Asleep at the Wheel celebrating 50th anniversary with Austin City Limits special (watch a clip)
Austin's Western Swing greats Asleep at the Wheel are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and helping them do it is PBS series Austin City Limits. They were musical guests on the series' first regular episode (Willie Nelson taped the pilot) and have appeared 11 times over the years. They'll make it a dozen with "ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel" on October 31, which will feature new interviews and classic performances from the last five decades, including collaborations with Willie Nelson, The Texas Playboys, Lyle Lovett, The Avett Brothers, Vince Gill and more.
We've got the premiere of a teaser for the anniversary special, featuring a conversation between Asleep at the Wheel founder and frontman Ray Benson, and ACL's Terry Lickona. Ray talks about moving from West Virginia to Austin, playing the series' first episode, and the ones that followed. "This was our introduction to the world," says Benson. "Austin City Limits was the only way that people who couldn't see us live got to see what it was. Our records, although they were were good and we had smaller hits here and there, that's not what we were all about. This is what we were all about, the stage." Ray goes on to call ACL "the broadest collection of American music on film that exists," and he and Terry reminisce about Willie Nelson, legendary fiddle player Johnny Gimble and more. Watch that, and you can check out the list of classic ACL performances that are a part of 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel, below.
In other news, Asleep at the Wheel are currently working on their new album which will be out in 2021. Stay tuned.
ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel setlist:
“The Letter That Johnny Walker Read” - 1976
"Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” - 1978
“Get Your Kicks on Route 66” - 1996
"Roly Poly" ft. The Texas Playboys - 1993
“Hesitation Blues” ft. Willie Nelson - 2009
“Nothing Takes The Place of You” - 1976
“Blues for Dixie” ft. Lyle Lovett - ACL Hall of Fame 2015
“Let Me Go Home Whiskey” - 1976
“After You’ve Gone” ft. Willie Nelson, Freddy Powers, and Johnny Gimble - 1981
“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love ”- 2015
“Boogie Back to Texas” - 1988
“Milk Cow Blues” - 2015
“Miles and Miles of Texas” - 1996, 2002, and 1980
"Choo Choo Boogie” - 1978, 1988, and 1996
“Pancho and Lefty” ft. Willie Nelson - 2009
“Take Me Back to Tulsa” ft. The Avett Brothers and Vince Gill - 1996, 2015, 1978, and 1976
“Cotton Eye Joe” - 1980