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Townes Van Zandt, Loretta Lynn Set for Austin City Limits Hall of Fame

The long-running performance series announces the Class of 2015

Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt in 1970. The late singer-songwriter joins Loretta Lynn and Asleep at the Wheel as inductees into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.

GAB Archive/Redferns

Townes Van Zandt

The Coal Miner’s Daughter, a Western Swing supergroup, a Tex-Mex accordion legend and two iconic songwriters are the latest inductees into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. Austin City Limits executive producer Terry Lickona announced Loretta Lynn, Asleep at the Wheel, Flaco Jiménez, Guy Clark and the late Townes Van Zandt as the latest recipients of the honor.

The 2015 Hall of Fame inductees will be celebrated at a ceremony in June at the ACL Live at the Moody Theater, home of the long-running PBS series. The event will be open to the public, with ticket information announced at a later date. In addition to the performers being recognized, the Hall of Fame will also honor the original ACL production crew in the non-performer category. Some members are still with the series today.

“I am truly honored to be included in this year’s ACL Hall of Fame,” Asleep at the Wheel founder Ray Benson said at the announcement. “After Willie did the pilot in 1974 [-’75], Asleep at the Wheel was selected to do the first regular episode of ACL. Joe Gracey and I were roommates then, and he was booking the show. He asked who we wanted to share the bill with and I said, ‘The Texas Playboys, Bob Wills’ great band!’ That episode is now housed at the Smithsonian. Over the years I have appeared in numerous episodes both as a featured performer and a guest performer and I cannot imagine our 45-year career without the exposure that ACL afforded us.”

The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame was established in 2014 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the music series. The invitation-only inaugural induction ceremony took place April 26th, 2014, at ACL’s original Studio 6A and was hosted by Oscar-winning actor and Texas native Matthew McConaughey. Willie Nelson, who performed on the original ACL pilot program, was a charter inductee, as were Austin blues-rock giants Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and legendary steel guitarist and Grammy Award-winning music producer Lloyd Maines. The original show creator, Bill Arhos, and Texas Longhorns football head coach Darrell Royal, a longtime ACL supporter, were inducted as non-performers.

The first round of performers for the show’s upcoming 41st season was also announced. The lineup includes Sturgill Simpson, rock band the War on Drugs, and Asleep at the Wheel and special guests, including the Avett Brothers and Amos Lee, in a tribute to Bob Wills.

Future episodes of ACL‘s landmark current season — its 40th — will feature the Black Keys (January 31st) and the Foo Fighters (February 7th). On February 14th, a special featuring inductions and performance highlights from the first-ever Austin City Limits Hall of Fame presentation will air.

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