Landmark Programming

KLRU benefit raises funds to preserve the Austin City Limits archives, honors Lloyd Maines

KLRU benefit raises funds to preserve Austin City Limits archives

“Nothing has the vibe of Austin City Limits and the kind of casual 'welcome to our home’ type vibe... It’s just one of a kind,” says Texas musician Lloyd Maines, who has appeared on the acclaimed KLRU music TV show more than anyone in history.

On Thursday, May 16, Maines will be honored for his contribution to Austin City Limits during the KLRU All-Star Celebration benefit at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The lineup, which Maines helped create, includes the Dixie Chicks, Courtyard Hounds, Natalie Maines (Maines' daughter), Ben Harper, Joe Ely, Bruce Robison, Kelly Willis, Terri Hendrix, Carolyn Wonderland and Terry Allen.

“I think that so many of these folks are coming out [to the show] because of Lloyd Maines and because of what Lloyd Maines has meant to them and the Austin music scene," says KLRU General Manager and CEO Bill Stotesbery. “I’m really excited about doing something to recognize what Lloyd has meant.”

“I consider myself really lucky because ever since I started watching ACL back in the early '70s, I always thought that it was the primo live music television show,” Maines says. “You know it was real relaxed and just kinda earthy. You could tell that it was definitely done by people who love music.”

Maines estimates he’s performed on the show 16 times. He has played with The Maines Brothers Band, and also supported numerous acts including the Dixie Chicks, Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, Terry Allen and Jerry Jeff Walker.

He is very humbled by the honor and has very high praise for Austin City Limits. “I just really like the way they pull that show off. They have great acts and it’s just the most comfortable live music show that I’ve seen."

Stotesbery gives a large part of the credit for the show’s success to Terry Lickona and his team. Lickona has produced the show for decades. “Terry and his group have done a great job of bringing exceptional talent to the stage and then giving them the ability to have a close relationship with their audience and the result has been great performances.”   

This Thursday's benefit will play a very important role in raising funds to help complete an ongoing project designed to protect those great performances. Stotesbery says over 8,000 hours of decades old show tape that was in danger of deteriorating has been digitized.

“You talk about the family jewels of an organization, the Austin City Limits tapes are clearly KLRU’s... it really is a national treasure and the fact that we now have this incredible asset secured and preserved in a way that we know is going to be safe is just a huge achievement. “

The money raised at the benefit will help pay for a system that will manage the digitized footage. The hours of music history will be shared with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum and much of it will eventually be available for sale to the public in the form of DVDs and CDs. 

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of Austin City Limits and the longest running music TV show in history shows no signs of slowing down. Stotesbery says the occasion will be marked in several ways, one of which will be announced at Thursday's benefit, a benefit that will help ensure the decades long history of the landmark TV show is preserved for decades to come. 

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A limited number of tickets are still available for this Thursday's KLRU All-Star Celebration. Maines says this is the first time all three versions of the Chicks (Dixie Chicks, Courtyard Hounds, Natalie Maines) have played on the same stage in the same night. 

Lloyd Maines with guitar
Lloyd Maines will be honored at KLRU's benefit Thursday night. Photo by Tim Maguire
Lloyd Maines playing guitar black background
The benefit will raise funds to preserve Austin City Limits' footage. Courtesy of performingsongwriter.com