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Austin City Limits Hall of Fame 2016 induction ceremony a huge success

on October 13, 2016 No comments
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Bonnie Raitt inducted into Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame

Congratulations Bonnie !!
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Last night we were thrilled to induct three giants of American music into the third annual Austin City Limits Hall of Fame: B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson. The evening featured one-of- a-kind music performances and tributes from Willie Nelson, Billy Gibbons, Mavis Staples, Rodney Crowell, Gary Clark Jr., Taj Mahal, B.B. King’s Blues Band and Eve Monsees.

Bill Stotesbery, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS CEO and Terry Lickona, Executive Producer of Austin City Limits welcomed to the crowd to the special evening.

Comedy supercouple Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally hosted the celebratory evening which will air on New Year’s Eve on PBS. The entertaining duo kicked things off with a playful attempt to claim the Hall of Fame inductions for themselves, before introducing the night’s first inductee: legendary songwriter Kris Kristofferson. Singer/songwriter and Austin City Limits veteran Rodney Crowell took the stage to pay tribute to one of his heroes and greatest influences. Clad all in black, Kristofferson accepted his award saying, “This is as good as it can get!” Crowell then moved center stage to lead the house band in a rollicking rendition of Kristofferson’s “Chase the Feeling” and an expressive version of his classic ballad  “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” The man himself then arrived for another pair of ballads, specifically the hits “Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” and the oft-recorded “For the Good Times,” his voice craggy with experience. Kristofferson then welcomed fellow Austin City Limits Hall of Famer and longtime friend Willie Nelson to the stage, who plugged in Trigger and led everybody in a shuffling take on Kristofferson’s signature tune “Me and Bobby McGee,” to a huge smile from its writer.

Bonnie Raitt & Mavis Staples © Gary Miller
Bonnie Raitt & Mavis Staples © Gary Miller

Offerman and Mullally returned to introduce the induction of Bonnie Raitt, and gospel soul great Mavis Staples took the stage (to a standing ovation) in order to induct her longtime friend with a touching and hilarious speech. Raitt accepted her award with excitement and humility, then joined Staples onstage for a romp through the swampy Bob Dylan/Danny O’Keefe co-write “Well Well Well.”

Bonnie Raitt & Taj Mahal © Gary Miller
Bonnie Raitt & Taj Mahal © Gary Miller

Staples then quit the stage to be replaced by eclectic bluesologist Taj Mahal for the rocking “Gnawin’ On It,” with Raitt, house band guitarist David Grissom and Mahal (on harp) trading solos around.

Willie Nelson joined Raitt onstage to reprise their duet on Stephen Bruton’s (her former guitarist) lovely “Getting Over You,” recorded by the pair on Nelson’s landmark LP Across the Borderline twenty years before.

Bonnie Raitt and Willie Nelson performing Stephen Bruton’s 'Getting Over You' © Gary Miller
Bonnie Raitt and Willie Nelson performing Stephen Bruton’s ‘Getting Over You’ © Gary Miller

One standing ovation later, Raitt thanked the hardworking Austin City Limits crew and welcomed Staples and Mahal back to the stage for “Thing Called Love.” The trio enhanced the John Hiatt song that’s become one of Raitt’s signature tunes with electric ukulele and sanctified tamborine for a kick-ass performance.

Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt, and Taj Mahal perform during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / RODOLFO GONZALEZ)
Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt, and Taj Mahal perform during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / RODOLFO GONZALEZ)

