Fabiani Theatre to host preview of 'Country Music' by Ken Burns

On Thursday, Aug. 22, at 6:30 p.m. at Fabiani Theatre, PBS39 and Trine University will host a free sneak preview screening of the upcoming TV event from PBS, "Country Music," a film by Ken Burns.

"Country Music" is an eight-part, 16-hour documentary series that explores the history of a uniquely American art form. From its deep and tangled roots in ballads, blues and hymns performed in small settings, to its worldwide popularity, learn how country music evolved over the course of the 20th century. 

The documentary, written by Dayton Duncan, who also wrote the illustrated companion book, chronicles the highs and lows of country music’s early days, from southern Appalachia’s songs of struggle, heartbreak and faith to the rollicking Western swing of Texas, California’s honky-tonks and Nashville’s “Grand Ole Opry.” The film follows the evolution of country music over the course of the 20th century as it eventually emerges to become “America’s music.”

"Country Music" explores crucial questions — “What  is  country music?” and “Where did it come from?”— while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating trailblazers who created and shaped it: from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more — as well as the times in which they lived.

Much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people.

PBS39, Fort Wayne, will air "Country Music" beginning Sunday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. on channel 39.1.

Photo: Director Ken Burns, featured musician Rosanne Cash, writer and producer Dayton Duncan, producer Julie Dunfey, featured musician Marty Stuart and featured musician Dwight Yoakam gathered to discuss the impact of country music during sessions at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.