Austin City Limits

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Willie Nelson was not an American icon.

In the early ‘70s, Nelson was best-known for writing hits for other people. The Abbott, Texas native had a successful career as a Nashville songwriter (“Crazy,” “Hello Walls,” “Night Life,” etc.) but had not yet achieved recognition under his own name. In 1974 all that would change. With the release of 1973’s Shotgun Willie and 1974’s Phases and Stages, two imaginative and successful LPs, the stage was set for his career to take off.

Then on October 17, 1974, Willie and his Family band entered Studio 6A to record the pilot for Austin City Limits. Broadcast as part of the national pledge drive in March 1975, the show was one of the top programs on PBS that year, securing a future for ACL as a series.

Willie has appeared on the show 16 times, with six headlining slots (most recently in 2009), seven songwriters specials and three guest appearances with Johnny Rodriguez, Roger Miller and Asleep at the Wheel. Not only is he the artist who launched Austin City Limits, he’s also one of our most frequent - and favorite - guests.

For more, visit: acltv.com/hall-of-fame/

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Austin City Limits

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Austin City Limits (ACL), the groundbreaking television music series, returns for its 39th Season this fall with a must-see line-up featuring indie stars, legendary artists and talented newcomers. The season premiere debuts Saturday, October 5th and features a double headliner with Latin artists Juanes and Jesse & Joy. Showcasing ACL's long-standing commitment to feature the best in music from around the world, Colombian


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Austin City Limits (ACL), the groundbreaking television music series, returns for its 39th Season this fall with a must-see line-up featuring indie stars, legendary artists and talented newcomers. The season premiere debuts Saturday, October 5th and features a double headliner with Latin artists Juanes and Jesse & Joy. Showcasing ACL's long-standing commitment to feature the best in music from around the world, Colombian superstar Juanes kicks things off with a thrilling high-energy performance in the debut episode, which also features Mexican duo Jesse & Joy. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings for times) and full episodes are made available online at acltv.com immediately following the initial broadcast.

This year's lineup includes indie stars Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Grizzly Bear and Dawes making their ACL debuts. ACL showcases the best new talent from the U.S. and beyond, including breakthrough British acts Emeli Sandé and Michael Kiwanuka, and Americana's newest stars, Shovels & Rope and The Lumineers in their ACL debuts. A season highlight is ACL veterans Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell performing together for the first time on the ACL stage. Multiple Grammy-winning band fun., 2013 Grammy Award winners for Best New Artist, round out the first half of the season with an unforgettable performance.

ACL Executive Producer Terry Lickona says, “Every year Austin City Limits makes history, and this year is no exception—launching the new season with two of Latin music's biggest superstars. We're also proud to continue the tradition of showcasing some of music's most amazing new talent, and as usual our music mix offers a little something for everybody's taste!"

Austin City Limits has done what no other television series has done in the history of American television. Inspired by the music scene that continues to thrive in Austin, Texas, the show has, for more than 37 years, presented viewing audiences with live concerts from many of the world's most acclaimed, accomplished and pioneering talent. And while other televised concert shows have come and gone ACL has consistently provided musical artists the platform of a nationally televised performance, in an intimate concert setting, with a straightforward production style. This format is what enables ACL to attract such a stellar lineup of performers year after year.

In the last decade the show has spawned the annual Austin City Limits Festival, featuring more than 130 bands on eight stages over a three-day weekend each Fall. In early 2011, Austin City Limits moved to its new home The Moody Theater, a state-of-the-art concert venue and recording studio in the heart of downtown Austin.

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