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Buddha (Dan Mills)

Ken Burns Documentary on PBS

My thoughts on the first installment of Country Music, the Ken Burns Documentary on PBS.


The foundation was set in this first installment of the eight part show. I am a history buff so enjoyed the look back at where country music got it’s beginnings and the instruments that helped make it what it has become.


I think it is difficult to understand how people wanted to be entertained in the 1920’s and earlier, with music. It was mostly sung in the fields or front porches and churches. When Ralph Peer found an audience for recorded music and people willing to buy the records it became a money-making venture.


I was humored and yet saddened by A.P. Carter’s search for new music to record. The family had made a lot of money with their early recordings and the pressure was on to produce more. Today Nashville has many people who are song writers who are trying to gauge what the public wants to hear and will buy.


The sad story of Jimmie Rodgers was heartening as he found a sound that people loved. The information in the show that people paid a dollar each to get into a theater to see and hear Jimmie Rodgers when it cost a dime to get into the same theater to watch a movie.


The story line as I have followed this documentary is every artist to come has a connection to previous stars. It is one long line of succession to today. I can’t wait to watch the next episodes as they get to the meat and potatoes of classic country music.