Austin City Limits extends a hearty congratulations to ACL Hall of Fame legends Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow on being voted in for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year. Few artists have had the impact on music of Willie Nelson, who expanded the boundaries of country music – indeed, of American music. Outside of her bucket of hits, Sheryl Crow is simply one of the most respected singer/songwriters of the last thirty years, as beloved by her peers as by her fans. Willie Nelson was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in the inaugural class in 2014 and Sheryl Crow was welcomed into the ACL Hall of Fame in 2022.
Shout-outs to their fellow inductees Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, George Michael, Rage Against the Machine, and the Spinners. Also being honored this year are guitarist Link Wray and DJ Kool Herc with the Musical Influence Award, Chaka Khan, producer Al Kooper, and songwriter Bernie Taupin for Musical Excellence, and Soul Train host Don Cornelius with the Ahmet Ertegun Award for industry professionals. The honorees will be celebrated in the Rock Hall’s induction ceremony and ceremony this fall in NYC. Congratulations y’all!
A big “Huzzah!” from Austin City Limits to the winners of last night’s 2023 Grammy Awards. Co-produced for the 12th year by ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, the 65th ceremony celebrated the breadth, depth and variety of modern music, bestowing awards on several of our distinguished alumni. Season 48 opener Brandi Carlile took home a trio of top awards: Best Rock Performance and Best Rock song for “Broken Horses,” and Best Americana Album for In These Silent Days, the album from which it comes. ACL three-timer and Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt won one of the Big Four awards with “Just Like That,” the title track of her acclaimed recent album, taking Song of the Year, as well as Best American Roots Song. She also earned a Best Americana Performance award for her song “Made Up Mind.” Rap icon Kendrick Lamar took home trophies for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “The Heart Part 5,” as well as Best Rap Album for Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. Singer Sam Smith won the Best Pop/Duo Performance award for “Unholy,” his duet with Kim Petras, who made history last night as the first openly trans performer to win a Grammy. And shout out to Willie Nelson, who’s been on ACL more times than anyone and recorded the pilot back in 1974—the icon added to his Grammy shelf awards for Best Country Solo Performance (“Live Forever,” from the Billie Joe Shaver tribute album of the same title) and Best Country Album (A Beautiful Time).
Other winners from the ACL catalog include Rosalía, Wilco, Taj Mahal, the Neville Brothers’ Aaron Neville, August Greene’s Robert Glasper, Ry Cooder, Natalia Lafourcade, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Special shout-outs to Jack Antonoff, who appeared on ACL in Season 39 as a member of fun., for winning Producer of the Year for the second year in a row, and keyboardist Leo Genovese, who backed up Esperanza Spalding in Seasons 35 and 38 and Residente in Season 44, for sharing the Best Improvised Jazz Solo award with saxophone great Wayne Shorter. Find the complete list of winners and nominees here.
Grammy season is upon us, as the nominations for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards were announced on Tuesday. We’re proud to see so many of our featured artists and distinguished alumni rack up nominations. Our Season 48 opener Brandi Carlile received seven nods, including Album of the Year for In These Silent Days, Record of the Year, Best Americana Performance and Best American Roots Song for “You and Me On the Rock,” on which she collaborated with fellow 48ers Lucius, and Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance for “Broken Horses.” She showcased both nominated songs in her dazzling season premiere along with highlights from the celebrated album, which will encore on your local PBS station next year, check acltv.com for episode schedules.
We’re thrilled to showcase many of the nominees, including Maren Morris, Spoon and The War on Drugs, in full-hour performances in the second half of our Season 48, which will begin airing early next year, and the complete broadcast line-up will be announced in early December. Country star Maren Morris, who recently taped her first-ever ACL appearance, received a trio of nominations, including Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song for “Circles Around This Town” and Best Country Album for Humble Quest. Austin-bred indie rockers Spoon received their first-ever nomination, Best Rock Album, for their acclaimed LP Lucifer On the Sofa. The War On Drugs scored a Best Rock Song nod for “Harmonia’s Dream” from their I Don’t Live Here Anymore.
Current Season 48 standouts garnering accolades include Cuban sensation Cimafunk, who recently debuted on ACL in a performance for the ages, and received his first nomination (but surely not his last) for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album for El Alimento, while genre-defying songstress Allison Russell got nods for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for “Prodigal Daughter,” her collaboration with singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. ACL Hall of Famer Lyle Lovett picked up a nomination for Best Americana Performance for “There You Go Again” alongside his pals and fellow AC Hall of Famers Asleep at the Wheel.
