Iconic television series Austin City Limits (ACL) returns on Saturday, January 13 with a special broadcast: Austin City Limits 9th Annual Hall of Fame Honors John Prine, saluting the late legendary singer-songwriter and newest inductee John Prine and featuring an all-star slate of guest performers paying tribute to their friend, hero and inspiration: Tyler Childers, Valerie June, Tommy Prine, Nathaniel Rateliff, Allison Russell and Kurt Vile. The hour-long broadcast premieres Saturday, January 13 at 8pm ET/7pm CT on PBS. Check local PBS listings for times. The special will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, January 14 at 10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. A special companion Hall of Fame hour salutes fellow inductee Trisha Yearwood and will close out Season 49 on March 2. The series returns January 20 ringing in a new year with all-new episodes as part of its Season 49. The Peabody Award-winning program, produced by Austin PBS and recorded live at ACL’s studio home ACL Live in Austin, Texas, continues its extraordinary run as the longest-running music television show in history. ACL provides viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for 49 years as this American music institution nears a remarkable half-century milestone this year. Willie Nelson taped the pilot episode in 1974 and the trailblazing series premiered in 1975. Stay tuned for news on special concerts, fan events and activations as Austin City Limits salutes an incredible legacy of 50 golden years of American musical history and iconic performances. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings) and full episodes are made available to stream online at pbs.org/austincitylimits following the initial broadcast.
Since the inaugural 2014 ACL Hall of Fame honoring Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the music-filled salutes have become fan-favorites. Austin City Limits takes viewers inside the celebration with a pair of deep-dive presentations from this year’s Inductions, recorded live in Austin, Texas on October 26, 2023. The special installments, Austin City Limits 9th Annual Hall of Fame Honors, will bookend the second half of the season and salute newly-minted inductees John Prine and Trisha Yearwood with separate hours that showcase each artist’s Hall of Fame tribute, featuring musical performances, along with extended highlights including induction speeches and vintage clips from the honorees’ multiple appearances on Austin City Limits.
The first HOF episode premieres January 13 at 7pm CT/8pm ET, toasting the late singer-songwriter John Prine. Actor Ethan Hawke inducts the beloved icon posthumously as music greats Tyler Childers, Valerie June, Tommy Prine, Nathaniel Rateliff, Allison Russell and Kurt Vile salute the celebrated artist in a heartfelt hour featuring exclusive ACL intimate tributes alongside highlights from Prine’s eight appearances on the ACL stage. Rounding out Season 49 on March 2 at 7pm CT/8pm ET is a Hall of Fame tribute to country superstar Trisha Yearwood, Austin City Limits 9th Annual Hall of Fame Honors Trisha Yearwood, with Don Henley handling induction honors and musical salutes featuring Henley, Brandy Clark, Ronnie Dunn, Jo Dee Messina and Brothers Osborne along with vintage clips from Yearwood’s four classic ACL appearances.
John Prine made his ACL debut in 1979, and the captivating hour opens with vintage highlights from his eight appearances, including a 2002 appearance joining Bonnie Raitt for one of his most iconic songs, “Angel from Montgomery,” and his final ACL appearance in 2018, showcasing gems from his late-career triumph The Tree of Forgiveness. Actor Ethan Hawke, a longtime fan, tips his hat to the revered songwriter and delivers a rousing, inspired induction, celebrating Prine’s “homespun genius,” saying, “To love John Prine and his songs is to be part of one of the greatest conversations imaginable,” and calls him “a vivid, beautiful example of a singer-songwriter who chased excellence and truth rather than fame.” John’s widow Fiona, joined by their three sons, accepts on his behalf, saying “Austin City Limits, in its 50th year, continues to uphold the songwriter and the song,” and “for John, getting that call (to appear) was a thrill every single time.”
Prine’s youngest son Tommy kicks off the musical tribute with one of his favorite songs by his late father, “Souvenirs,” saying, “This song made it into every single setlist, pretty much every show he every played,” and closes with a poignant “I miss you Daddy.” A stellar slate of singer-songwriter aces take the stage to salute their hero in song: Prine’s cross-generational appeal is evident as indie songwriter-guitarist Kurt Vile performs a wistful, solo acoustic “How Lucky,” a Prine gem he recorded with Prine himself shortly before his 2020 passing; Allison Russell calls Prine “a foundational influence as a writer and as a human,” and renders a soaring “Storm Windows,” the title track of Prine’s 1980 album, backed by the ACL All-Stars house band, led by pedal steel ace Lloyd Maines; Nathaniel Rateliff hails, “We love you Handsome Johnny,” and regales the crowd with stories of Prine’s legendary wit and storytelling, before launching into a faithful rendition of “All the Best,” from Prine’s seminal 1991 album The Missing Years; Tyler Childers, who appeared as a guest of Prine during his final ACL appearance in 2018 for Season 44, performs one of his favorite John Prine songs, the honky-tonker “Yes I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You,” from the songwriter’s 1972 Diamonds in the Rough. Prine was “the gospel truth,” says Valerie June, and delivers a sparkling “Angel From Montgomery,” the Prine classic from his 1971 self-titled debut. The all-star cast returns for a poignant “Paradise,” trading verses on the Prine signature, with Tommy Prine taking his father’s last verse for a moving close and a standing ovation.
