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Ken Burns and co-producers will visit Bristol next month in anticipation for country music doc

Hannah Swayze • Feb 20, 2019 at 12:00 AM

BRISTOL—Ken Burns and fellow producers of the new documentary film “Country Music” will visit the the genre’s birthplace for a preview event next month.

Ken Burns, the prolific and award-winning documentary filmmaker and his co-producers Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey will visit Bristol March 24 for a sneak preview and to hold a panel discussion at the Paramount Center for the Arts, hosted by PBS.

The film, directed by Burns, follows the evolution of country music in the 20th century from its roots and first recordings to its ups and downs through the century as it becomes, “America’s music.”

According to a news release from PBS, “Country Music” dives deep into the genre, making the documentary 16 hours long. It’s divided into 8 parts and features interviews with more than 100 people, including 40 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. It has more than 3,200 photographs, 600 music cues and hours of archival footage including some never-before-seen photos. The Bristol Sessions will be featured in part one.

Bristol is the first stop on a promotional tour road-trip for Burns and fellow producers that will follow the Tennessee Music Pathways. Other stops will include Knoxville, Memphis, Cookeville and, of course, Nashville.

The documentary will premiere on PBS Sept. 15-18 and 22-25 from 8 to 10 p.m. The series will be available to to stream for a period of six weeks on station platforms at PBS.org and on PBS apps. PBS Passport members will be able to stream the whole series for six months from the premiere date.

Publishing house Alfred A. Knopft will release a companion book to the film, written by Duncan, on Sep. 10.

Burns and his team have been making documentaries for more than 4 decades. His films include, “Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery,” “The Civil War” and “The Mayo Clinic: Faith-Hope-Science.” Burns’ films have won 15 Emmy awards, two Grammy awards and two have been nominated for Oscar Awards. 

Tickets for the preview and discussion with the creators are $25 and can be purchased at paramountbristol.org. The screening will begin at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m.

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