Los Angeles Times

Ken Burns turns to 'Country Music' for his next PBS docu-series

There was a moment, however fleeting, when documentary filmmaker Ken Burns thought a change of pace might be in order after more than a decade of emotionally draining, logistically nightmarish work on his 10-part, 18-hour exploration of the history and bitter legacy of the Vietnam War.

A colleague piqued his interest by suggesting country music, though Burns thought the subject might be too lightweight.

"It seemed that this could be a frivolous agenda," Burns, 65, says by phone from his Florentine Films office in Walpole, N.H., where he and his team are putting the finishing touches on "Country Music," an eight-part, 16 1/2-hour series set to premiere Sept. 15 on PBS.

"It's not. It's as elemental, and in fact, there were more tears shed by warm bodies

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