It’s finally happening: Ray Wylie Hubbard will tape a no-audience episode of "Austin City Limits" on Oct. 21, the renowned singer-songwriter announced Monday night on social media.
Hubbard, whose song "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother" was featured on Jerry Jeff Walker’s landmark 1973 album "Viva Terlingua" and became an anthem of the Armadillo World Headquarters heyday, was conspicuously absent from the iconic TV show’s long history. His legions of fans took to writing letters in support of a Hubbard appearance on the program.
"I actually haven't heard the hoofbeats of the four horseman of the apocalypse approaching," Hubbard wrote with characteristically wry humor in a public Facebook post. "So before they saddle up, I'd like to thank each of you who wrote ’Austin City Limits’ on my behalf."
In July, Nashville label Big Machine released Hubbard’s new album "Co-Starring," which featured guest appearances from Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Pam Tillis and others. His 18th album, it’s his first for a major label in decades.
Hubbard will turn 74 next month. "Just when I was approaching the time to be put out to pasture, this happens and I decide to hitch myself back up to the parade wagon for a promenade under the television lights of a show I have watched for around 45 years but never appeared on," he wrote in the Facebook post.
As with recent tapings at ACL Live that featured Rufus Wainwright, the Mavericks and Austin’s Jackie Venson, Hubbard will perform without an audience, a pandemic safety precaution. "I've played gigs with no one in the audience before, so it'll be pretty righteous anyway," Hubbard joked on Facebook.
He also revealed who’ll be backing him onstage for the taping. In addition to his son Lucas on guitar and longtime drummer Kyle Schneider, Hubbard will have ace Austin roots musicians Gurf Morlix on bass and Bukka Allen on keyboards. Hubbard’s post didn’t mention Morlix by name, but he noted that the bassist owns a hat given to him by the late Austin country yodeler Don Walser. Morlix posted a photo of himself with Walser’s hat on social media a few days ago.
"Austin City Limits" executive producer Terry Lickona told the American-Statesman in July that Hubbard had been confirmed for a season 46 taping, but a date had not been announced until Hubbard’s post on Monday.
READ MORE: Our 2017 interview with Ray Wylie Hubbard