Yesterday afternoon, the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame announced the ACL’s latest inductees to their program with five legendary artists being included. Among the inductees are Asleep at the Wheel, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiminéz, Townes Van Zandt and Loretta Lynn.
The honor is for artists who have taken part in the iconic PBS series and concert venue’s 40 previous seasons. The newest class of inductees have graced the ACL stage multiple times and set the standards for excellence that the program is long revered for.
“I am truly honored to be included in this year’s ACL Hall of Fame,” said Asleep at the Wheel founder Ray Benson who was on hand for the announcement. “After Willie did the pilot in 1974-5, Asleep at the Wheel was selected to do the first regular episode of ACL. Joe Gracey and I were roommates then, and he was booking the show. He asked who we wanted to share the bill with and I said, ‘The Texas Playboys, Bob Wills' great band!’ That episode is now housed at the Smithsonian. Over the years I have appeared in numerous episodes both as a featured performer and a guest performer, and I cannot imagine our 45-year career without the exposure that ACL afforded us. Many thanks to the great staff who make the show what it is!”
ACL also announced the first round of new tapings for the series upcoming Season 41: breakout country rebel and Grammy-nominated Sturgill Simpson, acclaimed rock outfit The War on Drugs, and, in a special Bob Wills’ tribute, new Hall of Fame inductees Asleep at the Wheel, joined by guest stars including The Avett Brothers and Amos Lee.
New episodes of ACL are currently airing as part of the series’ milestone Season 40, with upcoming premieres featuring The Black Keys (Jan. 31) and Foo Fighters (Feb. 7). Foo Fighters recently immortalized ACL in an episode of their HBO series Sonic Highways, even recording a song, “What Did I Do?/God As My Witness,” in ACL's historic Studio 6A. ACL closes out this triumphant season with a special installment premiering Feb. 14, featuring inductions and performance highlights from the first-ever Austin City Limits Hall of Fame presentation.
The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame was established in 2014 in conjunction with the iconic television series' 40th Anniversary to celebrate the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have been instrumental in the landmark series remarkable 40 years as an American music institution. The invitation-only inaugural induction ceremony took place April 26, 2014 at ACL’s original Studio 6A. Hosted by Oscar-winning actor and Texas native Matthew McConaughey, the historic evening honored the first class of inductees, featuring American music icon Willie Nelson who starred on the original ACL pilot program, Austin blues rock giants Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and legendary steel guitarist and Grammy Award-winning music producer Lloyd Maines, in addition to non-performers who played a key role in the evolution of the program: original show creator Bill Arhos and longtime ACL supporter, Texas Longhorns football head coach Darrell Royal. A star-studded line-up paid tribute with incredible music performances, including: Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph, Doyle Bramhall II and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.