In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the PBS concert TV series Austin City Limits has launched the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. It is holding its inaugural induction ceremony on April 26th, when it recognizes Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble as its first members, alongside the show’s creator, Bill Arhos, and University of Texas football coach Darrell K. Royal. A star-studded lineup including Buddy Guy, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Willie’s son Lukas, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Doyle Bramhall II and more will perform at the ceremony. The gala will be held at Austin City Limit’s original home, Studio 6A at TV station KLRU.
Vaughan and Royal will be inducted posthumously, while Vaughan’s band Double Trouble, including drummer Chris Layton, bassist Tommy Shannon and keyboardist Reese Wynans, will be inducted at the event. The honorees this year all have Texas roots, but as the Hall of Fame becomes an annual event, its organizers said it would reflect the country as a whole.
“Austin City Limits has become a unique American institution, in both the worlds of popular music and television,” ACL executive producer Terry Lickona said in a statement. “It has such a rich history and legacy that we decided it was time to celebrate and honor the artists and individuals who made it what it is today.”
The induction ceremony comes a few weeks after a preview of the 40th season of Austin City Limits featuring Nine Inch Nails. For the April 5th sneak preview, the group, which has shied away from making television appearances, played a nine-song set ranging from 1989’s “Sanctified” to “Copy of A” from their most recent album, Hesitation Marks.
“We’ve waited a long time to do anything like this,” Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor said in a statement. “We never thought we’d see the day when Nine Inch Nails would set foot on the ACL stage,” added Lickona. “I mean, they never did television for 25 years! I came away from this show having the greatest respect for Trent Reznor. He’s one of the most focused, intense and creative artists I’ve ever worked with.”