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Country Music Film Screening

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Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio

1000 College Boulevard

Pensacola, FL 32504

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WSRE invites the community to attend an advance screening of Ken Burns’ new “Country Music” documentary coming to PBS this fall. A 45-minute screener of the 16-hour film will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 in the WSRE Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio at Pensacola State College. Admission is free. (No tickets required.)

Guests are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the bluegrass music of The Gator Boys starting at 6 p.m.

Following the film presentation, there will be a panel discussion and audience Q&A with country music insiders. Comedian J. Terryl Bechtol, who has performed as “T. Bubba Bechtol” on the “Grand Ole Opry,” will lead the panel discussion. Panel guests include Nashville songwriter and record producer Rusty Budde, Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival Director Reneda Cross, Ricky Lee Phelps of the Kentucky Headhunters and award-winning songwriter Mark Sherrill.

The screener to be shown includes episode excerpts from the larger film series and features Kathy Mattea, Holly Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Charley Pride, Harold Bradley, Carlene Carter, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks, Rodney Crowell, Ketch Secor, Marty Stuart, Brenda Lee, Jimmy Dickens, Willie Nelson, Ray Walker, Trisha Yearwood, Elvis Costello, Jack White, Loretta Lynn, Rosanne Cash, Reba McEntire, Jeannie Seely, Billy Sherrill, Bobby Braddock, Eddie Stubbs, Hazel Smith, Vince Gill and Dierks Bentley.

The documentary, directed by Ken Burns and produced by Burns and his long-time collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey, chronicles 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.”

Written by Duncan, “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.

The broadcast premiere of “Country Music,” an eight-part film series, airs Sunday through Wednesday, Sept. 15–18, and Sunday through Wednesday, Sept. 22–25, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. CDT on WSRE and PBS member stations nationwide. The first four episodes will stream on station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS apps, timed to the Sunday, Sept. 15 premiere. The second four will stream timed to the broadcast of Episode 5 on Sunday, Sept. 22. Each episode will stream for a period of three weeks. WSRE/PBS Passport members will be able to stream the entire series for a period of six months beginning Sunday, Sept. 15.

Funding for “Country Music” was provided by Bank of America, the Annenberg Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Belmont University, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Rosalind P. Walter and by members of ‘The Better Angels Society,’ including: The Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Schwartz/Reisman Foundation, the Pfeil Foundation, Diane and Hal Brierley, John and Catherine Debs, the Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, the Perry and Donna Golkin Family Foundation, Jay Alix and Una Jackman, Mercedes T. Bass, Fred and Donna Seigel, Gilchrist and Amy Berg, James R. Berdell Foundation, David Bonderman, Deborah P. and Jonathan T. Dawson, Senator Bill and Tracy Frist, Susan and David Kreisman, Rocco and Debby Landesman, Lillian Lovelace, John and Leslie McQuown, the Segal Family Foundation, Michelle Smith. Major funding was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS. “Country Music” is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, DC.

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Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio

1000 College Boulevard

Pensacola, FL 32504

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