Austin City Limits
|Austin City Limits|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original release||1976– present|
Austin City Limits (ACL) is an American public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas, by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station KLRU, and broadcast on many PBS stations around the United States. The show helped Austin to become widely known as the "Live Music Capital of the World", and is the only television show to receive the National Medal of Arts, which it was awarded in 2003. It also won a rare institutional Peabody Award in 2011 "for its more than three decades of presenting and preserving eclectic American musical genres."
Initially created to celebrate the music of Texas—featuring western swing, Texas blues, Tejano music, progressive country, and rock n' roll—the series has gone on to feature regional, national and international artists performing a wide range of musical styles, including jazz, alternative country, alternative rock, folk music, and jam band.
Austin City Limits is the longest-running music program in television history.
The pilot was shot on October 14, 1974, and starred Willie Nelson. (B.W. Stevenson was actually taped the night before, but the recording was deemed unusable.) The deliberate lack of production slickness and attention to audio detail pleased even the notoriously TV-shy Nelson, and ACL creator Bill Arhos pitched the pilot to PBS as part of its 1975 pledge drive. The show’s success as a fundraiser was enough for Arhos to get ACL green-lighted as a series.
Some of the performances from Austin City Limits have been released as CDs and DVDs in the Live from Austin, TX series. Full episodes can also be viewed online at the show's official website. There is an Austin City Limits store at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
On June 21, 2012, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, announced that nearly forty years of Austin City Limits footage will be digitally archived "in perpetuity" at the Museum's new Library and Archives; recordings from more than 800 live performances will be made available to the public.
From 1976 through its 2010 season, ACL was recorded in Studio 6A in the Communications Building B on the University of Texas at Austin campus, on a stage featuring a mock skyline of Austin in the background. The studio had a seating capacity of approximately 800, but due to limited access to fire exits the audience size was limited to 300.
In 2010, the show and its original studio were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A plaque near the entrance to Communications Building B commemorating the occasion proclaims Austin City Limits as the "longest running music show in the history of American television."
On February 26, 2011, ACL held its first taping in its new purpose-built Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater (ACL Live) and studio in downtown Austin's Block 21. The additional seating capacity is used for an estimated 100 concerts and 100 private events per year at the venue.
On December 2, 2014, in celebration of Austin City Limits' 40th season, a DVD titled Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years will be released.
Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in American television history.
Beginning in Season 2, 1977, ACL producers made "London Homesick Blues", written by Gary P. Nunn in 1973, and performed by The Lost Gonzo Band, the show's theme song. The show originally used the version performed by Nunn, but the song was rearranged several times starting in the early 1990s.
For Season 7 in 1982, the opening theme music was composed by John Mills.
The current theme, beginning with the show's 30th season, is an original composition by Austin musician Charlie Sexton.
For Season 40, "Travis County Line" by Gary Clark Jr. became the theme.
- Sessions at West 54th: a short-lived public television series that also featured music performances
- Soundstage: similar program from WTTW in Chicago
- Music of Austin
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- 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2012
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-  Archived October 15, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
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- Cohen, Jason (2014-09-28). "Austin City Limits, Now 40, Feels Younger Than Ever". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
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- "40-year-old TV show ‘Austin City Limits’ helps make Austin hip | Dallas Morning News". Dallasnews.com. 2014-10-10. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
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