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Austin City Limits through the years

Austin City Limits is the longest running musical showcase in the history of television, spanning over four decades and showcasing the talents of musicians from Willie Nelson and Ray Charles to Arcade Fire and Mos Def. The show is a testament to the evolution of media and popular music and the audience’s relationship to that music, and to the city of Austin, Texas. In Austin City Limits: A History, author Tracey E. W. Laird takes us behind-the-scenes with interviews, anecdotes, and personal photographs to pay homage to this landmark program. In doing so, she also illuminates the overarching discussion of the US public media and its influence on the broadcasting and funding of music and culture. This year, the TV show celebrates its 40th anniversary with guests such as Bonnie Raitt, Jimmie Vaughan, Sheryl Crow, and Alabama Shakes, which will air on PBS on Oct. 3 at 9pm ET.

Featured image: Night view of Austin skyline and Lady Bird Lake as seen from Lou Neff Point. Photo by LoneStarMike. CC BY 3.0n via Wikimedia Commons.

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