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Friday, August 05, 2005

Austin City Limits: 1975-1980

Austin City Limits: 1975-1980

The Austin, Texas music scene of the early 1970s was already a destination for the unconventional musician. A group of people involved in the music and broadcasting scene came together to develop the idea for Austin City Limits. PBS granted funding for a pilot episode to be recorded.

Aiming to capture the energy of live music and the experience of the audience and performer, the program was taped in the round, with a live audience. Studio 6A at the University of Texas at Austin was to become the show's home. Relative unknown Willie Nelson was tapped for ACL's pilot. When the show aired, it set fund-raising records for PBS across the South, and a full season was ordered, to begin in 1976. In January of that year, the innovative new music program hit the airwaves, bringing the original sounds of Asleep at the Wheel, Townes Van Zandt, the Charlie Daniels Band, Jerry Jeff Walker and more to homes across America.

In 1977, Gary P. Nunn's "London Homesick Blues" (click to stream) becomes the program's theme song and would continue as such up to the conclusion of the 29th season. This song would soon become synonymous with Austin City Limits.

Other highlights of the 1975-1980 period were Willie Nelson's performance of his entire Red Headed Stranger album and the appearance of the first of many Nashville stars such as Chet Atkins. Zydeco legend Clifton Chenier makes his ACL debut in 1976.

The diversity of the program is displayed with performances by songwriters John Prine and Tom Waits, Jimmy Buffett, Joe Ely and Ray Charles.

The research for this 'project' playlist has been enjoyable and I hope you'll find this look back at the history of quality music in America and especially the South as entertaining as I have!

Coming up: Austin City Limits 1981-1985


  • At Fri Aug 05, 10:19:00 PM EDT, Blogger Amanda said…

    * "London Homesick Blues" - Jerry Jeff Walker
    * "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" - Willie Nelson
    * "Mr. Bojangles" - Jerry Jeff Walker
    * "No Ordinary Woman" - Marcia Ball
    * "Mendocino" - The Sir Douglas Quintet
    * "Clavelito, Clavelito" - Flaco Jimenez
    * "I Got Mine" - Ry Cooder
    * "Dollar Bill Blues" - Townes Van Zandt
    * "I'm On My Way (Back Home To You)" - Clifton Chenier
    * "Nothin' Takes The Place Of You" - Asleep At The Wheel
    * "Long Haired Country Boy" - The Charlie Daniels Band
    * "The Last Gunfighter Ballad" - Guy Clark
    * "Hey Joe" - Roy Buchanan
    * "Broken Lady" - Larry Gatlin And The Gatlin Brothers
    * "Battle Of New Orleans" - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
    * "Livin' Ain't Livin'" - Firefall
    * "Get Along" - Denim
    * "Okie Dokie Stomp" - Gatemouth Brown
    * "Pledging My Love" - Delbert McClinton
    * "Havana Daydreamin'" - Jimmy Buffett
    * "Orange Blossom Special" - Earl Scruggs
    * "Pigeon River Breakdown" - Gove Scrivenor
    * "Sad Situation" - Tracy Nelson
    * "Silver Wings" - Merle Haggard
    * "Vassar's Boogie" - Hillbilly Jazz
    * "Brand New Tennessee Waltz" - Jesse Winchester
    * "Don't Leave Your Records In The Sun" - John Hartford
    * "Somebody Touched Me" - The Dillards
    * "Desperado" - Johnny Rodriguez
    * "Summertime" - Doc Watson
    * "Snowbird" - Chet Atkins
    * "Sixteen Tons" - Merle Travis
    * "Thanks A Lot" - Ernest Tubb
    * "San Antonio Rose" - Bob Wills
    * "Fish And Whistle" - John Prine
    * "City Of New Orleans" - Steve Goodman
    * "Carolina In The Pines" - Michael Martin Murphey
    * "Line Of Fire" - Norton Buffalo
    * "Louisiana Man" - Doug Kershaw
    * "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" - Hoyt Axton
    * "Two Lane Highway" - Pure Prairie League
    * "Dropkick Me, Jesus" - Bobby Bare
    * "On The Nickel" - Tom Waits
    * "Alabama Jubilee" - Leon Redbone
    * "Ballad Of Forty Dollars" - Tom T. Hall
    * "Mojo Hand" - Lightnin' Hopkins
    * "Fire On The Bayou" - Neville Brothers
    * "Piggly Wiggly" - Robert Shaw
    * "Good Morning Miss Brown" - Taj Mahal
    * "Dixie Hoedown" - John McEuen
    * "Honey Don't" - Carl Perkins
    * "I Cheated Me Right Out Of You" - Moe Bandy/Joe Stampley
    * "Hasta La Vista" - Flaco Jimenez
    * "Slide Off Your Satin Sheets" - Johnny Paycheck
    * "Georgia On A Fast Train" - Billy Joe Shaver
    * "Boxcars" - Joe Ely
    * "L.A. Freeway" - Jerry Jeff Walker
    * "Little Maggie" - Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys
    * "Georgia On My Mind" - Ray Charles
    * "I Don't Do Windows - Hank Cochran" - Willie Nelson
    * "Slippin' Around" - Floyd Tillman
    * "Amanda" - Don Williams
    * "But Love Me" - Janie Fricke

  • At Sat Aug 06, 02:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger Amanda said…

    Just a couple of notes about the playlist. They are chronologically ordered, according to the schedule on the show's web site. The tracks are in most cases songs that were performed on the show. There are two Austin City Limits live CD's in Rhapsody and I tried to put them in the right places.

    I had hoped to split it up into two playlists of 15 years each but it didn't quite work out that way. That's a lot of music!

  • At Mon Aug 08, 02:10:00 PM EDT, Blogger J Shifty said…

    Whoa. Bravo, Amanda!

    It took a while to listen to that list while working, so I can only imagine the effort taken to assemble it accurately and chronologically. A nice list. I've been sinking my ears into the Texas originals recently, and you've got several decades of them included here.

    I give "Dropkick Me, Jesus" my vote as finest song I've heard in a while. I'd say you sent this playlist "straight through the heart of those righteous uprights" indeed.


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