Austin City Limits is a weekly television program on PBS which offers a wide variety of American music. The show records about twelve to fifteen live performances every TV season and broadcasts them at a later date. It is usually aired on Saturday night. The genre varies from Country, Blues, and Bluegrass to Rock 'n' Roll, folk, and zydeco. There is a closeness and an intimacy between the performers and the audience. Many times the performers tell a little story or two while they are playing.
The first show was actually a pilot in 1975 and featured Willie Nelson, who also has had the most appearances on the show's 28 year history, around 17 last count. The first show was produced at KLRN-TV, a PBS station in Austin, and was successful enough that PBS bought the show and has been airing it ever since. Austin City Limits got its inspiration from Austin's evergrowing music scene. You can catch a live performance in Austin almost every night. Performers with extraordinary musical and/or song-writing abilities are the usual guests on the show. Popularity takes a back seat to talent. Of course it doesn't hurt to be a country musician from Texas either.
The show has had over 500 different performers including Jimmy Buffett, Sheryl Crow, Fats Domino, Jewel, Pete Fountain, Dixie Chicks, Timbuk 3, Lionel Hampton, Alan Jackson, Indigo Girls, David Byrne, George Thorogood, Ray Charles, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez and the list goes on. In 1981 the present background was added, which shows scenes from the city of Austin, including the Capitol dome and UT bell tower. With little trees and a dark ceiling the round stage seems to be in an outdoor setting but its all inside the studio. The 28th season is well under way. Check your local listings for the time and station near you. For a list of upcoming performers and an anthology of past ones see the "PBS" website below.
PBS - Austin City Limits (http://www.pbs.org/klru/austin/tvschedule/index.html)
Handbook of Texas Online: AUSTIN CITY LIMITS (http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/arti.../xmaqa.htm)