Lasting influence comes from originality, perseverance and the refusal to compromise your vision. These key characteristics that have made Austin City Limits an institution in music television have also made its next group of Hall of Fame inductees pioneers in the music business.
The 2015 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame class, announced at the Rattle Inn Thursday evening, includes Guy Clark and the late Townes Van Zandt, Texas sons and longtime friends with a gift for storytelling through poetic song; Loretta Lynn, a coal miner's daughter turned country music trailblazer; Flaco Jiménez, a San Antonio native with a flare for Tex-Mex accordion; and Asleep at the Wheel, a group of Austin-based western swing ambassadors.
“I am truly honored to be included in this year’s ACL Hall of Fame,” said Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, a multi-occasion ACL performer. “I cannot imagine our 45-year career without the exposure that ACL afforded us.”
The show's original crew is also being recognized for the important role it played in the launch and continuing success of the influential series that has spotlighted the talents of hundreds of music artists.
This year's inductees will join Willie Nelson (who starred in the ACL pilot), Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Darrell K Royal, Lloyd Maines and show creator Bill Arhos in the exclusive club that was launched last year during the show’s 40th anniversary to honor key artists and individuals who helped ACL thrive over the course of its four-decade history.
Austin City Limits also teased music fans with a glimpse of some of the artists they can look forward to seeing in season 41, which include Sturgill Simpson, The War on Drugs, and, in a special Bob Wills’ tribute, Asleep at the Wheel along with The Avett Brothers and Amos Lee.
The class of 2015 will be honored and officially inducted into the Hall of Fame during a star-studded celebration in June at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. Tickets will be available to the public with details forthcoming.