The country historian hosts a night of music and conversation to mark the release of Ken Burns' new documentary. info/tix
Longtime Madison resident Bill C. Malone is one of the living authorities on country music and its historical context, having co-authored the 1968 book Country Music USA, which was republished last year in an updated 50th-anniversary edition. Along with his wife Bobbie Malone—who is also an accomplished historian—he hosts WORT's long-running show Back To The Country, and the two perform music together, Bobbie on mandolin and vocals and Bill on guitar and vocals. This event at the Stoughton Opera House coincides with the launch of Ken Burns' latest multi-part documentary series, Country Music. The Malones served as consultants on the 16-hour series, and no doubt helped he of the enduring graphite bowl cut put a narrative frame around the music itself.
Country Music's first episode will air on public television stations on Sunday night and will screen at the Opera House at the conclusion of this event. Before that, though, the Malones will discuss their work on the film with a live audience, and hopefully perform a bit themselves. The night includes more live music from eminent Madison honky-tonk band The Dirty Shirts and one-of-a-kind Tex-Mex-country outfit Cris Plata And Extra Hot. Those two groups alone should offer a few different windows into the varying sounds of the country music world, as the Malones enrich our historical understanding of one of America's most vital artistic traditions. The event will also benefit WORT. —Scott Gordon