KUTX 98.9 Celebrates the Armadillo World Headquarters on the 50th Anniversary of its Founding
In August of 1970, a music venue opened on the corner of Barton Springs Road and South First that would go on to change the identity of Austin, culturally, politically, and artistically. For ten years, the Armadillo World Headquarters served as both a community gathering place and a nationally-recognized live music landmark. The Armadillo spotlighted everything from blues to the avant-garde and spanned the birth of cosmic country to the rise of punk rock. The ‘dillo, as it was often called, closed Dec. 31, 1980, and was replaced by a 13-story office building.
To mark the 50th anniversary of this enduring cultural icon, KUTX will spend the entire month of August highlighting music from the eclectic range of artists who performed at the Armadillo World Headquarters, along with stories from the people who made the iconic venue what it was.
A one-hour oral history, “Back Home to the Armadillo,” will air on KUTX 98.9 at 6 p.m., Aug. 15. The oral history features interviews with Willie Nelson and Armadillo World Headquarters staff Eddie Wilson, Mike Tolleson, Jim Franklin, and Michael Priest. It includes fans talking about what the Armadillo meant to them and how it shaped Austin as a music incubator and destination. The special, produced by KUTX’s Art Levy, will be available as a podcast Aug. 17, with bonus Armadillo stories released each Thursday throughout August.
Online we’ll feature in-depth stories from KUTX’s Jody Denberg, Jeff McCord and Art Levy on some of the most memorable shows and artists, including Freddie King and Bruce Springsteen. Fans can turn to KUTX’s social media channels, Facebook and Instagram, to see original concert posters and photographs from the Armadillo World Headquarters – courtesy of the Austin Museum of Popular Culture.
KUTX’s month-long celebration of 50 years of the Armadillo World Headquarters is made possible with support from Silicon Labs.