Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Tanya Tucker

Last seen in these parts in Season 11, country icon Tanya Tucker has never slowed down, racking up hits since the seventies. Riding yet another career high thanks to the 2022 documentary The Return of Tanya Tucker and the Grammy-winning Tucker/Brandi Carlile co-write “Bring My Flowers Now,” the Seminole, Texas native – who’s finally getting inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year – returned to the Austin City Limits stage at full power, bringing with her a new acclaimed record, Sweet Western Sound

Before we got that LP, however, Tucker – decked out in a green leather fringed jacket and polka-dotted scarf – and her six-piece band dug into that bucket of hits, opening with the frisky top tenner “If Your Heart Ain’t Busy Tonight.” “I just wanna thank y’all for hangin’ in for so many years,” she declared – a broad hint of the next song, the old school honkytonker “Hangin’ In.” Minus drummer Toby Caldwell, the musicians then gathered at the front of the stage for an acoustic pickin’, mandolin and fiddle-powered take on her late eighties #1 hit “Strong Enough to Bend.” The hits kept on coming with 1976’s  “Don’t Believe My Heart Can Stand Another You,” a good choice for the audience’s mid-song clapping. 

The repertoire leapt forward in time to While I’m Livin’, the 2019 Brandi Carlile-produced LP that brought Tucker back to prominence. Driven by her gritty vocals, “Hard Luck” rang out with energy and swagger to big cheers. Then came the Grammy-winning killer: co-write “Bring My Flowers Now.” Backed only by piano and harmonies from singer Presley Tucker and bassist Dino Villanueva, Tucker explained the origins of the song, then delivered it with quiet dignity and expertly controlled passion as only someone feeling the weight of the years could. “If your heart is in them flowers,” she sang, “Bring ‘em on.” From the audience’s standing ovation, their hearts were deep in that garden.

That would be a tough song for anyone to follow up, but Tucker did it by dipping into Sweet Western Sound for “Kindness,” a song that fit the tenor of its predecessor, but with a faster tempo and wry humor. She followed with “When the Rodeo is Over (Where Does the Cowboy Go),” a song Carlile sent to Tucker over the phone, and the kind of classic narrative ballad only a singer of Tucker’s experience (plus co-writer and Tucker paramour Craig Dillingham on harmony) could pull off with the proper gravitas. That went doublefold for “Ready As I’ll Never Be,” a farewell to loved ones performed with solemn soul. “Losin’ your friends is hard enough,” she explained, “but when your friends are your heroes, it’s even harder.” If there was a dry eye in the house, we’d be shocked.  

The mood then changed for the rowdier, as Tucker shared a tequila with an audience member and launched her classic anthem “Texas (When I Die),” as much a showcase for her band as it was an audience party, earning her another standing O. Another tough act to follow, but once again she managed it with her early nineties bluesy strut “It’s a Little Too Late.” “It’s never too late to do the right thing,” she said. “I’m proof of that.” 

Tucker commented on how much she and the band had anticipated this ACL taping, thanked her friends and family for being there, and touched on her illustrious past, including  having met Elvis Presley. Then, of course, she closed the show the only way she could. “I’m sincere when I say I love this song,” she smiled. The familiar piano chords floated in the air, then she sang the words: “Delta Dawn/what’s that flower you have on.” Needless to say, the crowd took a chorus on their own, before Tucker ended the song with a gospel flourish. She left the stage to a final standing ovation, as well she should’ve. There’s nothing like seeing a living legend still in her prime, and Tanya Tucker lived up to the legend. You’ll see for yourself when this episode airs this fall as part of our 49th season on your local PBS station. 

Tanya Tucker on Austin City Limits, 2023. Photos by Scott Newton.

Featured News

Austin City Limits and Time Life present Austin City Limits Country box set

For the first time ever, iconic country music performances from Austin City Limits, the longest-running music show in television history, are together in one deluxe DVD collection. Time Life and Austin City Limits have captured five decades of uncut performances from country music’s biggest stars in Austin City Limits Country. This one-of-a-kind 10-DVD collection features the best performances from over 40 years of legendary music shows and is available only at

Since its launch in 1974, Austin City Limits has held a special connection to country music. Beloved by artists and fans alike, the show is known for authentic music presented in live and uncut performances. The collection has been hand-selected from countless episodes in the Austin City Limits archives to highlight the greatest country performances from artists who have made history on the ACL stage. 

“This collection represents not only some of the best singers in modern country music, but the songs that we will never forget,” said Austin City Limits Executive Producer Terry Lickona, who has booked the show for over four decades. “What has always made country music special to me is the song. Despite popular trends and production gimmicks, the song is still the heart and soul of the music. A great song is timeless.”

Austin City Limits Country includes performances by country’s finest from legends like Loretta Lynn, Marty Robbins, Charley Pride and Waylon Jennings to superstars like Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, and Garth Brooks, plus today’s greats including Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Chris Stapleton. The collection includes a special free bonus disc: The original Austin City Limits 1974 pilot episode featuring a complete Willie Nelson concert.

Time Life cordially invites country music fans everywhere to experience these wonderful performances, collaborations, bonus interviews, and more. Available now exclusively at, this hand selected 10-DVD country music treasure includes: 

  • 164 live, uncut performances from 1974 –2018 featuring country legends and superstars performing their biggest hits including Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning,” Reba McEntire’s “Whoever’s In New England,” Vince Gill’s “Whenever You Come Around,” Alan Jackson’s “Livin’ On Love,” and Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying.”
  • Unforgettable collaborations including Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson performing “Crazy,” Vince Gill and Patty Loveless singing “After The Fire Is Gone,” and Sheryl Crow and Kris Kristofferson performing “Me And Bobby McGee.”
  • Special moments including Roger Miller singing “Old Friends” with Willie Nelson, Vince Gill singing “Amie” with Pure Prairie League, and Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens singing “Streets of Bakersfield.”
  • Bonus interviews with the stars including Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, and more!
  • FREE Bonus DVD: The Austin City Limits 1974 pilot episode featuring a complete Willie Nelson concert!
  • PLUS, an exclusive collectible memory book!

About Time Life

Time Life is one of the world’s pre-eminent creators and direct marketers of unique music and video/DVD products, specializing in distinctive multi-media collections that evoke memories of yesterday, capture the spirit of today, and can be enjoyed for a lifetime. TIME LIFE and the TIME LIFE logo are registered trademarks of Time Warner Inc. and affiliated companies used under license by Direct Holdings Americas Inc., which is not affiliated with Time Warner Inc. or Time Inc.

About 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 46th 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 KLRU 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.
Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS, KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, Workrise, the Austin Convention Center Department and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at