Cheers to this year’s esteemed ACL Hall of Fame inductee Sheryl Crow, who returns to the Grammys with a nom for Best American Roots Song for “Forever,” a new song from her acclaimed 2022 documentary Sheryl. Stay tuned for our upcoming ACL Hall of Fame broadcast featuring the nine-time Grammy winner, which airs early next year and features one-of-a-kind collaborations including Sheryl and Brandi Carlile.
Season 48 artists aren’t the only ones who need to clear space on their mantle, however. Season 41 standout Kendrick Lamar collected a whopping eight nominations, including Record, Song and Album of the Year, plus the four Rap categories and Music Video of the Year. ACL four-timer Miranda Lambert garnered four nominations, including Best Country solo performance for “In Her Arms,” a song she first performed on last year’s Season 47 season premiere alongside co-writers Jon Randall and Jack Ingram. Our friend and ACL Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt also scored four nods, including Song of the Year for “Just Like That” the title track from her acclaimed 2022 album. We here at the house that Willie built, are beyond thrilled to see Willie Nelson earn four nominations, including three in the Country field, proving that, at 89 years young, his career keeps rolling on.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Our prestigious alumni who received multiple nominations include Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Rosalía, the Black Keys and Angelique Kidjo, while single nods were had by Buddy Guy, Norah Jones, Elvis Costello, the late Dr. John, Florence + the Machine, and far too many more to list here. We encourage you to check out the full list of nominations is here. Co-produced by ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, the 65th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will broadcast on Sunday, February 5, on CBS. Good luck to everyone nominated.
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 TimeLife.com/ACL.
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 TimeLife.com/ACL, 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 acltv.com.
Kick off the New Year with a good ‘un: Austin City Limits presents ACL Hall of Fame: The First 6 Years, a special broadcast featuring a victory lap of some of the finest performances from the first six years of the annual ACL Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, from the inaugural induction celebration in 2014 to 2019’s sixth annual ceremony. The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to honor beacons of American music who have played an instrumental role in making the iconic music series a music institution. The 14-song, all-star salute, recorded live in Austin, Texas, features best–in-class performances and collaborations, many never-before-broadcast, from the annual celebrations in a performance-packed hour with Hall of Fame honorees including Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash and Kris Kristofferson performing alongside special guests. ACL Hall of Fame: The First 6 Yearspremieres Saturday, January 2 at 8pm CT/9pm ET. Check local PBS listings for times. The special will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, January 3 @10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits.
The Hall of Fame celebration captures one-of-a-kind performances and emotional moments as the hour kicks off with the very first inductee into ACL’s inaugural Hall of Fame in 2014: Willie Nelson, who appeared on ACL’s pilot episode in 1974, and performs his classic “On the Road Again” joined by special guests Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett. Blues giant Buddy Guy, a 2019 inductee, performs an electrifying take on his gem “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues” joined by a longtime friend, bluesman Jimmie Vaughan. For her induction in 2017, Rosanne Cash shares the stage with friends Elvis Costello and Neko Case, trading verses on her early chart-topping anthem “Seven Year Ache,” joined by legendary guitarist Ry Cooder. A trio of music’s most expressive vocalists, Chris Isaak, Brandi Carlile and Raul Malo, join forces to celebrate the legendary Roy Orbison’s 2017 induction with a joyous rendition of the pioneering rocker’s signature “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Acclaimed singer-songwriter Jason Isbell performs a moving solo rendition of Texas singer-songwriter Guy Clark’s classic, “Desperados Waiting For A Train,” saluting the 2015 inductee. Bonnie Raitt celebrates her induction in 2016 teaming up with handpicked guests Mavis Staples and Taj Mahal on a blazing rendition of her smash “Thing Called Love.” Kris Kristofferson, a fellow 2016 inductee, lights up the stage with a moving, solo acoustic performance of his early 70s classic “Lovin’ Her Was Easier.” Celebrating her induction in 2019, Shawn Colvin delivers a captivating performance of her early gem “Diamond In the Rough,” from her 1989 debut Steady On, joined by a pair of Texas singer-songwriters, Sarah Jarosz and fellow inductee Lyle Lovett. The queen of country music, Loretta Lynn, who first appeared on the series in 1983, is celebrated during her 2015 induction by country singer Patty Loveless, with a stirring rendition of the living legend’s first number one country hit “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’”.
