Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 by Public Broadcasting Service
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 (PBS) Public television member station KLRU
KLRU is the local Public Broadcasting Service member public television station in Austin, Texas, in the United States of America.-History:...

, and broadcast on many PBS stations around the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The show helped Austin to become widely known as "Live Music Capital of the World," and is the only television show to receive the National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts
The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the...

, which it was awarded in 2003.

Initially created to celebrate the music of Texas
Music of Texas
Texas has long been a center for musical innovation. Texans have pioneered musical developments in tejano & conjunto music, Western Swing, Jazz, punk rock, mariachi, country music, electronic music, gothic and industrial music and the blues...

—featuring western swing
Western swing
Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands...

, Texas blues
Texas blues
Texas blues is a subgenre of blues. It has had various style variations but typically has been played with more swing than other blues styles....

, Tejano music
Tejano music
Tejano music or Tex-Mex music is the name given to various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Mexican-American populations of Central and Southern Texas...

, progressive country
Progressive country
Progressive country is a subgenre of Texas country music started in the early 1970s in Austin, Texas. The term was coined by programmers at Austin's KOKE-FM in 1972 as a way to differentiate the style of country music in Austin from that being made in Nashville...

, 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
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, alternative country
Alternative country
Alternative country is a loosely defined sub-genre of country music, which includes acts that differ significantly in style from mainstream or pop country music...

, alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

, folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, and jam band
Jam band
-Ambiguity:By the late 1990s use of the term jam band also became ambiguous. An editorial at suggested that any band of which a primary band such as Phish has done a cover of be included as jam band. The example was including New York post-punk band Talking Heads after Phish performed...


The show inspired the creation of the Austin City Limits Music Festival
Austin City Limits Music Festival
The Austin City Limits Music Festival is an annual three-day American music festival that takes place in Austin, Texas at the city's central public park, Zilker Park...

, an annual live music festival at Zilker Park
Zilker Park
Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in the heart of south Austin that comprises over of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the land to the city in 1917. It was developed into the park during the Great Depression in the 1930s...

 in Austin.

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
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is a mixed-use commercial airport located southeast of the central business district of Austin, Texas, United States. It covers and has two runways and three helipads.The airport began passenger service on May 23, 1999...



From 1976 through its 2010 season, ACL was recorded in Studio 6A in the Communications Building B on the University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in 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
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

. 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 Moody Theater and studio in downtown Austin's W Austin Hotel and Residences
W Austin Hotel and Residences
W Austin Hotel & Residences is a 37-story hotel and residential skyscraper in Austin, Texas that opened in December 2010. Standing at 478 feet above the ground and 37 stories, it is the fourth tallest building in Austin. It is a residential building that sits behind the Austin City Hall. It holds...

. Despite a seating capacity of over 2,700, audiences will be limited to around 800 (the original total seating capacity of the old studio). The additional seating capacity will be used for the ACL Live concert series at the venue.

Theme song

In 1977, ACL producers made "London Homesick Blues," written by Gary P. Nunn
Gary P. Nunn
Gary P. Nunn is a Texas Country singer/songwriter. Nunn was born in Oklahoma and moved to Brownfield, Texas as a sixth grader. He was a member of Lubbock, Texas rock band The Sparkles during the 1960s. In 1995, Nunn was inducted into the West Texas Walk of Fame, and in 2004, into the Texas Hall of...

, the ACL theme song. The show originally used the version performed by Nunn, but the song was rearranged several times starting in the mid-1990s. The current theme, beginning with the show's 30th season, is an original composition by Austin musician Charlie Sexton
Charlie Sexton
Charles Wayne Sexton is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter best known for the 1985 hit Beat's So Lonely and as the guitarist for Bob Dylan's backing band from 1999 to 2002 and since 2009...



See: List of Austin City Limits performers

Kinky Friedman
Kinky Friedman
Richard S. "Kinky" Friedman is an American Texas Country singer, songwriter, novelist, humorist, politician and former columnist for Texas Monthly who styles himself in the mold of popular American satirists Will Rogers and Mark Twain. He was one of two independent candidates in the 2006 election...

 taped an appearance on the program that was never aired.


