Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Rate 1-10: Ken Burns Country Music Documentary

What do y’all think?

I give it a solid 9… and am anxious to see where it goes.

The Burns’ Documentary is mesmerizing to me.

No matter the subject, I cannot turn the channel… but the original Civil War was just magical and masterfully presented.


pretty informative so far…

I have enjoyed it as well. Seems like I am rushing to get home so I don’t miss any of it. I really liked seeing Earl as young as he was.

The whole thing can be streamed from the PBS video app right now. We use that through Apple TV since we don’t have cable. We have made it through 1 whole episode in 4 nights of attempted watching–not because it’s not good, but because we can maybe do 30 minutes of tv before we fall asleep. Haha. What I’ve seen has been really good, however.

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OK, a buddy of mine texted me yesterday asking what I thought of this. We don’t have cable and I have so little time for TV these days I didn’t even know about it. Looks like I need to find some time. Who needs sleep, right?

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You gotta see it @Mark_Rocka!

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I had no idea that Conway Twitty turned down a professional baseball contract to sing music or that is was Roger Miller who spotted Patsy Cline’s crashed plane from a fire tower. Great doc! It’s 8 hours in and only halfway through. Ken Burns must have started it years ago as a lot of those interviewed are no longer with us.


Ha… The price of getting up so early as you do… and being so productive! Still… I admire those “early risers” out there. I had my fill during Basic Training… and while I can and have done it, that is not my routine. I freely admit, it does favor productivity…

Come nightfall and as the kids head off to bed, I imagine your bodies give in easily… especially after a nice pleasant dinner.

I will admit, there is something very comfortable and familiar about the style and the voicings… which is less “attention-grabbing” than a movie, for example.

Plus, many times, the musical referenced are kinda in the background. Every so often, they will show a clip at full volume of a performance… but sometimes, it is for a portion of the performance.

@Archie, @Dragonslayer and other fellow forum Members outside the USA…

Have you heard of Ken Burns and his documentary style? If the answer is no, it is worth checking out…

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I first heard of Ken while trying to make a movie on imovie, and we couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the irritating camera panning effect with his name on it. I’ve heard of his documentaries, but I can’t watch them for internet reasons (and time, I can’t even watch a little YouTube uninterrupted)

Nope can’t say that have. I have tried accessing American TV channels but almost all are blocked. That includes many US PBS programmes. Occasionally the odd one or two sneak through.

Shouldn’t need Cable or Dish… Usually PBS is a local station.

I’m enjoying the little bit that I’ve watched (the episode on Hank Williams). I had no idea he was only 29 when he died… way too early. If he would have kept going until he was into his 60’s or 70’s, how many more great songs would there be in this world? Country Music (as it’s still called today… why, I have no idea), may have taken a whole different turn. Even other genres may have been affected… who knows.


Maybe you can YouTube it @Archie ?

Or… Try!

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So far the show is good. I finally know something about the Carter family that is frequently mentioned. I’m enjoying it more as the show progresses into more modern times. I was surprised that Hank and Patsy both died so early in life. I knew they were relatively young, but didn’t both die at age 29? We’ve got a break in the broadcast schedule tonight so I can do some pickin’ and get some sleep.

I was a little disappointed in that they didn’t show much about Bill Monroe or Earl. How about Marty picking the mando? Man, he makes it look easy.

Hi @WillCoop Been through all that on and it flags up rights restrictions msg occasionally the odd one works. YouTube is the best source for me

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Well @Archie , IMHO - Anything from Ken Burns will be exceptional. Just a small word of warning…

If you are successful in seeing something from Mr Burns… invest 10 minutes to allow yourself to immerse into the style/subject… as it can seem to start a little slow.

Then, I think (hope) you will be hooked.

If you don’t mind, please reply back with what you see and how you like it.

Civil War - Gettysburg Address:

This will at least provide a sample from the one that started it all. The Civil War

I saw Marty and the Fabulous Superlatives Live at a show they did at a local High School.

Amazing. For him, @The_Mole, I dare suggest it is that easy… like breathing!

By the way… we met him after the show and even got pics…

Finally, I know it would be intimidating for Ben as Marty is a larger-than-life legend, but I sooo wish Marty would go onto the cabin and do a Mando Lesson.

Marty is all about being an Ambassador for the music style… so what better way to promote it than to encourage a whole community of players who want to learn! :+1:

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Yeeeesssss!!! please :grin:

We’re loving it. I was incredibly fortunate to see a preview at a special event in SF, and even met Ken Burns! I also was able to attend the final celebratory concert at the Ryman the night before @BanjoBen’s Cabin Camp last spring (my first visit both to the Ryman and Nashville!).

Love his style of story-telling, and, unlike the the excellent Civil War series, he actually has lots of film of the artists he’s describing! How about that Uncle Dave Macon???

(BTW, did you know that Ken Burns has an “effect” named after him in the video production software Final Cut Pro? It pans/zooms still photos in a very “Burnsian” way!)


Also, I just learned that there’s a book!

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Seems Mr Burns are looking at various forms of communication and media.

Why not? He clearly has a passion for delving deeply into his subjects.