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The Joy of Country

Documentary which celebrates the history and aesthetic of country music, featuring Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, the Handsome Family, kd lang and more.

This celebration of the history and aesthetic of country music tracks the evolution of the genre from the 1920s to the present, exploring country as both folk and pop music - a 20th century soundtrack to the lives of working-class Americans in the South, forever torn between their rural roots and a mostly urban future, between authenticity and showbiz.

Exploring many of the great stars of country from Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams to Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton, director Andy Humphries's meditation on the power and pull of country blends brilliant archive and contributions from a broad cast that includes Dolly Parton, the Handsome Family, Laura Cantrell, Hank Williams III, kd lang and many more.

If you have ever wondered about the sound of a train in the distance, the keening of a pedal steel guitar, the lure of rhinestone or the blue Kentucky hills, and if you want to know why twang matters, this is the documentary for you.

1 hour, 5 minutes

Last on

Mon 23 Sep 2013 00:00

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:00

    Johnny Cash

    Folsom Prison Blues

  • 00:02

    Dolly Parton

    My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy

  • 00:02

    Webb Pierce

    Love Love Love

  • 00:03

    George Jones

    Why Baby Why

  • 00:03

    Bill Monroe

    Katy Hill

  • 00:04

    Jimmie Rodgers

    Blue Yodel (T for Texas)

  • 00:06

    Jimmie Rodgers

    The Brakeman's Blues

  • 00:07

    Johnny Cash

    Orange Blossom Special

  • 00:07

    The Delmore Brothers

    Freight Train Boogie

  • 00:08

    Roy Acuff

    Wabash Cannonball

  • 00:08

    The Carter Family

    Wildwood Flower

  • 00:08

    Gene Autry

    (I Got Spurs That) Jingle Jangle Jingle

  • 00:09

    Gene Autry

    Theme from "In Old Santa Fe"

  • 00:10

    Lester Flatt

    My Little Girl in Tennessee

  • 00:12

    The Delmore Brothers

    Hillbilly Boogie

  • 00:13

    Bill Monroe

    Train 45 (Heading South)

  • 00:14

    Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys

    Will You Be Loving Another Man?

  • 00:14

    Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

    New San Antonio Rose

  • 00:16

    Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

    Texas Playboy Rag

  • 00:17

    Ernest Tubb

    Two Glasses Joe

  • 00:18

    Hank Williams

    Honky Tonk Blues

  • 00:20

    Hank Williams

    Hey Good Lookin'

  • 00:21

    Hank Williams

    Cold Cold Heart

  • 00:23

    Hank Williams

    I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

  • 00:24

    Hank Williams

    Your Cheatin' Heart

  • 00:25

    Kitty Wells

    It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

  • 00:26

    Webb Pierce

    New Panhandle Rag

  • 00:26

    Webb Pierce

    I'm Walking the Dog

  • 00:27

    Lefty Frizzell

    If You've Got the Money (I've Got the Time)

  • 00:28

    ‘Little’ Jimmy Dickens

    I'm Little But I'm Loud

  • 00:29

    Elvis Presley

    That's Alright Mama

  • 00:30

    Tennessee Ernie Ford

    Catfish Boogie

  • 00:30

    Willie Nelson

    Crazy

  • 00:32

    Loretta Lynn

    Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)

  • 00:33

    Tammy Wynette

    I Don't Wanna Play House

  • 00:35

    Tammy Wynette

    D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

  • 00:36

    George Jones & Tammy Wynette

    Golden Ring

  • 00:38

    Tammy Wynette

    We're Gonna Hold On

  • 00:39

    George Jones

    If Drinking Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)

  • 00:40

    George Jones

    He Stopped Loving Her Today

  • 00:42

    Jim Reeves

    Distant Drums

  • 00:42

    Johnny Cash

    Get Rhythm

  • 00:43

    Johnny Cash

    I Walk The Line

  • 00:45

    Johnny Cash

    San Quentin

  • 00:46

    Merle Haggard

    Sing Me Back Home

  • 00:47

    Merle Haggard

    Working Man Blues

  • 00:48

    Merle Haggard

    Okie From Muskogee

  • 00:50

    Charley Pride

    All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)

  • 00:50

    Charley Pride

    Kiss An Angel Good Morning

  • 00:51

    Charley Pride

    Is Anybody Going to San Antone

  • 00:53

    Willie Nelson

    Whiskey River

  • 00:54

    Waylon Jennings

    Honky Tonk Heroes

  • 00:56

    The Harry Stoneham Five

    Hello Dolly

  • 00:56

    Dolly Parton

    Baby I'm Burning

  • 00:57

    Dolly Parton

    Coat of Many Colors

  • 00:58

    Dolly Parton

    Jolene

  • 01:00

    Hank Williams

    I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

  • 01:00

    Dolly Parton

    Little Sparrow

  • 01:01

    Johnny Cash

    Hurt

  • 01:03

    George Jones

    Why Baby Why

Credits

Role Contributor
Producer Andy Humphries
Director Andy Humphries

Broadcasts

The Joy of Country BBC Music Playlist

The Joy of Country BBC Music Playlist

Check out The Joy of Country playlist from BBC Music