Mullally and Offerman delivered a shout-out to house bandleader Lloyd Maines, introducing the night’s ace band before intermission. The second act began with KLRU-TV CEO Bill Stotesbery returning to the stage to induct Dick Peterson, who worked for KLRU from 1984-2008. A TV veteran with decades in the business, the Austin native took over as Austin City Limits executive producer after co-creator Bill Arhos retired in 2000, and received his award for his decades-long work behind the scenes. The night’s hosts returned to introduce the evening’s final inductee: great blues titan B.B. King. Rock legend and blues scholar Billy F. Gibbons from ZZ Top took to the stage to induct one of his greatest inspirations. King’s award was accepted by Myron Johnson, the bluesman’s longtime personal assistant and tour manager. Offerman and Mullally returned to inform the audience that the trophy would reside in the B.B. King Museum and to introduce the B.B. King Blues Band – not only the band that backed King on the road for many years, but in the case of some of them, musicians who appeared with the King of the Blues on his 1983 debut ACL appearance. Fronted by guitarist/singer Jesse Robinson in King’s absence, the band rolled into a faithful take on his classic “Paying the Cost to Be the Boss.” Gibbons then came back, fronting a trio with King drummer Herman Jackson, Austin organist Mike Flanigin and, of course, himself on guitar. The threesome reached back to the 60s for the 12-bar “The Jungle,” with Gibbons and Flanigin trading blistering solos. The band segued immediately into “You Upset Me Baby,” King’s lascivious #1 R&B single from 1954.

Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark, Jr., perform during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / RODOLFO GONZALEZ)
Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark, Jr., perform during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / RODOLFO GONZALEZ)

The King band re-took the stage, joined by previous inductee Raitt and guitar great and Austin native Gary Clark Jr. The pair launched into “The Thrill is Gone,” probably King’s most famous song, filling it with scintillating singing and sizzling solos. Raitt exited and Clark took the spotlight for a faithful “Three O’Clock Blues,” the Lowell Fulsom song that was King’s first hit in 1952. Clark then brought on his friend and Austin blues standout Eve Monsees.  The pair, who learned the blues together while still in high school, romped through King’s 1953 single “Woke Up This Morning.”Willie Nelson returned to the stage to join Clark Jr. for a relaxed but blues-soaked version of “Night Life,” the Nelson original that became a staple of King’s setlist. Nelson’s distinctive picking proved itself as adept at the blues as the country for which he’s known.

Offerman and Mullally came back and brought the entire cast with them for a memorable grand finale- the inductees, the guests and both the house band and the King band. The all-star line-up went into “Everyday I Have the Blues,” another indelible King hit that helped define not only his career, but the genre itself. Both band and audience had a great time, the latter on its feet for the entire song. The celebratory evening came to a close with the entire cast singing a serendipitous version of “Auld Lang Syne” to mark the event’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, with a take so bluesy King’s spirit was surely smiling. For the crowd it might as well have been the real thing, considering the kissing, hugging and celebration going on. Mullally and Offerman thanked everyone for coming and it was over. It was quite a night, the best Hall of Fame ceremony yet, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this Dec. 31 as part of our Season 42 on your local PBS station.

Finale during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 © Scott Newton
Finale during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 © Scott Newton

Source: © Copyright Austin City Limits

Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, B.B. King get a full ACL Hall of Fame salute

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by Peter Blackstock

Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal perform together during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. © Rodolfo Gonzalez /American-Statesman
Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal perform together during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. © Rodolfo Gonzalez /American-Statesman

When the time came for Mavis Staples to formally induct Bonnie Raitt into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame on Wednesday night at ACL Live, it was her late father, Staple Singers patriarch Pops Staples, who provided the best line of the night.

“My pops loved Bonnie,” Mavis beamed. “He used to so say, ‘She’s a little piece of leather but she’s well put together.’”

Such balance of toughness and composure has long marked the career of Raitt, who was the standout performer on a night filled with legends both living and departed. The long-running television show’s third annual Hall of Fame ceremony kicked off with the induction of songwriting great Kris Kristofferson by Rodney Crowell, proceeded through Raitt’s special moment and culminated with a celebration of B.B. King, whose death last year left a bottomless hole in the blues.

MORE PHOTOS: ACL Hall of Fame Induction & Ceremony gallery

Perfectly woven throughout all three segments was the presence of Willie Nelson. As bandmates in the Highwaymen, Nelson and Kristofferson shared countless miles and stories, so it was fitting when renditions of a few Kristofferson songs by Crowell and by Kris himself were capped with Willie coming aboard to lead the ACL house band in the classic “Me and Bobby McGee.”

Nelson returned a half-hour later to duet with Raitt on the tender ballad “Getting Over You,” which was emotionally dedicated to Stephen Bruton, the late former Austinite and longtime Raitt guitarist. Bruton wrote the song, which Nelson and Raitt recorded on Nelson’s 1993 album “Across the Borderline.”

