On October 25th, 2017, three American musical innovators were inducted into the fourth annual Austin City Limits Hall of Fame: singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash, New Orleans funk ‘n’ soul collective the Neville Brothers and late rock & roll legend Roy Orbison. The evening featured one-of-a-kind music performances and tributes from Elvis Costello, Brandi Carlile, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Dr. John, the Mavericks’ Raul Malo, Trombone Shorty, the Nevilles Band and host Chris Isaak. A non-performer – the 50th Anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. The milestone signing helped pave the way for PBS. Johnson’s granddaughter Catherine Robb and Amy Barbee, chairperson of the LBJ Foundation, accepted the award.
Roy Orbison possessed one of the most remarkable and recognizable voices in all of music; combined with his easy facility for writing memorable pop songs, it led to superstardom. The Vernon, Texas native’s first success came as a songwriter in the ‘50s, when the Everly Brothers recorded his “Claudette.” But he became a major star starting in 1960 with “Only the Lonely,” beginning a string of hits including “Crying,” “In Dreams,” “Running Scared,” and the immortal “Oh, Pretty Woman.” His melodic gifts, well-timed sense of drama and magnificent voice spoke to generations of music fans – he remains one of the most beloved musical artists of the 20th century.
One of the country’s pre-eminent singer/songwriters, Rosanne Cash has released 15 albums of extraordinary songs that have earned multiple Grammy Awards and 11 nominations, as well as 21 Top 40 hits, including 11 No. 1 singles. Her restless musical journey spans nearly four decades and includes a recent career triumph: three 2015 Grammy Awards for her widely-acclaimed album, The River & the Thread. The soul-searching trailblazer has been winning over audiences since she debuted on Austin City Limits in 1983. Cash went on to make six more appearances on the ACL stage, with each performance offering new insight into her creative process.
The Neville Brothers
The first family of New Orleans music, The Neville Brothers have been world ambassadors for their city’s distinctive style of funk, soul, and R&B for four decades. The family band made its recorded debut in 1978 and has been unstoppable ever since, amassing a catalog of classic, rumpshaking albums like Fiyo On the Bayou and Yellow Moon and hits “Brother John/Iko Iko,” “Yellow Moon” and their inimitable take on Leonard Cohen’s “Bird On a Wire.” A mainstay of New Orleans stages and a huge influence on the musicians who followed them, the beloved band took its party around the world. The Nevilles’ three appearances on Austin City Limits in 1979, 1986, and 1995 continued to get groovier, greasier, and more funky with age.
50th Anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act
This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Public Broadcasting Act. The law created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and later led to the creation of both PBS and NPR. Austin City Limits honors the milestone signing in the non-performer category this year. The landmark act was signed into law in November 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson who remarked at the time, “We want most of all to enrich man’s spirit. That is the purpose of this act.” The Act stipulates that “it is in the public interest to encourage the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities.”
Award accepted by Catherine Robb, Attorney, Former KLRU Board President and founder of the LBJ Future Forum and Amy Barbee, Executive Director of the LBJ Foundation.