country music. Also I saw little coverage for Hank Snow, a true giant in country music. Then what about Ray Price, another giant who covered the whole range of country music and was true to all his music styles. Eddie Arnold and Marty Robbins got little coverage for how popular they were and their great influence and longevity. Other singers missing were Johnny Horton, Slim Whitman, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Homer and Jethro. I know Ken needs to tell a story but I wish he would have given the Carter family, including Johnny Cash, less coverage.and worked more people in. Also I tired of bringing up the women’s issue over and over again. The racial issue is another overplayed item that was not really important. People just wanted to hear country music!
September 24, 2019 @ 7:55 am
The main purpose of this series is not to provide a benefit for artists. It is a historical documentary. Yes, many artists who will not be mentioned would, indeed, benefit. But that is not, nor should be, the goal.
September 24, 2019 @ 9:35 am
Good point to underscore.
September 24, 2019 @ 6:39 pm
I understand that, Wayne. I do think that Townes/Clark are more than historically worthwhile though.
September 24, 2019 @ 11:01 am
I couldn’t remember from the first episode when the genesis of the country music genre was explored, but was the name Vernon Dalhart mentioned?
September 24, 2019 @ 11:42 am
I can say that its only because of this series that I’ve heard of Ray Price and now I’m loving his music.
September 24, 2019 @ 11:31 pm
Marty Robbins one of the five greatest country singers of all time was short changed as was Bobby Bare. Little Jimmy Dickens of “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” fame got 10+ minutes while Don Gibson, Sonny James and Don Williams have been erased from country music history by Ken Burns. Other great cross over artists like Bobby Helms, Eddie Rabbit and Crystal Gayle should have at least been referenced for helping to bring a country style to a larger mass audience. Finally, I would say that the great Glen Campbell is probably turning in his grave with the brush off he received from Burns.
September 25, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Ok, I’ve only caught parts- but did I miss George Strait?
September 26, 2019 @ 11:16 am
Don Rich is my dad. Just for the record, he was mentioned in Episode 5. He showed up in a picture in Episode 4 where he played fiddle with Loretta Lynn as a 17-18-year-old. There is also an image of him playing bass behind Charley Pride in a Hee Haw taping. I was talking to my mom last night and we are all super grateful to everyone who commented about him. He was a history buff and would be humbled to be mentioned in this kind of program.
September 26, 2019 @ 11:22 am
Just for the record, your dad is my hero.