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Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music,’ Episode 7 covers Outlaw Movement, Hank Jr & More

If you haven’t seen Ken Burns “Country Music” documentary on PBS, you are missing must watch TV! Last night was part 7 of the 8 part series. Some of the highlights from episode 7 include : the Outlaw movement was which actually was coined by Waylon Jennings’ Recording Studio secretary. In 1972, Jennings signed a new deal with RCA Victor — one that “broke all the prevailing Nashville rules,” Coyote narrates. He was able to choose his own material and use his own band in the studio, recording at all hours at Tompall Glaser’s “Hillbilly Central.”

Hank Williams Jr. was 3 years old when his father died, and has few actual memories of him. Under the guidance of his mother, Audrey Williams, he began performing his dad’s songs at age 8, and made his Opry debut at 11. Johnny Cash actually was the influence that told him to do his own thing after a near fatal accident falling off a 500 foot cliff in Montana.

Also covered was Dolly Parton’s drive to do more than just make records. In 1974, Dolly Parton had been performing on “The Porter Wagoner Show” for seven years, but decided to do things her way. It eventually led her to Hollywood where not only did she dominate the country charts, she also made movies.

Also covered was the up and down rocky relationship between George Jones and Tammy Wynette. In the documentary Tammy said, “George is one of those people who can’t tolerate happiness,” Wynette later said. “If everything is right, there is something in him that makes him destroy it, and destroy me with it.” The pair reunited in 1980 after years apart. During their time apart George Jones became known as “No Show Jones” because of the countless shows he’d miss due to his drinking.

The Nashville Tennessean did a great recap of last nights episode. Tonight is the final episode, Episode 8 | “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’” (1984 – 1996)

Learn how “New Traditionalists” like George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds help country music stay true to its roots. Witness both the rise of superstar Garth Brooks and the return of an aging Johnny Cash to the industry he helped create.

The whole documentary is available for purchase. Click here for details.

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