The New York Times

Ken Burns's 'Country Music' Traces the Genre's Victories, and Reveals Its Blind Spots

Tell a lie long enough and it begins to smell like the truth. Tell it even longer and it becomes part of history.

Throughout “Country Music,” the new omnibus genre documentary from Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, there are moments of tension between the stories Nashville likes to tell about itself — some true, some less so — and the way things actually were.

And while from a distance, this doggedly thorough eight-part, 16-hour series — which begins Sunday on PBS — hews to the genre’s party line, viewed up close it reveals the ruptures laid out in plain sight.

Anxiety about race has been a country music constant for decades, right up

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