That was just one of several stellar performances during Raitt’s segment, with Mavis Staples and Taj Mahal joining in for three other numbers. Their full-tilt rocking take on John Hiatt’s “Thing Called Love,” a hit from Raitt’s late-career breakthrough album “Nick of Time,” closed out the evening’s first set with a bang.

Bonnie Raitt receives her award from Mavis Staples during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted.
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Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples, sing, "Well, Well, Well," during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted.
Bonnie Raitt & Mavis Staples

After a 20-minute intermission and a nice moment honoring former “Austin City Limits” executive producer Dick Peterson, the second half was all about B.B. King. ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons did the inducting honors, with King’s longtime personal assistant and tour manager Myron Johnson accepting as King’s eight-piece backing crew gathered onstage, ready to kick off the rest of the evening’s music.

Johnson’s was the only extended acceptance speech of the night, but it was worth the time, with quality insights into King’s personality and his approach to his art. “Every time he took the stage, he showed who he was, open and raw,” Johnson said. “You need only to look at his face.”

King’s band, which included a three-piece horn section, then blazed through the perfectly chosen “Paying the Cost to Be the Boss” before Gibbons returned for a two-song tribute in stripped-down trio form featuring Austin B3 organ ace Mike Flanigin. The real moment of truth came next, when King’s band returned to back Raitt and Austin guitar star Gary Clark Jr. for the indelible blues classic “The Thrill Is Gone.”

Clark stayed around for two more numbers, the second with his longtime friend Eve Monsees joining in on guitar, before Nelson once again strolled onstage for the obvious closer: Willie’s own “Night Life,” which King turned into a signature song. The sonic juxtaposition of King’s horn-driven ensemble against the vibrant plucked strings of Trigger, Willie’s superhero acoustic guitar, was fascinating. After Nelson reeled off a spectacularly jazzy solo mid-song, he looked over at Clark, and both of them sported million-dollar grins that distilled the spirit of the entire evening into one magic instant.

The entire cast of more than two dozen — including musical director Lloyd Maines’ first-rate house band of guitarist David Grissom, pianist Chris Gage, bassist Bill Whitbeck and drummer Tom Van Schaik — joined in for the grand finale of “Every Day I Have the Blues.” A twisted postscript of “Auld Lang Syne” followed, performed solely because the show is scheduled to air on Austin’s KLRU and other PBS affiliates on New Year’s Eve.

The show’s lone but jarring misstep was the inclusion of TV comedy acting couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman as emcees. From clowning around with cowboy hats to hamming up the tortured faux-New Year’s Eve theme, they were painfully unfunny and an irritating intrusion on what was otherwise a mesmerizing night of music. It wasn’t entirely their fault: Most of the dialogue was scripted, revealing that while no one does music television better than “Austin City Limits,” the show simply doesn’t know how to do comedy, and probably shouldn’t try.

The grand finally performs during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. © Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman
The grand finally performs during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. © Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman

Source: © Copyright Austin360

Sold-out awards show shucks off TV tropes and triumphs

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By Raoul Hernandez

Comedian emcees who no one’s written jokes for. Olympian musicians reading lyrics off a huge teleprompter. Pretending it’s New Year’s Eve, because that’s when the taping airs. Even so, Austin City Limits’ third annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony proved worth almost every minute of its three hours on Wednesday night at the Moody Theater.

Auld Lang Syne: (l-r) Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Gibbons, and Eve Monsees during Wednesday’s grand finale © Gary Miller
Auld Lang Syne: (l-r) Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Gibbons, and Eve Monsees during Wednesday’s grand finale © Gary Miller

Fêting three musicians – Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, and B.B. King – and a staffer, Dick Peterson, from soon the most enduring music show on television (Top of the Pops, ffpht), the PBS concert series currently broadcasting season 42 mixed and matched a typically Austin jamboree that parlayed whatever’s in the water here to a universal audience. Willie Nelson, Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal, Billy F. Gibbons, Rodney Crowell, Gary Clark Jr., and Eve Monsees fronted an all-star house band in staging a tribute worthy of the literal fireworks at the end. And “Auld Lang Syne” to finish?

