Listen to Austin 360 Radio

‘Barton Springs Eternal’ video is a musical blast from Austin’s past

Peter Blackstock


Here’s a Throwback Thursday for ya. Let’s travel in time to the spring of 1992, when Austin environmental activists launched the Save Our Springs Alliance to address concerns about the future of Barton Springs.

Among the activists were many Austin musicians. Over a couple of days in April 1992 at Cedar Creek studio, they recorded an anthem for their cause: “Barton Springs Eternal,” written by Bill Oliver.

RELATED: Karen Kocher keeps Barton Springs alive interactively

Apparently the song is eternal too. The video above, which recently surfaced on YouTube, captures the spirit of that recording session. It features some of Austin’s top musicians of the era, mostly from the country-folk-rock realm, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Marcia Ball, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Christine Albert, Mitch Watkins and Bob Livingston.

A few radio luminaries of the era also appear, including Cecilia Nasti, Kevin Connor, Bryan Beck and Jim Ellinger, as well as “Greater Tuna” comic actors Joe Sears and Jaston Williams. And there are glimpses of two musicians no longer with us: Steven Fromholz and Sarah Elizabeth Campbell.

To celebrate the summer solstice, songwriter Oliver and ace musician Livingston are co-hosting a “Barton Springs Eternal” Reunion Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Threadgill’s. Oliver and Livingston will perform and will welcome any special guests to the stage to join in, and the Save Our Springs Alliance and the Save Barton Creek Association will provide updates on current Barton Springs issues.