Forty years after it first aired, the premiere of “Soundstage” has found a new life.
The tribute to Muddy Waters, featuring Willie Dixon, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Winter, Dr. John, Waters himself and more classic blues artists, first aired in Nov. 1974 and had not aired since PBS’s rights to the show expired in 1977.
When he had a few rare weeks off, Ehrlich called WTTW, the Chicago PBS affiliate for whom he originally produced “Soundstage,” and asked if the station would be interested in running the inaugural show again if he could clear the rights. The answer was a resounding “Yes.”
Ehrlich went to each artist or their estate and cleared the performances track by track. So in December, Ehrlich found himself back in the same studio where he created “Soundstage” four decades earlier, co-hosting the premiere’s first airing in 37 years. In March, the first episode will roll out on PBS affiliates throughout the country with a DVD of the special offered as a pledge premium.
“You know, that show should be seen again,” Ehrlich says. “It’s just that historic.”