A new CNN documentary series looks at popular music in relation to historical eras and events, beginning with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968.

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“Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History”

A new, eight-part documentary series examines how popular music reflects eras and historic events. Tonight’s opening episode focuses on the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and how music helped drive the civil-rights movement and its aftermath. Future episode topics include the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the women’s rights movement and the Vietnam War. 7 p.m. Thursday on CNN, repeating at 10 p.m.

Madeline Mckenzie: mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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