How to Watch Ken Burns' Country Music: Episode Descriptions and Schedule

Last Updated by Joe Davidson on

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Ken Burns' Country Music premieres in eight parts on Rocky Mountain PBS, Sunday through Wednesday evenings, Sept 15-25. Read episode descriptions and view the complete broadcast and streaming schedules here to learn how to watch all 16 hours of the documentary series.

Country Music Schedule .pdfDownload/Print:  Icon Country Music Episode Guide and Schedule (.pdf) (928.6 KB)


RMPBS Passport Streaming

All eight episodes will be available to RMPBS Passport members for streaming starting September 15. Learn how to become a member or activate your RMPBS Passport account at

PBS Video App Streaming

Each episode will become available for streaming on the PBS Video App and the day of the broadcast premiere, and remains available for a two-week window before becoming available exclusively to Passport members. 

Broadcast Schedule and Episode Descriptions

Sunday, September 15

"The Rub (Beginnings -1933)"

See how what was first called "hillbilly music" reaches new audiences through phonographs and radio, and launches the careers of country music's first big stars, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.  

7pm and 9pm 


Monday, September 16

"Hard Times (1933 -1945)"

Watch as Nashville becomes the heart of the country music industry. The genre grows in popularity during the Great Depression and World War II as America falls in love with singing cowboys, Texas Swing and the Grand Ole Opry's Roy Acuff.  

7pm and 9pm 


Tuesday, September 17

"The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945 -1953)"

See how the bluegrass sound spreads in post-war America, and meet honky-tonk star Hank Williams, whose songs of surprisingly emotional depth are derived from his troubled and tragically short life.  

7pm and 9pm


Wednesday, September 18

"I Can't Stop Loving You (1953 -1963)"

Travel to Memphis, where Sun Studios artists Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley usher in the era of rockabilly. Ray Charles crosses America's racial divide by recording a country album.  

7pm and 9pm


Sunday, September 22

"The Sons and Daughters of America (1964 -1968)"

See how country music reflects a changing America, with Loretta Lynn speaking to women everywhere, Merle Haggard becoming "The Poet of the Common Man" and audiences looking beyond race to embrace Charley Pride.  

7pm and 9pm


Monday, September 23

"Will The Circle Be Unbroken? (1968 -1972)"

Learn how country music responds to a nation divided by the Vietnam War, as Army captain turned songwriter Kris Kristofferson sets a new lyrical standard, and artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds find a recording home in Nashville.  

7pm and 9pm


Tuesday, September 24

"Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973 -1983)"

Witness a vibrant era in country music, with Dolly Parton finding mainstream success; Hank Williams, Jr. and Rosanne Cash emerging from their famous fathers' shadows; and Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings launching the "Outlaw" movement.  

7pm and 9:30pm


Wednesday, September 25

"Don't Get Above Your Raisin (1984 -1996)"

Learn how "New Traditionalists" like George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds help country music stay true to its roots. Witness both the rise of superstar Garth Brooks and the return of an aging Johnny Cash to the industry he helped create.  

7pm and 9pm 

Additional Broadcast Times on Rocky Mountain PBS

Sunday, September 22

11am “The Rub (Beginnings -1933)” 
12pm “The Rub (Beginnings -1933)” 
1pm “Hard Times (1933 -1945)” 
3pm “The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945 -1953)
5pm “I Can’t Stop Loving You (1953 -1963)”
6pm “I Can’t Stop Loving You (1953 -1963)”

Sunday, September 29

10:30am “The Sons and Daughters of America (1964 -1968)” 
12pm “The Sons and Daughters of America (1964 -1968)”  
12:30pm “Will The Circle Be Unbroken? (1968 -1972)” 
2:30pm “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973 -1983)” 
5pm “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin (1984 -1996)” 
6pm “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin (1984 -1996)”


For more information and bonus content, explore the series at

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