The “first family of funk,” The Neville Brothers, the first New Orleans act to appear on ACL in 1979, are saluted by Trombone Shorty and members of the next-generation Nevilles Band for a scorching NOLA-style tribute to the influential funk ‘n’ soul collective in honor of their 2017 induction. Legendary Texas singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt is inducted in 2015 with an all-star tribute of his “White Freightliner Blues” with music greats Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson, Vince Gill, Gillian Welch, Dwight Yoakam and more trading verses on the classic. Blues-rock star Gary Clark Jr. puts down his guitar for the occasion and steps up to the mic to pay vocal tribute to 2018 inductee Ray Charles, delivering a radiant “Night Time Is the Right Time” while vocalists Ruthie Foster, Carolyn Wonderland and Shelley King do The Raelettes proud with show-stopping backing chorus. American originals Los Lobos join the fifth class of inductees in 2018 performing a classic from their celebrated four-decade career, “La Pistola Y El Corazon”. The broadcast comes to an epic close saluting blues-rock icon Stevie Ray Vaughan’s 2014 induction into the first class of inductees, as a murderers’ row of guitar greats, including Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy and Johnny Lang, perform a blistering “Texas Flood,” the Lone Star classic Vaughan made famous when he performed it on his now-classic 1983 ACL debut, in a performance for the ages.
Austin City Limits Hall of Fame: The First Six Years setlist:
Willie Nelson w/ Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett “On the Road Again”
Buddy Guy w/Jimmie Vaughan “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues”
Rosanne Cash w/Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Ry Cooder “Seven Year Ache”
Chris Isaak w/Brandi Carlile, Raul Malo “Oh Pretty Woman”
Jason Isbell “Desperados Waiting For A Train”
Bonnie Raitt w/ Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal “Thing Called Love”
Kris Kristofferson “Lovin’ Her Was Easier”
Shawn Colvin w/Lyle Lovett & Sarah Jarosz “Diamond in the Rough”
Patty Loveless “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’”
The Nevilles Band w/Trombone Shorty “Meet De Boys on De Battlefront”
All-Star Cast f. Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson, Vince Gill, Gillian Welch, Dwight Yoakam “White Freightliner Blues”
Gary Clark Jr. w/Ruthie Foster, Carolyn Wonderland, Shelley King “Night Time Is the Right Time”
Los Lobos “La Pistola Y El Corazon”
All-Star Finale f. Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Lukas Nelson, Doyle Bramhall II, Robert Randolph “Texas Flood”
Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding future tapings, episode schedules and select live stream updates.
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.
ACL Hall of Fame: The First 6 Years is produced by Austin PBS, KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by AXS, Dell Technologies, and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.
ACL’s 40th anniversary brings the debut of a long-held dream: the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. To celebrate, we held our first induction ceremony on April 26 in the original home of ACL, KLRU-TV’s Studio 6A. We were proud to inaugurate Willie Nelson, the first artist to ever appear on the show and a frequent guest ever since; Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, who made two iconic ACL appearances; Bill Arhos, creator of the show back in 1974; and Darrell Royal, the archetypal U.T. football coach and dedicated fan who was instrumental in introducing country superstars to the ACL lineup. But we did more than just hand out awards. It’s all about the music on this program, after all, so we also lined up some fantastic performances.
After opening remarks by ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, Oscar-winning actor and native Texan Matthew McConaughey introduced Willie Nelson. Backed by Lyle Lovett’s band and his stalwart harmonica player Mickey Raphael, the 81-year-old Texas legend opened his set with his perennial vanguard “Whiskey River,” the Lovett group giving it an almost funky backbeat. That rhythm became more hard-hitting as Willie moved directly into “Still is Still Moving to Me,” the closest thing he has to a rock anthem. “Here’s a new gospel song I just wrote,” Willie noted wryly before he launched into “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” his latest hit.
Willie then introduced the leader of the band he was borrowing, as Lyle Lovett came onstage for a duet on Willie’s country/soul crossover hit “Funny How Time Slips Away.” Lovett first sang this song with Al Green and was honored to do it again with its author. Next up was Willie’s friend Emmylou Harris, who essayed an emotion-filled take on Willie’s “Crazy,” originally made a standard by Patsy Cline. Willie completed his trilogy of antique classics by retaking the mic for an especially jazzy blues version of the Ray Price-popularized “Night Life.”
