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Photo Courtesy of Les Leverett Collection, Grand Ole Opry Archives / Bill Monroe at the Grand Ole Opry is featured in Episode 4 of "Country Music."

WTCI, the Tennessee Valley's PBS station, will host a special 45-minute preview screening of the upcoming Ken Burns documentary series "Country Music" Thursday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m.

In addition to getting a sneak preview of the series, guests will enjoy a behind-the-scenes experience with Songbirds exhibits, a performance by the New Dismembered Tennesseans, hot appetizers and a cash bar.

"Country Music" is an eight-part, 16-hour documentary series directed and produced by Ken Burns, which explores the history of a uniquely American art form. The preview will give an overview of the entire series through segments featuring stories about Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks and more.

"Country Music" will debut Sunday, Sept. 15, and be available to stream online.

Songbirds Guitar Museum is recognized as one of the premier collections of rare and valuable guitars in the country. The museum explores the impact the guitar has had on music history from the early 1900s to present day. Songbirds features 1,700 guitars with a selection of vintage acoustic, electric, jazz, bass, mandolin, banjos and music memorabilia.

Johnny Smith, president of Songbirds, says "We are honored to partner with WTCI to preview this Ken Burns series. There is nothing more exciting than learning about country music history while being surrounded by the instruments that helped make it."

Tickets are $75 per person, and are tax-deductible donations to the PBS station. Seating is limited; reservations can be made online at https://www.wtcitv.org/an-evening-of-country-music/.

— Compiled by staff writer Susan Pierce

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