Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced a partnership with KLRU-TV, Austin PBS to make nearly 40 years of Austin City Limits performances available to the public for the first time. The announcement came from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum president and CEO Terry Stewart and Austin City Limits executive producer Terry Lickona, who shared the mic at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Landmark KLRU Studio 6A, where Austin City Limits had been filmed for 36 years (since 2011, it has broadcast from the ACL Live at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin). “Austin City Limits uniquely represents more than three decades of some of modern music’s most significant artists and their performances — from iconic musicians to cutting-edge talent,” said Stewart. “It’s one of the most significant archives that documents the American culture and Austin City Limits shares our mission of celebrating and interpreting popular music’s impact on our world.”
The unprecedented collection features more than 800 performances from 1975 to 2012, including memorable shows from dozens of Hall of Fame inductees, including Ruth Brown, Jackson Browne, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Dr. John, Etta James, B.B. King, Van Morrison, Leon Russell, Allen Toussaint and Neil Young. The ACL collection will include more than 5,500 audio and video broadcast recordings, in addition to recordings that were never aired and nearly 300,000 slides, transparencies, negatives, prints and digital images from the show's storied programming. All the materials will be housed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives.
KLRU’s Austin City Limits collection is a valuable educational and research resource that will be available to academics from around the world, including those conducting research in musicology, ethnomusicology, cultural studies, the music industry, television and American history, among many other subjects. Moreover, the Museum's strong commitment to educating the public about the history of rock and roll, and its ability to publicize the Austin City Limits collection and make it accessible to researchers and fans alike, will benefit the study of popular music in the United States and beyond.