Austin City Limits (ACL) celebrates 40 years on television with a grand finale featuring musical highlights and inductions from the first-ever Austin City Limits Hall of Fame presentation. Hosted by Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, this never before broadcast special showcases outstanding performances and collaborations from the ACL Hall of Fame ceremony held April 26, 2014, including Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph and more. The program also honors the inaugural class of Hall of Fame inductees, featuring two legendary music acts, Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, and a pair of individuals who played an invaluable role in the genesis of the series, show creator Bill Arhos and Texas Longhorns football head coach and ACL supporter Darrell Royal.
The hourlong season finale premieres February 14th at 8pm CT/9pm ET. ACL’s landmark 40th Season has featured a stellar slate of performers including Grammy winners Beck and Sam Smith, along with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Spoon, Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails, Tweedy, Ed Sheeran, Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis. In the following weeks, the Peabody Award-winning series will continue to broadcast fan-favorite encore episodes weekly until Season 41 premieres in the fall. Viewers can stay tuned to acltv.com for episode schedules and news regarding live streams of upcoming tapings. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings for times) and full episodes are made available online for a limited time at http://video.pbs.org/program/austin-city-limits/ immediately following the initial broadcast. The show’s official hashtag is #acltv.
For this extraordinary occasion ACL returns to its original Studio 6A, where the series taped its first episode in 1974—featuring Willie Nelson—to honor the artists and individuals who have inspired the iconic television series throughout its four decade run. The intimate performances include inductee Willie Nelson, joined by Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris for stunning readings of Nelson-penned classics including “Funny How Time Slips Away”, “Crazy” and “On the Road Again”. Matthew McConaughey inducts his friend and fellow Texan, saying “There would be no Austin City Limits without Willie Nelson”.
Austin blues-rock giants Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble are honored with a stirring tribute and their signature songs are performed by special guests backed by Double Trouble’s Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon and Reese Wynans. Guitar ace Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Grammy-winning singer Mike Farris perform a scorching rendition of “The House Is Rockin’”. Blues titan and ACL veteran Buddy Guy says, “I wasn’t here when Willie started, but I came soon after,” then demonstrates his incredible guitar prowess with an electrifying take on “Mary Had A Little Lamb”. Steel guitar dynamo Robert Randolph performs a fiery version of “Give Me Back My Wig” joined by Doyle Bramhall II. The special comes to an epic close with an all-star reading of a Lone Star classic as a stellar lineup of guitar slingers blaze through “Texas Flood,” a song Stevie Ray Vaughan made iconic when he performed it on a now-classic 1983 ACL appearance.
“The return to Studio 6A was a night filled with many emotions,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “A lot of history was made on that weathered wood stage, so it was only fitting that we come home for this special night to launch the ACL Hall of Fame. It almost felt like a time warp seeing Willie back up there, and we could feel the spirit of Stevie Ray in the room. There was magic in the air, and it shows!”
ACL recently announced the inductees for its second annual ACL Hall of Fame and the first round of tapings for the series’ upcoming Season 41, which include the Grammy nominated country rebel Sturgill Simpson, acclaimed rock outfit The War on Drugs, and new ACL Hall of Fame members Asleep at the Wheel, joined by special guests including The Avett Brothers and Amos Lee, in a special tribute to the late Bob Wills, King of Western swing.
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