If Willie Nelson himself can shout out “Happy New Year” on Oct. 12 – sporting a proverbial shit-eating grin – then who are we to pretend any different?

Brownsville-born military scion, Kristofferson, 80, wobbled on and off-stage first and quickly in accepting his crystal ACL skyline trophy, but the Highwayman’s ordination by Rodney Crowell more than filled his Rhodes scholar quotient. The Houston kid’s introduction following a brief video bio preceded his rousing pair of prize Kristofferson copyrights, “Chase the Feeling” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” Both songs aligned the pair of Texans – rugged, sensitive, knowing.

“Kris made male vulnerability a very seductive tool,” nodded Crowell. “I thought, ‘That guy knows how to get girls.’”

So did the band behind him and everyone else last night: bandleader and ACL Hall of Fame inductee in his own right, steel driver Lloyd Maines, guitar tamer David Grissom, Chris Gage on piano, and Robert Earl Keen’s veteran rhythm duo, Bill Whitbeck on bass and drummer Tom Van Schaik. When Crowell ceded the stage to the initial honoree, who made his way gingerly through “Loving Her Was Easier” and “For the Good Times,” the show band gently nudged Kristofferson to his standing ovation. Unbelievable wasn’t the fact he’d have stumbled without the words scrolling up a screen, but that he could read them 25 yards away!

Willie, who then sank his sweet-n-sour tenor into “Me & Bobby McGee,” mostly ignored the lyrical script for a game, wily reading of the Janis Joplin keepsake, his trademark modulation of syllables, bon mots, and whole lines putting accents where no other singer would fathom.

Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples, sing, "Well, Well, Well," during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / RODOLFO GONZALEZ)
Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples, sing, “Well, Well, Well,” during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / RODOLFO GONZALEZ)

Mavis Staples, 5 feet high but 10 feet tall, spoke to the enduring strength and sensuality of Bonnie Raitt, whose takeaway in that moment appeared far less her local TV enshrinement than a bear-hugging reunion with her episode partner in the program’s season 38. The two, seated side by side, held hands during a Delta-dredging moan through Bob Dylan’s “Well Well Well,” the description Staples bestowed on Raitt applying to both: “Earth Angel.” Taj Mahal sat in next with the latter on a freight train blues (“Gnawin’ on It”), but Raitt’s third guest misted the entire sold-out home of Austin City Limits.

Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples, hug after a song during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / RODOLFO GONZALEZ)
Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples, hug after a song during the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction and Celebration held at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, in Austin, Tx., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Performers B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, were inducted. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / RODOLFO GONZALEZ)

Willie mostly read through Stephen Bruton’s “Getting Over You” and swallowed a couplet or two, but in reprising the duet from his 1993 catalog keepsake Across the Borderline, the Red Headed Stranger provided the kindling for Raitt to apply her wicked slide guitar chill bumps, while also letting her craggy siren cry range deep into the pulpy melancholy of the late author’s finest composition. She and Staples capping the mini set with the former’s Nick of Time smash “Thing Called Love” brought the house down.

After an intermission and Peterson’s moment in front of the camera instead of behind it, the rest of the show belonged to the spirit of B.B. King (1925-2015). From the late blues sovereign’s backing band through to Austin garage-blues queen Eve Monsees’ delightful spark in teeming with her initial guitar partner, Gary Clark Jr., the soul of capital city blues lit up like 1,001 nights at the genre’s homegrown shrine, Antone’s Nightclub. Tribute fuse Billy F. Gibbons loaded up the ride circa 1958.

“B.B. told me learn to play what you want to hear,” recalled the ZZ Top frontman. “Pretty solid information, that.”

Sure enough, Gibbons chopped through “The Jungle” with precisely what he always wants to hear: a gut-bucket, six-string smear of the blues almighty. Raitt and Clark engineered “The Thrill Is Gone” as King’s beefy octet drove a turbulent rhythm through the tune, she electric and he dressed like Lee Van Cleef from some spaghetti Western. Clark then laid into “Three O’Clock Blues” to reassure all present that Lucille – B.B.’s axe – had clearly passed the torch to the Austin-born burner.

