LINCOLN — Step back in time and journey through the compelling history of a truly American art form when “Country Music” premieres in September on NET, Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations.

The new eight-part, 16-hour film directed by Ken Burns and produced by Burns and his long-time collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey, airs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, through Wednesday, Sept. 18, and continues Sunday, Sept. 22, through Wednesday, Sept. 25.

The program repeats each night at 9 p.m. except for Tuesday, Sept. 24, when it repeats at 10:30 p.m. The series will stream on station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS apps.

The documentary, written by Duncan, 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?” It focuses on the biographies of the fascinating trailblazers who created and shaped it, including the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more.

It also dives into the times in which they lived, and, much like the music itself, the film tells unforgettable stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people.

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