Soundstage (TV series)

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Soundstage Logo
Country of originUnited States
Running time60 minutes
Original networkPBS
Original release1974 – 1985
2003 – 2010
2016 –
2018 (2018)

Soundstage is an American live concert television series produced by WTTW Chicago and HD Ready. The original series aired for 13 seasons between 1974 and 1985; a new series of seasons began in 2003, with the latest (Season 11) starting in April 2018, each presented in high-definition with surround sound. Some performances have been made available on DVD. The performances are taped on stage at the WTTW television studio in Chicago, as well as large venues throughout the United States.

Airing nationally on PBS, MTV Live, CMT, Rave HD, and GAC, as well as internationally in over 20 countries, the program features intimate performances by well established as well as up-and-coming artists.

Initial series[edit]

The series originated in 1972 as Made in Chicago, also taped at and broadcast by WTTW. It presented a dramatic contrast to the way music had been televised until that point; variety shows (such as The Ed Sullivan Show) and lip-synched cabaret shows (such as The Andy Williams Show) were the norm. Made in Chicago (originated by Ken Ehrlich, who had previously produced The Marty Faye Show) foregrounded the music and emphasized live performance and, at times, improvisation.

In 1974, the show's name was changed to Soundstage, and it became more widely distributed by PBS.[1] Artists who appeared in the early years of the show included figures from rock (Bob Dylan, Tom Waits), pop (the Bee Gees), blues (Bonnie Raitt and Muddy Waters), jazz (Professor Longhair, Dizzy Gillespie, and Benny Goodman, as well as specials dedicated to the Down Beat Readers Poll Award winners) folk (Jim Croce, Janis Ian, Arlo Guthrie, and Harry Chapin), and gospel/soul/R&B (Al Green and Aretha Franklin). The 1980 appearance by John Prine is "the only archival concert of Prine available on DVD".[2] One of the most unusual episodes, broadcast in 1983, was devoted to Andy Kaufman, who hosted it in a (somewhat bizarre) variety show format; it was his last major television appearance.


Original series[edit]

Season 1: 1974[edit]

Season 2: 1975[edit]

Season 3: 1976[edit]

Season 4: 1977[edit]

Season 5: 1978[edit]

Season 6: 1979[edit]

Season 7: 1980[edit]

Season 8: 1981[edit]

Season 9: 1982[edit]

Season 10: 1983[edit]

New series[edit]

Season 1: 2003[edit]

Season 2: 2004[edit]

Season 3: 2005[edit]

Season 4: 2006–2007[edit]

Season 5: 2007[edit]

Season 6: 2008[edit]

Season 7: 2009[edit]

Season 8: 2010[edit]

Season 9: 2016[edit]

Season 10: 2017[edit]

Season 11: 2018[edit]


  1. ^ personal interview with Ken Ehrlich, January 2008
  2. ^ Robert Hilburn, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2007.
  3. ^ "Muddy Waters and Friends Soundstage: Blues Summit In Chicago, 1974 DVD". April 21, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  4. ^ Billboard Magazine 11/30/1974
  5. ^ "The World of John Hammond". IMDb., Inc. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Palmer, Robert (October 23, 1975). "Bob Dylan, Jazz Stars Salute Label Pioneer John Hammond". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  7. ^ 11db11 (4 June 2013). "Jean-Luc Ponty Live 1976". Retrieved 28 June 2018 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Larry Musicman (29 May 2017). "Emmylou Harris, The Hotband & The Whites live in concert 1978". Retrieved 28 June 2018 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ pandoval13 (3 August 2011). "Tom Johnston". Retrieved 28 June 2018 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "soundstage 1978 - YouTube". Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  11. ^ Ronja´s Dr Hook Channel (20 September 2011). "Shel Silverstein - "Show It At The Beach"". Retrieved 28 June 2018 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ Soundstage Presents: Chicago DVD, Shop PBS
  13. ^ Press Release, Sep. 10, 2005

External links[edit]