4 Country Music Documentaries Every Diehard Fan Needs To See

Whether you’ve been a fan for decades or are just getting into country music, there are a lot of ways to learn more about the genre. However, nothing beats a good documentary. These four country music documentaries are essential viewing for anyone who wants to learn about the greats, Nashville, or country music in general.

Videos by American Songwriter

This list is very far from exhaustive. There are a ton of incredible country music documentaries out there. We might just have to make another list with even more entries!

1. ‘Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns’

This documentary film is nothing short of incredible, and it’s a fan-favorite among country fans. Released in 2019, Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns takes a look at the origins of American country music and how it has evolved through the decades. The doc also highlights the influence that black artists had on country music, how the Great Depression affected the country sound, the explosion of rockabilly and Texas Swing, and much more. This is essential viewing, y’all!

2. ‘Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me’

Glen Campbell’s life and career are explored in-depth in this 2014 doc. It follows Campbell on his final farewell tour across the globe, as well as his battle with Alzheimer’s. There are a ton of tributes and interviews from different musicians in this film, from Paul McCartney to Vince Gill. Campbell passed away just a few years after the documentary was released.

3. ‘Music Row: Nashville’s Most Famous Neighborhood’

This 2017 documentary doesn’t focus on any one country musician specifically. Rather, it explores the one place where so many country artists found their start and nurtured their careers. Music Row: Nashville’s Most Famous Neighborhood takes the viewer through one of the most creative communities in country music: Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee.

4. ‘Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl’

This 2016 documentary from American Masters provided an intimate look into the life and career of country music’s beloved Loretta Lynn. It was a unique venture into her life that featured unreleased home videos and footage of her recording with John Carter Cash. The doc also features interviews with her peers. A few fellow musicians who contributed to the documentary include Jack White, Miranda Lambert, Bill Anderson, Trisha Yearwood, and more. 

Photo via Donaldson Collection

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