Ken Burns Country Music Documentary
Posted by Robert Wagner on August 4, 2019, 8:22 pm
I have been planning penning this post for a number of weeks. I am sure that I will fail to document all I want to say, but I'm going to give it a try. |
I have to start by saying that I am very saddened about the up coming Ken Burns Country Music Documentary, because I am certain that Jim Reeves Legacy, the Nashville Sound, and Reeves major contribution in spreading Country Music to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world will not be properly represented. Jim Reeves will yet again receive a "short shrift" relative to his talent, influence and legacy.
I have tried in my small way to see that this injustice would not occur especially in this monumental documentary. The following are some of my efforts and observations.
On or about 2013 PBS released a couple of programs "Remembering George Jones". Recently deceased at the time they kept referring to Jones as the "Greatest Country Singer". I was aghast. I had seen Jones and Tammy Wynette in Hartford Connecticut, and he was terrible. He was hostile on stage, probably due to his troubled marriage at that time to Tammy Wynette. Tammy Wynette performed well, but the tension between them was palpable and shown through to the audience. We all know George Jones had some very successful recordings and I do not disparage that, but his voice was sandpaper compared to the velvet Jim Reeves.
I vowed to set PBS straight and guide them to the career of Jim Reeves for inclusion their future Country Music documentary.
I am retired 30 year veteran of the Holyoke Massachusetts Police Department serving a Chief 1991 to 1994. Aron Vega was one of Holyoke's first Latino City Councilors, moving up to Massachusetts State Representative (firstname.lastname@example.org). Aron Vega worked as a film editor for Ken Burns for many years.
Some time in 2013 Ken Burns and Aron Vega held a meeting at City Square in Holyoke. I could not attend the meeting but left a composition I drafted about Country Music, George Jones, and the necessity for PBS to fill a void in producing the Jim Reeves story.
I left the document with Vega's representative. The next two days I made numerous calls to Ken Burns at WETA Washington DC, leaving numerous messages receiving no response. I tried to get Jim Reeves history to PBS while their "Country Music Documentary" was in production. No Go.
Now the Documentary is "in the can" and any attempt to get Jim Reeves his due is fruitless.
I notice in the 25 minute promotion video with Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan the following observations.
1. Johnny Cash is given much more credit for the success of country music than I think appropriate.
2. Tom Dooley is presented as country when it is folk music.
3. Patsy Cline is given due respect with no mention of the similar tragedy Jim Reeves suffered a year later.
4. Charlie Pride, a great artist and person, is also given respect he is due, but it was Jim Reeves in the early 60's that had more impact, especially in bringing Country Music to the world. Even Charlie Pride did a Jim Reeves tribute album. No mention of Elton John's admiration of Jim Reeves in the UK.
5. Both Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan make excuses for their lack of inclusion in the documentary before release. They make fun of it.
Lastly, check the song tracks on the 5 CD set associated with the program. They are terrible and proof positive that Jim Reeves story will not be properly told.
Ken Burns lives in Walpole New Hampshire. He attended Hampshire College in the Peoples Republic of Amherst Massachusetts, an extremely liberal institution promoting "alternative education" where I think he met his future wife from Walpole NH. This institution is way out there with the students grading themselves with questionable academics. They refused to fly the American Flag some time ago causing all kinds of protest and media attention. Rachel Maddow the liberal MSNBC commentator is also from the area.
I mention these things because I have lived next to these liberal college towns all my life, and to state that these people do not accept a position not their own. they refuse to acknowledge intelligence beyond theirs, and a differing view is met with skepticism, and ridicule, and finally a differing viewpoint must be made by crazies.
There in no chance that any Jim Reeves input will be accepted, contrary too what anyone might believe.
This is tragic because Burns is respected for his productions such as "The Civil War", "Jazz", "Vietnam", and others.
This documentaries "crimes of omission" will do terrible damage to the future of Jim Reeves Legacy.