The night’s performers are accompanied by the ACL All-Stars house band, led by ACL Hall of Famer, renowned steel guitarist and musical director Lloyd Maines, and featuring guitarist David Grissom, keyboardist Chris Gage, bassist Bill Whitbeck and drummer Tom Van Schaik.
“We had planned to induct John into the ACL Hall of Fame in 2020, before he tragically became an early victim of the Covid pandemic,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “There were many well-deserved tributes at the time, but this year finally felt like the right moment to recognize his long history with ACL. Working closely with John’s family, we created a special celebration of his impact on singers and songwriters across so many genres.”
Austin City Limits 9th Annual Hall of Fame Honors John Prine (in order of appearance):
Tommy Prine “Souvenirs”
Kurt Vile “How Lucky”
Allison Russell “Storm Windows”
Nathaniel Rateliff “All the Best”
Tyler Childers “Yes I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You”
Valerie June “Angel From Montgomery”
All-Star Finale “Paradise”
The second half of ACL”s Season 49 continues in January with a diverse slate spotlighting multiple 2024 Grammy nominees: Five-time Grammy Award-winning innovator Robert Glasper, newly-nominated for a pair of 2024 Grammy Awards, brings his celebrated Black Radio series to life on the ACL stage joined by a trio of multiple Grammy-nominated and Grammy-winning special guests, including R&B singers Emily King and Yebba, along with rapper D Smoke; sharing the hour is eclectic, next-generation jazz duo DOMi and JD BECK, nominated for a 2023 Best New Artist Grammy, making their ACL debut with songs from their debut Not Tight. Breakout Vermont singer-songwriter Noah Kahan, nominated for a 2024 Best New Artist Grammy, makes a highly-anticipated debut on the ACL stage with songs from his acclaimed Stick Season; sharing the hour is the groundbreaking all-female mariachi act Flor de Toloache, with numbers from their 2024 Grammy-nominated album Motherflower. A season highlight is the long-awaited comeback, after nearly four decades, of country icon and Texas native Tanya Tucker for a must-see performance of career classics and new gems from her Sweet Western Sound; sharing the hour is country breakout Brittney Spencer with selections from her upcoming debut My Stupid Life.
ACL spotlights a number of popular acts with career-spanning hours: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo make their first-ever appearance on the series with an epic hour of classic rock highlights with the hitmakers showcasing gems from across their career; modern rock superstar Alanis Morissette makes her ACL debut with an hour of classics in an ecstatic live performance; ACL Hall of Fame icon Bonnie Raitt returns for the first time in a decade with a selection of favorites and highlights from her triple 2023 Grammy-winning album Just Like That… in a sterling new hour.
Season 49 Broadcast Schedule (Second Half):
January 13 Austin City Limits 9th Annual Hall of Fame Honors John Prine
January 20 Robert Glasper | DOMi and JD BECK
January 27 Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
February 3 Tanya Tucker | Brittney Spencer
February 10 Noah Kahan | Flor de Toloache
February 17 Alanis Morissette
February 24 Bonnie Raitt
March 2 Austin City Limits 9th Annual Hall of Fame Honors Trisha Yearwood
Watch new episodes live, stream online, or download the PBS App. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding upcoming Season 50 tapings, live streams and episode schedules or by following ACL on Facebook, Twitter, IG and TikTok. Fans can also browse the ACL YouTube channel for exclusive songs, behind-the-scenes videos and full-length artist interviews.
Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 49th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic Austin PBS Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012. ACL celebrates 50 years as an American music institution in 2024.
Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, the Austin Convention Center Department, Cirrus Logic and AXS Ticketing. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.
Austin City Limits Hall of FameIn 2014, Austin PBS, KLRU-TV — creator and producer of the legendary PBS show Austin City Limits — established the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame to recognize legendary musicians and key individuals who have been instrumental in making television’s longest-running popular music show an institution. Each year a new class of honorees are inducted and celebrated at a live event taped to air on PBS. It is also a historical archive, educational resource and celebration of Austin City Limits —telling the story of the show through photos, a timeline/anthology mural and in the near future, an interactive database of vintage Austin City Limits performances and video footage of interviews, behind-the-scenes and never before seen performances throughout the decades. Honorees to-date include Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jiménez, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, B.B. King, Rosanne Cash, The Neville Brothers, Roy Orbison, Marcia Ball, Ray Charles, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams, Wilco, Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, Sheryl Crow, John Prine and Trisha Yearwood.