As of the 2008–2009 season, the show was supported by:
  • AT&T
    AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

  • Advanced Micro Devices
    Advanced Micro Devices
    Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. or AMD is an American multinational semiconductor company based in Sunnyvale, California, that develops computer processors and related technologies for commercial and consumer markets...

  • Austin Convention Center
    Austin Convention Center
    The Neal Kocurek Memorial Austin Convention Center is a multi-purpose convention center located in Austin, Texas, USA. The building is the home of the Texas Rollergirls, and was also home to the Austin Toros basketball team, until their move to the Cedar Park Center in nearby Cedar Park in 2010.The...

  • Budweiser
    Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch)
    Budweiser is a 5.0% abv American-style lager introduced in 1876 by Adolphus Busch and one of the highest selling beers in the United States. It is made with up to 30% rice in addition to hops and barley malt. Budweiser is produced in various breweries located around the world...

  • Lone Star Brewing Company
    Lone Star Brewing Company
    The Lone Star Brewery, built in 1884, was the first large, mechanized brewery in Texas. Adolphus Busch, of Anheuser-Busch, founded it along with a group of San Antonio businessmen. The castle-like building now houses the San Antonio Museum of Art. Lone Star beer was the company's main brand. It was...

  • Stroh Brewery Company
    Stroh Brewery Company
    The Stroh Brewery Company was a beer brewery located in Detroit, Michigan. In addition to their own Stroh's brand, they produced or bought the rights to several other brands including Goebel, Schaefer, Schlitz, Augsburger, Erlanger, Lone Star, Old Milwaukee, Red River, and Signature, as well as...

  • Frito-Lay
    Frito-Lay North America is the division of PepsiCo that manufactures, markets and sells corn chips, potato chips and other snack foods. The primary snack food brands produced under the Frito-Lay name include Fritos corn chips, Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips,...

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
    Corporation for Public Broadcasting
    The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a non-profit corporation created by an act of the United States Congress, funded by the United States’ federal government to promote public broadcasting...

  • "Viewers Like You"
  • SBC Communications
  • Chick-Fil-A
    Chick-fil-A |"fillet"]]) is a quick service restaurant chain headquartered in College Park, Georgia, United States, specializing in chicken entrées and is known for promoting the company founder's claims of Christian values. Long associated with the southern United States, where it has been a...

See also

  • Sessions at West 54th
    Sessions at West 54th
    Sessions at West 54th was an American television program that featured music performances, and was in some ways a pop music variation on the theme set by the long-lived Austin City Limits, though the featured musicians represented a number of musical genres. It was called Sessions at West 54th...

    : a short-lived public television series that also featured music performances
  • Soundstage
    Soundstage (TV program)
    Soundstage is an American live concert television series produced by WTTW Chicago and HD Ready. The original series aired for 13 seasons between 1974 and 1985; a new series of seasons began in 2003, with the latest running through summer 2009, each presented in high definition with surround...

    : similar program from WTTW
    WTTW channel 11 is one of three Public Broadcasting Service member public television stations serving the Chicago, Illinois market; the others are WYCC and WYIN. WTTW began broadcasting on September 6, 1955 and it is owned and operated by Window to the World Communications, Inc., a not-for-profit...

     in Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

  • Austin City Limits Music Festival
    Austin City Limits Music Festival
    The Austin City Limits Music Festival is an annual three-day American music festival that takes place in Austin, Texas at the city's central public park, Zilker Park...

  • Music of Austin
    Music of Austin
    The music of Austin, Texas, USA has gone beyond 6th Street and now includes other areas such as Red River, the University of Texas, the Warehouse District and Downtown, South Lamar, South Austin, East Austin and the Market District where bars and clubs of every kind can be found. Every night over...

  • KLRU
    KLRU is the local Public Broadcasting Service member public television station in Austin, Texas, in the United States of America.-History:...

External links

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