Willie capping the show by picking and grinning his way through “Night Life” as if King himself was still a budding folk-blues scholar hungry for the world outside his plantation origins left Clark shaking his head in disbelief. More than half a dozen guitars marched straight to the promised land on grand finale “Every Day I Have the Blues.” At the last, no one sang “Auld Lang Syne” with more gusto than Kris Kristofferson.

Happy New Year, townies. 2017’s off to a rocket start inside these Austin City Limits.

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Source: © Copyright The Austin Chronicle The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame But wait, there's more!

B.B. King, Kris Kristofferson and Bonnie Raitt to enter ACL Hall of Fame

on January 27, 2016 No comments

Austin City Limits announces Hall of Fame 2016 inductees

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Austin City Limits is proud to announce the newest class of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame inductees: late blues titan B.B. King, songwriting icon Kris Kristofferson and the legendary Bonnie Raitt. The 2016 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be celebrated at a ceremony highlighted by all-star music performances to be held October 12, 2016 at ACL’s studio home, Austin’s ACL Live at The Moody Theater. The event will be open to the public and ticket onsale information will be announced at a later date.

The announcement was made this evening by KLRU-TV, Austin PBS General Manager Bill Stotesbery at an event in Austin. “We established the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame to pay special tribute to the people that have helped make the show the standard bearer for music on television,” said Stotesbery. “Now in its third year, we’re proud to honor three incredible performers. Each one has a catalogue of work that has influenced generations and been a vital part of the history of Austin City Limits.”

The latest class of inductees features music legends who have all graced the ACL stage multiple times, setting the standard for excellence and contributing to more than four decades of incredible performances. Legendary bluesman B.B. King made two classic appearances on Austin City Limits, in 1983 and 1996. When he first appeared on ACL in 1983 it was rare for a blues artist to command a full hour on national television; his powerhouse performances rank as two of the finest in the show’s illustrious history.  An American original, Kris Kristofferson is regarded as one of the world’s greatest songwriters.  The charismatic Texas native has been a fixture on the music scene since the 1960s, penning some of the most beloved songs of all time.  He debuted on ACL in 1982, returning in 1997 and 2010 and for ACL’s 40th anniversary special in 2014.  Ten-time Grammy-winner Bonnie Raitt is one of the most revered artists in music.  Over four decades into a remarkable career, on the eve of her twentieth release, the magnetic singer-songwriter-guitarist continues to deliver outstanding work.  Raitt has played an invaluable role in ACL’s history, with standout performances on the series in 1984, 2002 and 2012 and returning for the 40th anniversary special in 2014.

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’ 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, non-performers who played a key role in the evolution of the program were honored: 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. The second annual ACL Hall of Fame ceremony took place June 18, 2015, honoring Western swing institution Asleep at the Wheel, country icon Loretta Lynn, songwriting legend Guy Clark, master Tex-Mex accordionist Flaco Jiménez and the late Texas troubadour Townes Van Zandt. In addition, the original television production crew that worked on the first season of ACL in 1974/1975 were recognized in the non-performer category for their contributions in setting the foundation for the series. Hosted by Dwight Yoakam, the event featured memorable moments and musical highlights from an all-star cast including Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Jason Isbell, Patty Loveless, Gillian Welch, Laura Marling, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, Los Texmaniacs and JT Van Zandt.

About the 2016 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honorees:

photo by Scott Newton
photo by Scott Newton

B.B. King:

The foremost ambassador the blues has ever had, the late, great B.B. King brought the genre to new artistic and popular heights with his powerful voice, incomparable axework and classic songs. With his guitar “Lucille” strapped to his chest, the undisputed King of the Blues made two legendary appearances on ACL in 1983 and 1996. King’s debut episode was recorded in 1982 and originally broadcast in 1983 as part of Season 8.  The 11-song set spans the length and breadth of his career to that point, from his then-new album Love Me Tender (including “Since I Met You, Baby” and the title track, a cover of the Elvis Presley classic) to his own standards “Everyday I Have the Blues” and “The Thrill is Gone.”  In a powerhouse performance, King hits full-force with a voice that is neither harsh nor sweet, that bends, like his fingers, with each note. “There was electricity in Studio 6A that night like no other,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “It was pure B.B. – just him, Lucille and one of the best road bands he ever toured with. He mixed up hardcore blues with Elvis ballads, and had the audience in the palm of his hand, following his every lead. It was historic!”

