If, like me, you watch and love anything Ken Burns produces, you may enjoy the soundtrack for his latest offering on PBS, Country Music. You’ll be forgiven for thinking you have no interest whatsoever in country music. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the genre (with the exception of Bluegrass), I love this soundtrack because the music on it tells the story just as deftly as Peter Coyote narrates the film. And, an important story it is. About this documentary/soundtrack, Ken Burns says, “…as we got into it, we saw that it was as real, important, and emotionally compelling as any film we’ve made.” Maybe we all need a reminder that country music was here first and was responsible for the creation of rock & roll, country rock music, and the rockabilly sound.
The first disc is a tribute to the early roots of country music, the “hillbilly” songs. You’ll hear several songs from the legendary Carter Family, Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff. Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Hank Williams, The Stanley Brothers, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Ray Charles are included on disc two. The musical legends continue on discs three through five and just go on and on: Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, The Byrds, Kris Kristofferson, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Townes Van Zandt, Vince Gill and Roseanne Cash, to name a few.
Okay, now’s the time to tune up your fiddle and download the entire five-disc soundtrack available on Freegal, the library’s streaming music service. You just might find you like country music a little more than you ever thought possible. Check out our website for details!