Last week, Riley Green’s song “Bury Me in Dixie” disappeared from streaming services and other music outlets unannounced. Very similar to the situation involving Confederate Railroad, the backlash from the removal of the song has received significantly more attention than any outrage that preceded it.
When the Ken Burns documentary was first announced a few years ago, the hope was the film could act like a big reset button on the status of country music, and give a boost to many of the songs and artists abandoned by radio in the present day. It has been a big boon in sales and streams for many of the classic country artists featured.
If you’re a country music fan and are disappointed that your favorite artist didn’t get enough screen time in the Ken Burns film on country music, well guess what, your favorite genre did, and by the most revered documentary filmmaker of our time, and before rock n’ roll, pop, the blues, soul music, or hip-hop.
Alan Jackson, Allen Reynolds, Bill Monroe, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bluebird Cafe, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Conway Twitty, Dayton Duncan, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Don Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Glen Campbell, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Cash, Kathy Mattea, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Lil Nas X, Little Big Town, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Miranda Lambert, Nanci Griffith, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Rick Rubin, Ricky Skaggs, Rosanne Cash, Ryman Auditorium, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Judds, Toby Keith, Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill
Undoubtedly, you could not tell the story of country music in the late 60’s and early 70’s without broaching the political upheaval and countercultural revolution roiling American society at the time. But the time spent on stories that were only proxies to country music bogged this episode down in stretches.
Billy Sherrill, Bob Dylan, Charlie Daniels, Don Chapel, Earl Scruggs, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Ken Burns, Kris Kristofferson, Leon Russell, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Shel Silverstein, Tammy Wynette, The Byrds, Will The Circle Be Unbroken?
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, it covered a lot of performers.
Bobbie Gentry, Buck Owens, Charley Pride, Connie Smith, Dolly Parton, Don Rich, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Faron Young, Jeannie C. Riley, Johnny Cash, Ken Burns, Lloyd Green, Loretta Lynn, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Ralph Emery, Roger Miller, Ronnie Milsap, Wynton Marsalis
The fourth installment of the eight-part Ken Burns documentary on country music laid out in no uncertain terms how country music became a well-ordered business in the aftermath of the death of Hank Williams, and during the rise of rock n’ roll as the most popular genre in America, putting pressure on country music.
Bill Monroe, Carl Perkins, Chet Atkins, Cowboy Copas, Don Gibson, Elvis Presley, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Jean Shepard, Johnny Cash, June Carter, Ken Burns, Loretta Lynn, Merle Kilgore, Owen Bradley, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Ray Price, Roger Miller, Sun Studios, The Kingston Trio, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson
The first episode of the Ken Burns Country Music documentary tasked itself to define what country music is by delving deep into its origins and original purveyors. The second episode called “Hard Times” began the work of explaining why the music means so much to so many people.
Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Monroe, Bob Wills, Chet Atkins, DeFord Bailey, Delmore Brothers, Don Maddox, Eddie Stubbs, Gene Autry, Jean Shepard, Johnny Cash, Ken Burns, Mac Wiseman, Marty Stuart, Minnnie Pearl, Ray Benson, Roy Acuff, Roy Rogers, Sons of the Pioneers, The Carter Family, The Monroe Brothers, Tommy Duncan, Vince Gill, Wyalon Jennings
As first announced by Saving Country Music earlier this summer, Marty Stuart’s Magum Opus The Pilgrim is being reissued and for the first time on vinyl, along with an accompanying CD with 10 bonus tracks taken from the project and other recorded material Marty has amassed over the years. The 20th Anniversary Edition of The […]
It’s the voice of Tanya Tucker that compels the country listener to seek her records out. It’s always been a mixture of worn leather and honky tonk smoke, even at a tender age. Some may call it husky, including those who mean that in a demeaning manner. But it’s hard not to fall prey to the “lived it” notions the tone of Tanya Tucker conveys, and how it cracks in all the right places to punctuate emotions in the most important moments.
