Ever since its pilot episode with Willie Nelson in 1974, country music has been the bedrock of Austin City Limits. While rock and indie acts from the Raconteurs to Arcade Fire would all go on to perform on the live-music series, country remains in the Austin City Limits DNA. Now, a new 10-DVD set compiles some of the best country performances in the show’s history — Austin City Limits Country is available via TimeLife.com.
The announcement arrives with a compilation reel of some of the show’s most memorable performances, including George Strait, Waylon Jennings, John Denver, Tim McGraw, and Deana Carter.
Spanning 164 performances, the set includes appearances by modern-day stars Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, and Chris Stapleton; Nineties titans like Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson; and icons Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. Among the highlights: Johnny Cash singing “Folsom Prison Blues,” George Strait crooning “Amarillo by Morning,” and Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens duetting on “Streets of Bakersfield.” Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” is also included, along with his full 1974 pilot episode.
In addition to the performances, the package features interviews with the artists and an accompanying book.
“This collection represents not only some of the best singers in modern country music, but the songs that we will never forget,” Austin City Limits executive producer Terry Lickona said in a statement. “What has always made country music special to me is the song. Despite popular trends and production gimmicks, the song is still the heart and soul of the music.”