Tag Archives: austin city limits

Remembering the Late Merle Haggard With a Classic Austin City Limits Performance

We’re remembering Merle Haggard, one of country music’s greatest voices, who passed away today on his 79th birthday.

In a lifetime filled with great songwriting, influential musical partnerships and great performances, here is just one that we were lucky enough to enjoy on public television.

We dug into the endless vault that is YouTube to find this clip of Haggard performing “Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today” on a 1978 episode of Austin City Limits.

Remember the Life of B.B. King With His 1983 Austin City Limits Debut

The United States lost one of its finest artists with the passing of B.B. King Thursday at 89 years old.

Sure, I could try to capture his musical genius here in text, but any attempt to reflect a life and career so influential and innovative would likely prove futile.

The best way to celebrate the life of a legend like King is to enjoy the music he left us. Our friends at Austin City Limits have done just that as they have shared King’s very first appearance on the show in full online now. Watch this tremendous hour of music television online below or on the PBS channel of your Roku other Internet device.

Wisconsin's Own Space Cowboy

Watch Austin City Limits: Steve Miller Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band at midnight Friday, July 12, 2013 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Whether you are one of the people who call him a Space Cowboy or you’re in the camp that calls him a Gangster of Love, there is one thing folks in Wisconsin can agree about on Steve Miller – he’s one of our state’s finest rock ‘n’ roll icons. Born in Milwaukee, raised under the early tutelage of Les Paul and an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Miller has become an international superstar on the back of his big hits like “The Joker,” “Abracadabra” and “Space Cowboy.” A student of jazz instrumentation and melodies from his earliest days, Miller and his band have long been celebrated for their experimental style both on record and in concerts across the globe. But the one stage they had never performed was Austin City Limits – until now. Tune in Friday night to catch 30 minutes of Steve Miller Band magic paired with a set from New Orleans’ legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Here’s a performance of “Jet Airliner” from the show to pique your interest. Then, dive way back to watch this very cool find – an archival 1970s performance of “Fly Like An Eagle” from Burt Sugarman’s The Midnight Special TV show.

Watch Steve Miller Band “Jet Airliner” on PBS. See more from Austin City Limits.

Watch the Late George Jones on ACL

Country music lost one of its finest voices this morning, with the news that George Jones passed away in a Nashville hospital. Jones was 81 years old and in the midst of a year-long farewell tour that was to culminate in an all-star blowout bash at Music City’s Bridgestone Arena in November.

While he won’t be finishing The Grand Tour, Jones’ iconic voice lives on in countless records that made him a shoo-in for the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 1992. Thanks to YouTube, we can all look back at hundreds of career highlights, from an early 1965 performance of the rambling “White Lightning” to an interview from last month aboard his tour bus.

And, we can watch this stunning, classic performance below of his signature song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” on the stage of Austin City Limits.

Do You "Like" WPT?

We know that you love the high-quality educational programs on Wisconsin Public Television. But, do you “Like” us on Facebook yet? We’ve partnered with our colleagues at PBS to mount our first online Facebook Like Drive this week.

Our goal is to engage with as many people as possible who make WPT a regular part of their life. If you haven’t connected with us on Facebook yet, now is a great time to do so. If you already are a WPT Facebook fan, thank you! Please spread the word with your contacts that we are a great source of daily information and fun online and on-air.

As our number of Facebook “Likes” grow, we are unlocking exclusive videos. So far, we’ve gone behind the scenes with Ken Burns to see part of his film-making process and we heard from celebrity chef Jose Andres about the inspiration on his career that came from Julia Child. As we gain new friends today, we will unlock an exclusive video from The Civil Wars at Austin City Limits. We’ll have more videos to unlock through Friday.

Thank you for helping our community grow! We hope it leads to even more conversation between and among the station and our viewers across Wisconsin.

All the Best Music – On One Public Television Station

Pioneer on 30-Minute Music HourIt’s pretty hard to find a public television fan who hasn’t heard of a little music show called Austin City Limits. But did you know Wisconsin Public Television has its own little music show called the 30-Minute Music Hour?

OK. 30-MMH is a bit more little than ACL is — we haven’t yet welcomed a Jack White or Steve Miller into our studios. But over the years we have recorded plenty of reputable acts (Peter Yarrow, Carolina Chocolate Drops) and a few that broke out after performing on the 30-MMH (JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Kings Go Forth).

I’m happy to say both shows are rolling out new shows all month long. Just this week, 30-MMH recorded three local bands Pioneer, PHOX and Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts. Those episodes are set to air in February, but why wait when you can watch all three online now.

Browse the entire 30-MMH video archive. Or, if you prefer the big screen, check out the upcoming broadcast schedule. New episodes premiere 10:30 p.m. Fridays.

And don’t forget about new music from Norah Jones, Tim McGraw, Esperanza Spalding and several other great bands premiering soon on Austin City Limits. Watch Sundays nights at 11 or online for up to one month after the broadcast.

Video: Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts on 30-Minute Music Hour.

ACL Kicks Off a Big New Season

This weekend Austin City Limits had one of its biggest season premieres as alt-rock legends Radiohead made their ACL debut. WPT’s airs the episode at 11 p.m. but if that’s too late on a Sunday night you can watch it online right now.


