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'Austin City Limits' partners with Time Life for 10-DVD set of country highlights

Sheryl Crow and Kris Kristofferson perform during a taping of "Austin City Limits" as the show celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. A duet between the singers will appear on a new collection of the show's great performances.

The "Austin City Limits" television program has partnered with Time Life on a 10-DVD set of country music highlights from the show's five-decade run, including a disc that features Willie Nelson's 1974 pilot episode in its entirety.

"Austin City Limits Country" gathers 164 performances from traditional country legends such as George Jones, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton; to 1990s superstars including Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw; to more contemporary stars ranging from Kacey Musgraves to Miranda Lambert to Chris Stapleton.

Discs 1 through 9 gather highlights from 1976 to 2018 in chronological order, focusing largely on performances of iconic songs: Marty Robbins performing "El Paso," Charley Pride singing "Is Anybody Going to San Antone," Loretta Lynn doing "Coal Miner's Daughter," and dozens more major hits from the show's archives.

"Austin City Limits Country" is now available via Time Life.

“This collection represents not only some of the best singers in modern country music, but the songs that we will never forget,” ACL executive producer Terry Lickona said in a statement. "Despite popular trends and production gimmicks, the song is still the heart and soul of the music."

The set also includes a handful of landmark collaborative performances, including Nelson and Emmylou Harris duetting on "Crazy," Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam joining forces for "Streets of Bakersfield," and Kris Kristofferson teaming with Sheryl Crow on "Me and Bobby McGee."

The set, which includes a collector's book, sells for $119.96 via the Time Life website. Here's a two-minute trailer offering a peek at some of the contents:

The first four discs include bonus interviews with "Austin City Limits" personnel, including Lickona, photographer Scott Newton, assistant producer Michael Toland and general manager Tom Gimbel. Discs 6 through 9 include interviews with nearly two dozen artists, including Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Lee Ann Womack and Keith Urban.

"Austin City Limits" issued DVDs of many single episodes from the show over the past two decades through New West Records' "Live in Austin TX" series, but this is the first time the program has offered a box-set collection of highlights.

READ MORE: A history of "Austin City Limits"