Ken Burns Country Music Documentary

Discussion in 'General Music' started by NMA, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2012
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    Anybody besides me watching the new Ken Burns Country Music documentary on PBS?

    I sure ain't no fan of country music and even I am finding this documentary to be an outstanding piece of work.

    We can talk of the documentary here, but I'd like to bring up something regarding this particular forum and the Country Music documentary. On other guitar sites there is good discussion regarding the documentary. This site dealing with SGs...I saw nothing so I brought up the topic. It makes me wonder if SG players really have no interest in country western or rockabilly. The Gretsch forum is all over the country music documentary, but this SG forum...crickets chirping. It kind of reaffirms the notion that SGs and their players are all about metal or hard rock.
  2. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2009
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    Tucson AZ
    naw... or at least not all of us.
    I've been busy with my new career as caregiver for my ailing lady,
    so have been out of the loop for some of this.
    I've seen maybe two episodes, and thought each one was excellent.

    But I am not a person who believes in air tight boxes to cram songs into, or to cram performers into (or instruments). I don't believe in limiting anyone's perceptions... there is WAY too much of that. Especially in Country Music's "controllers..." I hate controllers, maybe that's why I like to play the SG.
    Pop music has them too, and they are a very negative influence IMHO.

    The thing I like best
    about country music is the same thing I like about rock an roll, or
    blues. "Three chords and the truth." It's true for all of them.
    and the simplicity of this makes the music succeed. People love
    to dance, and they love to understand what the music is about.
    That's why they pay to get in. They love to be excited and

    IMHO, there are way too many people who think that only a Tele
    is appropriate for country music. Or that if yer guitar doesn't have
    the monkey grip, you can't shred... and on and on. It's all
    nonsense. A good guitarist can play blues on an Ibanez shredder
    and country music on an SG. etc etc... Jazz on a Telecaster, why not?

    I am much more interested in versatility, and the stretching
    of boundaries, and in the confounding of critics and closed minded
    musicians (and audience) at every opportunity.

    To me, that's what's at the heart of the SG experience.
    SGs have always had a rebellious tone. Which is at the heart
    of many genres of music, Rock, and Punk, and Metal, and others
    I don't know about. That rebellious tone is much more important
    than genre categories, and much more real.
    You can use it to play Black Sabbath if you want, but you can also
    listen to so much more, and use the SG to make waves, and to
    break new trails.

    There's room for all of our choices IMHO.
    But I will grant you this: In my ten years on this forum, I have
    seen members come and go, but the majority of them are metal
    heads. And there have been many posts and threads on this forum that I found incomprehensible, although everyone else
    seemed to be right in it.
    So I believe the SG attracts players of this category.
    But it also attracts the rest of us, whatever we are.
    And for me, that makes it more interesting.
    Piper68Special likes this.
  3. Steverz

    Steverz New Member

    Sep 6, 2017
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    I watched the Ken Burns documentary. He always does a great job.

    I really liked this documentary on Country Music. The best parts were about the Carter sisters and Hank Williams, Sr. My dad was a fan of Hank Sr. Even though I play two SGs, one from the early 70s and the other 2009, I also play several Gibson and Taylor acoustics.

    My first pop song was "Dock of the Bay" closely followed by Creedence, The Beatles and a little Rolling Stones. SO, I play mostly classic rock/pop, both SG and acoustic as well as a rare country tune. I'm very eclectic as I can go from acoustic with Dan Fogelberg to electric with Led Zeppelin in the same hour.

    All musicians should branch out and educate themselves in the many genres of music. Doing this can never hurt.
    Col Mustard likes this.
  4. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2009
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    Tucson AZ
    +1 on that.

    I've watched about five of the episodes now, and feel like the series was
    very well done. My favorite parts were the stories about Emmy Lou Harris and
    some of the more modern players. The old stuff is all right, but it had its day.

    I come away from watching this with a very strong feeling that I don't belong
    there. I kept hearing myself saying to my girl: "Look at the hairstyles, OMG,
    look at the outfits!" I really felt like an alien observer from some other planet.
    All those guys with axel grease in their hair, and the women with the towering
    coiffures, sprayed in place so even a strong wind wouldn't move any of it.
    I've always thought Dolly Parton was brilliant and talented and savvy, but
    I hated seeing what she looks like now. I kept saying, "something's wrong
    with her face... She's been to Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon."

    One of the recurring themes of this series is: how difficult it is for truly
    talented individuals to get past the closed minds of the "controllers."
    When they tell how such and such a performer was repeatedly turned down
    by everyone he or she applied to, up and down music row, and then for some
    weird reason they got a chance, and made a recording that went platinum...

    That has happened over and over, proving my personal mantra that
    ...but try and say that in Nashville... see how far you get.
    Cue up the sound of doors slamming.

    I've always looked at Nashville (as well as New York and L.A.) as a place that
    chews up and spits out promising young performers every day, rain or shine.
    They come into town full of hope and promise, and they leave on a bus, depressed
    downhearted and frustrated, and maybe thoroughly f*cked. In New York and L.A.
    it's actors and comics as well as musicians who show up bright eyed and confident
    and leave hung down, brung down, strung out and stoned.

    That aspect of the "business" gives me the heebie jeebies.
    When you look at how many prominent men are getting called out these days because
    they worked their way to a position where they had power over fine young people with
    ambition, and they abused that power for their personal jollies... you can just imagine
    how much abuse of promising young performers there must have been, all
    these years. Brrrrr... it gives me the creeping fantods... I just look at their smug
    pictures and the likelihood of it makes me feel a little ill.

    When preachers, catholic priests, athletic administrators, politicians, doctors
    high profile athletes, and such are all getting exposed for doing the stupidest things
    to their admirers or acolytes, we KNOW that movie producers and record company
    gate keepers have always been corrupt. They didn't talk much about this in the
    Country Music series, and maybe that's a good thing. It gives us a break from
    the real world.

    "Yer going places, baby... My place, the producer's place, the director's place..."
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  5. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2012
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    Yes, folks, the entire series was outstanding. The country music hardcore fans on other forums are fighting over who should have gotten more coverage, who was left out, who should have been in.... Me? I am not a country nut so I simple loved the entire series.

    Anybody who loves music (and history) should take the time and catch an episode or two. Great, great stuff.
  6. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2016
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    My favorite PBS documentary was Nothing but the Blues (not an Eric Clapton thing). It was a documentary on the history of the blues. It played clips of songs by various old time artists. I saw it once and it was pulled because of licensing issues (I called PBS). It will never be released on video. That was awesome beyond words .

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