Back in March I had the rare fortune of watching Radiohead live at the Moody Theater while the ACL crew captured what turned out to be an amazing concert. I’m a casual Radiohead fan at best, but the performance I saw ranks among the greatest I’ve seen for several reasons, most notable was the electric crowd of people filing into the Moody (and on a Tuesday night!) and the amazing sound quality. I saw the show from the top balcony, but the sound seemed to be all around me.

Attending Radiohead Live at ACL
Above the ACL stage, waiting for Radiohead

And there are more great shows coming from ACL later this season. Still to air in 2012 are:

Oct. 15  Bon Iver
Oct. 21  Bonnie Raitt with Mavis Staples
Oct. 28  The Shins and Dr. Dog
Nov. 4  The Civil Wars and Punch Brothers

And I just received an email this week from ACL announcing the following tapings. If you’re still planning that fall/winter vacation, and you’ve read this far, you should seriously consider putting your name the in ticket lottery. Seeing one of these tapings would be an unforgettable vacation.

Oct. 14  Jack White
Oct. 18  Norah Jones
Nov. 1   Bob Mould
Nov. 2  Delta Spirit (I also saw these guys in Austin, but impromptu in a tiny bar lobby… awesome!)
Nov. 5  Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Nov. 30 Gary Clark, Jr.
Dec. 2  Esperanza Spalding


Three Convention Coverage Alternatives

1. The Wisconsin Channel
2. Create Channel
3. WPT Online Video Player

Providing the most robust, unbiased and comprehensive political coverage available on television is a place of pride for us at Wisconsin Public Television and for everyone within the PBS system. And, during the next two weeks, we are doing just that. As outlined in a recent post, PBS NewsHour, WisconsinVote.org and WPT’s Here and Now has the Republican and Democratic National Conventions fully covered.

But, sometimes we can all get a bit burned out on politics and need someplace else to turn our attention. Luckily, WPT has you covered!

These next two weeks are a great chance to check out WPT’s two additional digital TV stations. Available for free over-the-air across the state in the xx.2 and xx.3 positions (i.e. 21.2 and 21.3 in Madison, 38.2 and 38.3 in Green Bay, etc.) and on many cable operators, The Wisconsin Channel and Create are full-service alternatives for all of your favorite public television programs. Just as an example, tonight in prime time you’ll find American Masters: Garrison Keillor on The Wisconsin Channel and two hours of inspirational cooking fare from Cook’s Country, Lidia Bastianich and more on Create. You can find each night’s full lineup here on WPT’s schedule page. And, you can watch The Wisconsin Channel’s online stream, too.

And, if those schedules don’t fit your tastes, don’t forget to take some time to explore the deep WPT Online Video Player. There, you’ll find full episodes of all of your favorites, including recent performances and sneak peeks from Austin City Limits, a rich archive of Julia Child’s public TV programs, brand new episodes of Sewing With Nancy, a Web-only series profiling the best Paralympic athletes that begin competing in London this week and even an exclusive first-look at a scene from the highly anticipated third season of Downton Abbey (coming in January to WPT).

My favorite part of the Video Portal is its deep archive. Do yourself a favor and play around with the search option for awhile. You never know what you’ll find. Here’s one of my recently uncovered gems – a Sound Tracks live performance from the great Latin/Hip-Hop group Ozomatli. Three minutes of musical bliss without a speech or political pontification in sight!

Watch Ozomatli Performs on PBS. See more from Sound Tracks.

WPT celebrates a Summer of the Arts

All summer long, WPT invites you to take a front row seat in some of the finest venues across Wisconsin and around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own living room. Your television becomes the state’s largest stage as Wisconsin Public Television celebrates The Summer of the Arts, an event filled with music, films, dance and more. The schedule includes a great new season of Great Performances at the Met (Don Giovanni is pictured at right), the return of Concerts on the Square from the Capitol in Madison, a series of eclectic Directors’ Cut films from Wisconsin filmmakers, engaging documentaries about energetic national arts projects and a collection of music performances by talented Wisconsin artists — including Five by Design, Randy Sabien, Bill Miller and Bach Dynamite and Dancing Society — in some of the most beautiful theaters across the state.

Explore the full lineup of programs below. But first, I invite you to whet your appetite for the wide array of arts programs you’ll find on WPT this summer with a few exclusive video previews.

Great Performances at the Met season premiere – Don Giovanni
9:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10

Watch Don Giovanni on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Director’s Cut – 48 Hour Film Festival 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 15

Mariachi High – 11 p.m. Friday, July 6

An overview of some of the other great programs coming from PBS’ Summer Arts Festival

Watch PBS Arts Summer Festival – Preview on PBS. See more from pbs.

Continue reading WPT celebrates a Summer of the Arts

Watch Widespread Panic (and more from Austin City Limits) right now!

Watch Austin City Limits at 11 p.m. Sundays on Wisconsin Public Television or anytime online at this link.

For more than 20 years, Widespread Panic has been playing their brand of southern rock starting in their native Georgia and expanding throughout the United States. With improvisational flair, they’ve become one of the country’s leading jam bands, playing festivals and headlining shows for thousands of fans. The band recently announced that they will take an indefinite hiatus at the end of this year, making the opportunity to see their live show a rare one.

Now, you can watch them perform right on your home computer. They appeared on last night’s Austin City Limits, but you can still catch their full set in the video below. And, you can explore dozens of concert videos from Austin City Limits and exclusive previews by exploring the WPT Video Portal.

Rock on!

Watch Widespread Panic on PBS. See more from Austin City Limits.