The Man in Black is gone, but his legacy won’t be forgotten. Johnny Cash’s presence not just as a country music star, but as an American icon has made him a cultural figure that transcends genre and entertainment, and we’ve seen that in the way he’s been embraced in all walks of life. A new website and restaurant have been launched.
Johnny Cash and his imposing figure will now forever be standing at the foot of 999 S. Cooper Street in his second hometown of Memphis, Tennessee after a new bronze statue in black patina was just unveiled at the location. Based off a 1962 portrait of Cash by photographer Leigh Wiener, the statue honor’s Johnny’s first public performance.
Marty Stuart, who’s the documentary’s lead contributor and a staunch preservationist of country music’s history, says the new film is “like the cavalry coming.” Marty Stuart says, “The traditional end of country music sometimes gets overshadowed by the contemporary … It’s an awesome gift.”
You’ll be hard pressed to present another country music personality more responsible for helping to save country music in the last quarter century than Marty Stuart. Though he never had the big hits as some of his contemporaries, his work both in the public eye and behind-the-scenes to preserve the legacy of country music is unparalleled.
Johnny Cash’s legacy has already been firmly cemented into American history, and well beyond his contributions to country music. Only fitting that he would become the first country music artist, and one of the few cultural icons beyond the political realm to ever to have his likeness memorialized in the United States Capitol.
We could say that it’s a strange time in country music when someone like the front man of the California indie rock band The Mother Hips is releasing a record, and it’s 95% more country, a leagues better than most of what you’ll hear in the mainstream of country today. But in truth this is not a new phenomenon.
This album is a story of America, and who better to tell it than Tom Russell. His years have only embellished and refined his wit and craftsmanship, and he never lost his hunger along the way. There are good reasons why Russell is so revered by his musical and literary peers, and those reasons remain evident on “October in the Railroad Earth.”
50 years ago today, New Year’s Eve 1968, Johnny Cash took time from whatever revelry the night might’ve had in store for him to write a letter to himself. It was Cash’s capstone to what he considered the most important year of his career and personal life, and many Cash fans and historians would probably concur.
Thomas Gabriel doesn’t need a history lesson on Johnny Cash; he received one while growing up. In his album ‘Long Way Home,’ Thomas Gabriel takes you through an autobiography of a very turbulent, incarcerated, addiction-riddled life with an eerie connectivity and continuation of the Johnny Cash story.
Encompassing over 16 hours across eight separate episodes, the film will include footage from 56 separate interviews with artists and historians, including interviews with 40 Country Music Hall of Famers, and a few artists who have passed away since film production was commenced.
Like some time-shifting hybrid between a hillbilly preacher and the human vessel for a Johnny Cash voodoo seance, Paul Cauthen and his barrel-chested voice come bounding out of a reality warp with seven new songs packaged together in an EP titled ‘Have Mercy.’
Can you imagine having the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the last six months—something Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, George Strait, and Kenny Chesney never came close to doing—and not even knowing about the massive present-day pop country band you collaborated with to pull it off?
“The results are absolutely exquisite,” Marty Stuart says. “I invite the viewer to come along with me and the Superlatives to Pine Ridge. By way of Reid Long’s camera, we’ll take you deep inside of a world filled with wonderful people, that most people don’t even know exist.”
How should a country purist regard the legacy of Glen Campbell? That should be a really easy question to answer: with class, respect, and appreciation for a man that was an incredible ambassador for the genre through multiple avenues, and a timeless contributor to the country music canon.
In the process of criticizing modern country music, sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture, or fall into “old man’s syndrome” where the past of the genre seems pristine and idyllic in our mind’s eye, and today’s smutty music perpetrated by sellout stars is an abomination to our beloved genre.
Blake Shelton, Conway Twitty, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Pizza Hut, Roy Acuff, Sylvia, T. Graham Brown, Taco Bell, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson