In a preview clip for Ken BurnsCountry Music docu-series, premiering on Sept. 15 on PBS, Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” sets the mood as one of the series’ recurring narrators, Marty Stuart, explains the easy enough to learn yet incredibly hard to master craft of songwriting.

“Songwriting is the most mysterious of all the trades,” Stuart says. “It cannot be explained. There’s a craft that goes along with it. But at the same time, it’s the divine gift. It’s that thing you can’t explain.”

Williams suits the discussion as the “Hillbilly Shakespeare”: a talented wordsmith able to connect with common people, not only a high-brow musical or literary audience. As for how that old nickname suits the discussion, William Shakespeare’s writings get associated with homework now, but in his day, his work appealed to people from all walks of life.

Stuart punctuates the clip with a quote about how Williams viewed his talent as a divine gift: “I guess he said it best when somebody asked him, ‘Hank, how do you write them old, sad songs?’” Stuart adds. “He says, ‘Hoss, I don’t write them. I just hang on to the pen and God sends them through.'”

Country Music is an eight-part documentary. The 16-plus-hour series' episodes will air in consecutive Sunday-through-Wednesday blocks (Sept. 15-18 and Sept. 22-25).

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