Lovett and Emmylou returned for a round-robin version of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty,” a hit for Willie and Merle Haggard, of course, but also last performed on camera by Emmylou and Willie during ACL’s 1999 Townes Van Zandt tribute. With that, Willie graciously turned the stage over to his guests, as Lovett crooned his enigmatic country waltz “Walk Through the Bottomland” and Emmylou sang Rodney Crowell’s rueful “‘Til I Gain Control Again,” which she made a hit in the 70s. Willie then took center stage once again, spiking the energy level with spirited takes on his traditional set closers “On the Road Again” and Hank Williams’ gospel fireball “I Saw the Light,” with the legend exhorting the crowd to sing along.
McConaughey returned to induct Willie into the Hall of Fame – it’s only right that the first person to be broadcast as part of ACL be the first one to enter our Hall. “Austin is the greatest thing to happen to music,” Willie stated in his acceptance speech, and as his hosts for so many years, we can’t argue. Terry Lickona took over for McConaughey afterward to induct Bill Arhos, former KLRU station manager, program director and ACL executive producer, and the man who sparked the creation of the show, sold it to PBS as a series and was the driving force until his retirement in Season 25. Bill quipped that, while he was happy to be inducted with the first class, “It’s a little intimidating to be in the class of first inductees when three out of the four have bronze statues. I’ve got a stainless steel fingernail clipper.”
Lickona then introduced recently retired University of Texas football coach Mack Brown, who inducted the late Darrell Royal, the most successful coach in UT football history. “Coach,” as he was known by everyone, may seem to be an odd choice for a music program’s hall of fame. But Royal’s greatest passion outside of football and his family was country music, and it was his friendship with C&W masters like Merle Haggard and George Jones that got them on the show. In addition, his legendary “picking parties” at his house, featuring all manner of singers and songwriters, inspired the creation of our own songwriters specials.
Following the intermission McConaughey returned to induct Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. Stevie couldn’t be there, obviously, but his brother Jimmie weighed in with a specially recorded video message, and the members of Double Trouble – bassist Tommy Shannon, drummer Chris Layton, keyboardist Reese Wynans – accepted their own trophies. Wynans thanked both the Austin musical community and the city’s eager audiences for embracing their sound.
Then these consummate musicians took the stage in tribute to their late leader, with various special guests subbing on guitar and vocals. Vaughan acolyte Kenny Wayne Shepherd and singer Mike Farris appropriately kicked off the set with “The House is Rockin’,” Wynans duplicating his solo from the album and Shepherd faithfully reproducing his hero’s lead break. “Look at Little Sister” followed, a tune that really took advantage of Farris’ gritty blue-eyed soul voice. The duo closed out their part with the groovy, rocking “Crossfire,” Shepherd dreamily lost in his blues dream.
Next up was Doyle Bramhall II, former ARC Angel, current Eric Clapton sideman and the son of Stevie’s songwriting partner Doyle Bramhall Sr. Doyle II began with the 12-bar blues of “Lookin’ Out the Window,” one of his father’s compositions for Stevie, before launching into the soulful ballad “Life Without You,” highlighted by a fiery solo. Doyle II ended his set with a rocking “Change It,” another Bramhall Sr. tune that became one of Double Trouble’s greatest hits.
Doyle II remained onstage as it was reset with a pedal steel guitar. That could only mean one thing: Robert Randolph. After relating that he was one of the few in his crowd to be into Stevie Ray Vaughan – indeed, he claimed that one of his dates ended early due to his incessant spinning of Double Trouble’s music in his car – Randolph blasted into “Gimme Back My Wig,” an old blues tune popularized by Chicago slide guitarist Hound Dog Taylor and later covered by Stevie. After that slidefest, Randolph led the band into a raucous take on “Pride and Joy,” perhaps Vaughan’s best-known tune, lighting it up with wild steel solos and ending on a Hendrixian flourish.
It would take a hell of a showman to equal that performance, but we had just such a person in the wings. Legendary Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy brought his stinging tone and aggressive attack to bear in full force on “Let Me Love You Baby,” one of his hits that Stevie made his own. Guy doubled his power on “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” letting his famous flamboyance take over during the ending solo and reiterating why he was such a big inspiration to Vaughan and blues and rock guitar players even now.
Such a lineup of stellar talent and songs as that contained this evening could end only one way: with a show-closing jam. Nearly everyone who’d played crowded the stage for a rendition of “Texas Flood,” the Larry Davis tune that Vaughan and Double Trouble made their signature. With vocals shared by Guy, Lovett, Willie and his son Lukas, and solos slashed by Shepherd, Lukas and Guy, it was a blues fan’s wet dream, and a fitting way to close out the festivities.
What a show. What a night. There’s more to come in celebration of ACL’s 40th year, with exciting announcements aplenty – watch this space.