Austin City Limits special coming on Asleep at the Wheel
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Austin City Limits special coming on Asleep at the Wheel

Monday, September 21, 2020 – The kings of western swing, Asleep at the Wheel, will be the subject of a PBS retrospective, "ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel" on Oct. 31.

The show is being presented by Austin City Limits. AATW performed on the series' very first episode along with modern-day collaborations with Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett (in total, the band has appeared on 11 episodes).

Songs played on the show include:
"The Letter That Johnny Walker Read" - 1976
"Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" - 1978
"Get Your Kicks on Route 66" - 1996
"Roly Poly" featuring The Texas Playboys - 1993
"Hesitation Blues" featuring Willie Nelson - 2009
"Nothing Takes The Place of You" - 1976
"Blues for Dixie" featuring Lyle Lovett - ACL Hall of Fame 2015
"Let Me Go Home Whiskey" - 1976
"After You've Gone" featuring 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" featuring Willie Nelson - 2009
"Take Me Back to Tulsa" featuring The Avett Brothers and Vince Gill - 1996, 2015, 1978, and 1976
"Cotton Eye Joe" - 1980

The show is the kickoff of a coming year-long celebration of the band's five-decade milestone. This past week, Asleep at the Wheel's founder Ray Benson took part in "Thriving Roots," AMERICANAFEST's virtual conference, announcing the coming special and screening an hour-long interview and documentary produced by the Texas Music Office.

Benson and Asleep at the Wheel are currently being featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame's Outlaws and Armadillos exhibit and as part of the Whitliff Collection at Texas State University's museum.

In 1970, Benson, Lucky Oceans and Leroy Preston moved to Paw Paw, West Va. And formed the band. Asleep at the Wheel received 10 GRAMMY Awards, was cited by the Country Music Association as 1976 Touring Band of the Year and were given the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Americana Music Association. They have released 31 albums and charted more than 20 singles on the country charts.

Asleep at the Wheel has been in the studio working on a new record to be released in early 2021.

"I've been told that I'm relentless, so I guess I am... I'm just doing what I believe I'm meant to do - I'm singing and playing and writing better than I ever have. My role and concept of leading a band has never changed. It's gathering the best musicians I can find or convince to play to the best of their ability, and I just try to make the best decisions possible and kick some ass every night onstage. I've made it this far and don't feel like I or the band will be slowing down anytime soon."

More news for Asleep at the Wheel

CD reviews for Asleep at the Wheel

CD review - Half A Hundred Years Asleep at the Wheel founder Ray Benson credits singer Jamey Johnson with inspiring the title track upon declaring "That's half a hundred years!" when told of the anniversary of the founding of Asleep at the Wheel. Frontman Benson is the lone constant presence during that half century of recording and touring, but several past members including Leroy Preston, Lucky Oceans and Chris O'Connell (who were part of the band's 1973 debut release "Comin' Right At ...
CD review - New Routes The heyday of Western Swing music has long since come and gone. Sure, there are those that still keep the tradition alive and well, and there are those that are working to renew trails. That is exactly what Asleep At The Wheel is doing, with "New Routes." One of the beauties of Western Swing music is its diversity. It draws from swing, country, jazz, folk and even blues styles of music. With so much variety to draw from, the enormously talented band created a beautifully rich and dynamic ...
CD review - Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys Asleep at the Wheel have never shied away from acknowledging where their musical influence comes from. "Still the King" is the group's third tribute to the music of Bob Wills. While past attempts have been worthy acknowledgements of the influence of the Texas swing legend's music, this time around, Ray Benson and crew work alongside an unbelievable line-up of guest artists. The guest list is not only a testament to the legacy of Wills and his Texas Playboys, but also Asleep at ...

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