Download Country Music: A History Audiobook

Country Music: A History Audiobook, by Dayton Duncan Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Dayton Duncan, Ken Burns Narrator: Dayton Duncan, Ken Burns, Brian Corrigan Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2019 ISBN: 9780525588856
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The rich and colorful story of America's most popular music and the singers and songwriters who captivated, entertained, and consoled listeners throughout the twentieth century--based on the upcoming eight-part film series to air on PBS in September 2019

This deeply researched and hugely entertaining history begins where country music itself emerged: the American South, where people sang to themselves and to their families at home and in church, and where they danced to fiddle tunes on Saturday nights. With the birth of radio in the 1920s, the songs moved from small towns, mountain hollers, and the wide-open West to become the music of an entire nation--a diverse range of sounds and styles from honky tonk to gospel to bluegrass to rockabilly, leading up through the decades to the music's massive commercial success today.

But above all, Country Music is the story of the musicians. Here is Hank Williams's tragic honky tonk life, Dolly Parton rising to fame from a dirt-poor childhood, and Loretta Lynn turning her experiences into songs that spoke to women everywhere. Here too are interviews with the genre's biggest stars, including the likes of Merle Haggard to Garth Brooks to Rosanne Cash. Rife with endlessly fascinating anecdotes, the stories in this sweeping yet intimate history will captivate longtime country fans and introduce new listeners to an extraordinary body of music that lies at the very center of the American experience. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sadly, listeners won’t hear the songs on this companion volume to Ken Burns’s PBS documentary series. The stories stand tall without them, though…The familiar stories are told with engaging charm, and there’s always a new tidbit to chaw on. Dayton Duncan adds a likable personal note at the end as he narrates his own afterword, while Ken Burns introduces the audiobook with a sense of importance and grandeur.”

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  • "A lucid, jam-packed, richly illustrated companion to the Ken Burns documentary series... Country music is America's music—which is to say, music from every culture and ethnicity. An essential guide. Kirkus, starred review
  • Master documentarian Burns and his stellar, longtime writer collaborator Duncan have produced another large, handsome, avidly researched volume bursting with vivid anecdotes and rare archival photographs... This dynamic and monumental history captures the spirit, resonance, variety, and power of country music as a balm for hard times, catalyst for good times, and vibrant expression of life’s obdurate complexities. While the Country Music documentary series offers sound and motion, the book offers a still, at-your-own-pace immersion that enriches the video experience and stands steady on its own. Booklist, starred review
  • This voluminous and hugely entertaining introduction to country music coincides with the release of the eponymous PBS series, by producer and writer Duncan (Out West) and producer and filmmaker Burns (The Civil War)... The narrative—supported by concert photos and images of album jackets and various memorabilia—moves at a quick clip as the authors highlight the lives and music of such influential musicians as Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Hank Williams... Duncan’s and Burns’s lavishly illustrated and cinematic narrative will stand as the definitive history of the genre. Publishers Weekly, starred review

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About the Author

Dayton Duncan, writer and producer of The National Parks, is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker. His nine other books include, with Ken Burns, Horatio’s Drive and Lewis & Clark. He has collaborated on all of Ken Burns’ films for twenty years as a writer, producer, and consultant. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.

About the Narrators

Ken Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films, known for his style of using archival footage and photographs. His documentaries have been nominated for two Academy Awards, and have won Emmy Awards, among other honors.

Brian Corrigan is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.