photo by Scott Newton
photo by Scott Newton

Kris Kristofferson:

Rhodes scholar, Golden Gloves boxer, college football player, film actor, acclaimed songwriter, social activist—few artists can boast the kind of freewheeling career enjoyed by songwriting legend Kris Kristofferson.  The Brownsville, Texas native gave up a promising military career in favor of life as a self-described “songwriting bum,” arriving on the music scene in the 1960s.  He expanded the language of country music songwriting with emotional truth and revealing honesty, penning enduring classics (“Me and Bobby McGee,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “For the Good Times”) that continue to resonate with audiences worldwide.  His incredible body of work includes his many film and television roles, (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, A Star is Born, Lone Star).  An American original, he is a lifelong activist who continues to speak out on social justice and human rights issues. Kristofferson first appeared on ACL in 1982, returning in 1997 and 2010 and for the series 40th anniversary special in 2014.

photo by Scott Newton
photo by Scott Newton

Bonnie Raitt:

More than just a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer, and accomplished songwriter, Bonnie Raitt has carved out an enviable forty-five year strong career. The ten-time Grammy winner was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and Rolling Stone named the slide guitar ace one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” Her landmark albums Nick of Time and Luck of the Draw have secured her place as an American music treasure. Raitt’s widely-acclaimed 2012 release Slipstream sold over a quarter-million copies, making it one of the top selling independent albums, and earned Raitt her 10th Grammy Award (Best Americana Album). A tireless performer with decades of non-stop touring under her belt, in 2012 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance from the Americana Music Association. In February 2016, Raitt releases her highly-anticipated 20th album, Dig In Deep. When not burning up highways on tour with her band, the devoted activist has championed and spoken out on behalf of many social causes. Raitt performed on ACL in 1984, 2002 and 2012 and most recently for the series’ 40th anniversary special in 2014.


Source Copyright ©: Austin City Limits

B.B. King, Kris Kristofferson and Bonnie Raitt to enter ACL Hall of Fame

Peter Blackstock
B.B. King plays at the Erwin Center 9/21/1995. © Kevin Virobik-Adams/American-Statesman
B.B. King plays at the Erwin Center 9/21/1995. © Kevin Virobik-Adams/American-Statesman

The 2016 class of inductees to the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame features three giants of American music: B.B. King, Kris Kristofferson and Bonnie Raitt.

The official inductions will move from spring to fall this year, with the ceremony and concert set for Oct. 12 at ACL Live, three days after the Austin City Limits Music Festival concludes its second weekend. Performers and ticket details will be announced later.

This is the third class of inductees to the hall, which was established in 2014 to “celebrate the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have been instrumental in the landmark series’ 40-plus years,” per an ACL statement. The inaugural cast featured musicians Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lloyd Maines along with program founder Bill Arhos and longtime University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal.

Last year’s additions were Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jimenez, Asleep at the Wheel, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, along with the full crew of the show’s first season in 1974-75.

King, who died in 2015, first appeared on “Austin City Limits” in 1983, and the full-hour episode helped elevate the program’s stature as one of television’s premier music programs. He returned in 1996 for another hourlong broadcast.

Singer Bonnie Raitt performs at the taping of the Austin City Limits Gala 2002 which was held at the Austin Convention Center. © Larry Kolvoord (AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Singer Bonnie Raitt performs at the taping of the Austin City Limits Gala 2002 which was held at the Austin Convention Center. © Larry Kolvoord (AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Kristofferson and Raitt each have appeared on three episodes. Kristofferson had his own shows in the 1982 and 2009-10 seasons, and he took part in a 1997 songwriters special with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver and Kimmie Rhodes. Raitt made her debut in 1984 and returned for shows in the 2002-03 and 2012-13 seasons. Both Kristofferson and Raitt also performed on the program’s 40th anniversary special in 2014.


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