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        1. Back to the Armadillo CD Cover

          ALL ATX, Back to the Armadillo

          By Eddie Wilson, Founder of the Armadillo World Headquarters

          Always a huge potential for a booming ‘youth market,’ Austin was still a wasteland, void of much contemporary entertainment in 1970.

          The discovery of a huge, vacant National Guard Armory that summer offered an opportunity to change that. Though it lacked basic amenities like A/C, heat, and furniture and there was no cash for improvements, the creative energy was there to turn it into something special – The Armadillo World Headquarters.

          The rent was cheap and it was hidden from public view. Beautiful residential gardens being torn up for a new highway that ripped through town provided plentiful high-dollar landscaping materials for digging and hauling. Within a couple years, the asphalt and razor-wire surroundings were transformed into a lush beer garden.

          Meanwhile, inexpensive interior improvements resulted in a listening space for 1,500 attendees, all with a great view of the stage. Some called it a hideout for the biggest hole-in-the-wall-gang that Texas ever mustered. Gung-ho hippies felt at home there and they extended warm hospitality to all who ventured in. Soon, all walks of life felt at home there, too.

          They enjoyed everything from AC/DC’s first American performance and Frank Zappa’s hard rock, to classic country-western like Tom T. Hall, Willie and Waylon, and blue grass from the master: Bill Monroe. From Ravi Shankar’s sitar to the Austin Ballet Theatre – Miles Davis’ Jazz, folk and blues, early Stevie Ray Vaughn and ZZ Top. The list of names and legends goes on and on: Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Jerry Garcia, Leon Russell and friends.

          By the end of its first year, bands from all over America and far beyond ventured to Austin in search of the crowd that became famous for its eccentricity, attentive listening, and thunderous applause. As a result, Austin became the first city for be recognized for its musical audience.

          Though the Armadillo is gone, the attempt to feed that hungry audience continues to be a priority of ALL ATX, year after year.

          Now, ALL ATX and Visit Austin have brought together a collection of unique tracks from some of our city’s most beloved musicians that span the entire catalog from that defining era.

          Track Listing

          Fastball | Tush
          The South Austin Moonlighters with Chris Gage | Let It Rain
          A. Sinclair | Bell Bottom Blues
          Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison | Dirty Work
          Eric Tessmer | Saturday Night Special
          Leopold And His Fiction | Only The Lonely
          My Jerusalem | L.A. Freeway
          Jane Ellen Bryant | Fooled Around And Fell In Love
          Jack Ingram | A Song For You
          Peterson Brothers | Take Me To The River
          Night Drive | Psycho Killer
          Charlie Sexton and Marlon Sexton | Into The Mystic
          Ray Benson | Into The Mystic
          Patrice Pike and Water & Rust | Africa
          Ruby Jane & The Reckless | Don't Stand So Close To Me
          Monte Montgomery | Love Is Alive
          Jon Dee Graham and William Harries Graham | Faithless Love
          Charlie Faye & The Fayettes | Peace, Love And Understanding
          Beto y Los Fairlanes | The Letter

          Available in our online store, at our Visitor Center, 602 E. Fourth St., and Waterloo Records