Star-Studded Ryman Concert To Celebrate Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ Documentary

In anticipation of the upcoming 16-hour Country Music documentary from Ken Burns, which will premiere in fall 2019 on PBS, the Ryman Auditorium will present “Country Music: Live at the Ryman, a Concert Celebrating The Film By Ken Burns.” The concert will take place Wednesday, March 27.

Burns will host the evening, which will be filled with performances from Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Brenda Lee, Kathy Mattea, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Asleep at the Wheel, Holly Williams and Dwight Yoakam. “Country Music: Live at the Ryman” will be recorded for broadcast on PBS at a later date. In addition to live performances, the event will show select clips from the film, and be produced by Opry Entertainment, PBS and Florentine Films.

“In country music we found a love for storytelling that translates everyday experiences into universal truths that we can all identify with,” Burns said. “We’re very excited to share this film with the country, in towns large and small, from one coast to the other. But we are most excited to share it in those areas that gave birth to this most American of art forms. Bringing our film to Ryman Auditorium, the Mother Church of Country Music, and a character itself in our film, is a dream for us.”

The Country Music documentary was directed by Burns and produced by Burns, Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey. The three filmmakers spent eight years researching and producing the project, conducting interviews with more than 100 people, including 40 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame (17 of those interviewed have since passed on). Among those storytellers are historian Bill Malone and a wide range of country artists such as Marty Stuart, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, as well as studio musicians, record producers and others. The film uses more than 3,200 photographs and over two hours of archival footage, including rare and never-before-seen photos and footage of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash and others.

“Ken Burns and his team shine a bright spotlight on the remarkable people, places, songs and stories that make country music so powerful and inspirational,” shares Sally Williams, Senior Vice President of Programming and Artist Relations for Opry Entertainment and General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry. “The Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium have been central to those stories for nearly a century, so it’s only fitting to celebrate the film at the Mother Church. On March 27, we’ll welcome Ken and some of the biggest stars in country music for a once-in-a-lifetime night of stories and songs.”

“PBS and our local stations are pulling out all the stops to make Ken Burns’ Country Music the big event for the fall season,” said Perry Simon. “We are thrilled to kick off this effort with a bus tour through TN and to partner with Opry Entertainment and Florentine Films, Ken’s company, to produce this wonderful concert and make it available to people throughout the country on PBS later this year.”

Tickets to “Country Music: Live at the Ryman, a Concert Celebrating the Film by Ken Burns” will go on sale Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. CT via ticketmaster.com, ryman.com or by phone at 800-745-3000.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at jnicholson@musicrow.com.

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