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Courtesy PBS

"Country Music" — an epic film about a true American art form and women's role in the industry, from the great Ken Burns — begins tonight at 8 ET on PBS and streaming.

What we know: The film features 3,200 photographs and interviews with more than 100 people, including 40 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

  • 20 of those interviewed have since passed on.
  • Women's history with country music is emphasized in the series, highlighting trailblazers like Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline.
  • "Country Music," split into 8 episodes totaling 16½ hours, features more than 2 hours of original archival footage, including never-aired photos and footage of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash and others.

In an interview with "PBS NewsHour," Burns talked about the film's emphasis on women:

[W]omen are central to this story in a way they aren't in jazz or other forms, which are fraternities. ... When you get through Patsy [Cline] to Loretta [Lynn], we're in the mid-'60s. Nobody in rock 'n' roll is singing, "Don't come home a drinking with loving on your mind." Think about what we're talking about — spousal abuse, spousal rape, a woman's right to her own body, even in marriage, women's rights in general. Now, this is the same year that the National Organization for Women is founded [1966]. ... For me, all of these things, race or creativity or commerce or women, are all trumped by how powerful this music is. ... I mean, when Hank Williams says, "I'm so lonesome, I could cry," there's nobody that doesn't know what he's talking about. "The silence of a falling star lights up a purple sky, and as I wonder where you are, I'm so lonesome, I could cry."

See the trailer.

  • Share your #FavoriteCountrySong: A social campaign kicked off with videos from famous artists sharing theirs.
  • After tonight, the film continues at 8 ET each night through Wednesday, then the same 4 nights next week.
Johnny Cash at home in California in 1960. Photo: Sony Music Archives via PBS

Go deeper: TikTok sensation Lil Nas X rewrites the rules of country music

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Go deeper

Updated 36 mins ago - Economy & Business

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 36 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Pity the "green" car buyer

Expand chart
Data: IHS Markit Data; Note: Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Americans are more open than ever to trading in their gas cars for electrified vehicles — but they're flummoxed by the confusing array of green options arriving in showrooms.

Why it matters: Getting up to speed on the differences among hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles will be a challenge for car buyers — and salespeople, too — as we transition away from gas-powered vehicles over the next decade.

Updated 36 mins ago - Technology

America's attention recession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New data shows that there's been a pullback from the historically high levels of media audience growth — and in some cases consumption — during 2020, pointing to signs of a slight "attention recession" in the past few months.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic drove a once-in-a-lifetime surge in the attention economy online, but the gradual return of normal life in many places — along with media overload and exhaustion — has down-shifted consumption patterns.