South Arkansas country music icon Johnny Cash will be featured in the premiere episode of Ken Burns’ new 16-hour documentary series, “Country Music.”
Cash was born in Kingsland (Cleveland County) and raised in the Dyess community of Northeast Arkansas.
The episode will focus on singer/songwriter Johnny Cash and his upbringing in Dyess.
“Country Music,” is an eight-part series directed by Burns and produced by Burns and his long-time collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey. The broadcast premiere will be at 7 p.m. Sunday on AETN.
The film follows the evolution of country music over the course of the 20th century as it eventually emerges to become “America’s music.” The first four episodes will air Sunday through Wednesday, September 18, and the final four episodes will air Sunday, September 22, through Wednesday, September 25 at 7 p.m. each night.
Immediately following each episode, AETN will air the local series “Talkin’ Country.”
“Country Music” explores crucial questions “What is country music?” and “Where did it come from?” while focusing on the biographies of the trailblazers who created and shaped it – from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe 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.
Duncan, Burns and Dunfey spent eight years researching and producing the film, conducting interviews with more than 100 people, including 40 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame (17 of those interviewed have since died).
Among those storytellers are historian Bill Malone and a wide range of country artists such as Marty Stuart, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson and Naomi and Wynonna Judd, as well as studio musicians, record producers and others.
The film uses more than 3,200 photographs and over two hours of archival footage, including rare and never-before-seen photos and footage of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash and others.
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