Woody Guthrie was born on July 14th, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma. He had a voice like a long distance train heard miles away. His songs have become the folk song standards of America. Among them: “Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Pastures of Plenty,” “Hard Travelin’,” “Deportees,” “Roll On Columbia,” “Vigilante Man” and, of course, “This Land Is Your Land.”
American Masters congratulates Morgan Neville, director of the 2011 American Masters film Troubadours: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter, for winning the 2014 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for 20 Feet from Stardom. Watch the full 90-minute documentary Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter, below. The […]
Musicians Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne, and Chris Darrow discuss the distinct sensibilities of women in country music and recognize Linda Ronstadt as a pioneer in the genre, and how performances at The Troubadour played a vital role in establishing women as performers. This scene is an outtake from Troubadours: Carole King / James […]
Kris Kristofferson reflects on how The Troubadour launched his career, alongside artists who performed at the legendary club, Carole King, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, J.D. Souther, Richard “Dickie” Davis, and Barney Hoskyns. Artists reflect on the Troubadours uncanny ability to bring together the conflicting rock ‘n’ roll and country scenes at the time. This […]
Read an excerpt from the essay “Branded Man”, originally published in 2003 by No Depression Magazine, about Merle Haggards music and the meaning we read into his songwriting.
“I’m living proof that things go wrong in America and I’m also living proof that things can go right,” says Merle Haggard. In Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself, American Masters’ candid documentary about the country music legend, who is often called “the poet of the common man,” tells it like it is. The […]
By: Colin Escott More than fifty years after his death, Hank Williams ranks among the most powerfully iconic figures in American music. Iconic to the point that man and myth are inextricably entwined. He set the agenda for contemporary country songcraft and sang his songs with such believability that we feel privy to his world, […]
WITH DIRECTOR MORGAN NEVILLE What got you interested in this project? What drew you to Hank Williams? Everything about Hank Williams interests me. His music, his life. His death. His impact. It’s the kind of subject that one hopes to find. Although there is a cottage industry in books about Williams, there has never been […]