The BEST episodes of Country Music

Every episode of Country Music ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Country Music!

Explore the history of a uniquely American art form: country music. From its deep and tangled roots in ballads, blues and hymns performed in small settings, to its worldwide popularity, learn how country music evolved over the course of the 20th century, as it eventually emerged to become America’s music.

Last Updated: 1/4/2023Network:PBS
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Will The Circle Be Unbroken? (1968-1972)
star
8.43
49 votes

#1 - Will The Circle Be Unbroken? (1968-1972)

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 9/23/2019

Learn how country music responds to a nation divided by the Vietnam War, as Army captain turned songwriter Kris Kristofferson sets a new lyrical standard, and artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds find a recording home in Nashville.

Directors: Ken Burns
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
I Can't Stop Loving You (1953-1963)
star
8.43
54 votes

#2 - I Can't Stop Loving You (1953-1963)

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 9/18/2019

Travel to Memphis, where Sun Studios artists Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley usher in the era of rockabilly. Ray Charles crosses America's racial divide by recording a country album. Patsy Cline shows off Music City's smooth new Nashville Sound.

Directors: Ken Burns
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Rub (Beginnings-1933)
star
8.40
78 votes

#3 - The Rub (Beginnings-1933)

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/15/2019

See how what was first called “hillbilly music” reaches new audiences through phonographs and radio, and launches the careers of country music's first big stars, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.

Directors: Ken Burns
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945-1953)
star
8.33
60 votes

#4 - The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945-1953)

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/17/2019

See how the bluegrass sound spreads in post-war America, and meet honky-tonk star Hank Williams, whose songs of surprisingly emotional depth are derived from his troubled and tragically short life.

Directors: Ken Burns
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973-1983)
star
8.29
42 votes

#5 - Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973-1983)

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 9/24/2019

Country music enters a vibrant era of new voices and attitudes. Dolly Parton crosses over to mainstream success and becomes the most famous woman in country music. In 1980, she achieved an entirely new level of national stardom when she joined Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the hit Hollywood movie, Nine to Five. George Jones and Tammy Wynette seemingly live out their songs’ tragic lyrics. Hank Williams, Jr. emerges from his father’s shadow. He performs his father’s song beginning at age 8, debuts on the Opry at 11 singing “Lovesick Blues,” and records an album of Hank Sr.’s hits at 14; as soon as he turned 18 he dropped his mother as a manager.

Directors: Ken Burns
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Sons and Daughters of America (1964 -1968)
star
8.28
54 votes

#6 - The Sons and Daughters of America (1964 -1968)

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 9/22/2019

See how country music reflects a changing America, with Loretta Lynn speaking to women everywhere, Merle Haggard becoming "The Poet of the Common Man" and audiences looking beyond race to embrace Charley Pride.

Directors: Ken Burns
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Hard Times (1933-1945)
star
8.24
55 votes

#7 - Hard Times (1933-1945)

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/16/2019

Watch as Nashville becomes the heart of the country music industry. The genre grows in popularity during the Great Depression and World War II as America falls in love with singing cowboys, Texas Swing and the Grand Ole Opry's Roy Acuff.

Directors: Ken Burns
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Don't Get Above Your Raisin' (1984-1996)
star
8.21
43 votes

#8 - Don't Get Above Your Raisin' (1984-1996)

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 9/25/2019

Neotraditional country artists such as George Strait, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire and the Judds keep country music true to its roots. Plus, the rise of superstar Garth Brooks and the return of Johnny Cash to the industry he helped create.

Directors: Ken Burns
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes

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