Steve Dahl opts out of “Soundstage;”
music series starts July 3 on Ch. 11

Steve Dahl has split with HD Ready Productions, the company he founded with music producer Joe Thomas to produce the new HD version of the “Soundstage” music series with Ch. 11. Dahl gave as his reason the need to concentrate on his radio show.

He also didn’t realize how time-intensive producing a show like this was, said his assistant, Deb Cullen. “Now that the project has wings, I’m free to pull back,” Dahl had told the Sun-Times’ Rob Feder. The first “Soundstage” season, kicking off with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, starts July 3 over national PBS and plays Thursdays thereafter. Dahl’s credits will appear on nine of the first 13 shows.

HD Productions last year began producing the new “Soundstage” concert series in partnership with Ch. 11. The original, critically acclaimed “Soundstage” ran from 1974 to 1985 over PBS.”

Thomas continues as series’ producer and director. He is best known for producing Brian Wilson’s albums. Earlier for a decade, he operated River North recording studio for Platinum Entertainment and Platinum Records, a place where independent music companies could have an office and utilize the common recording facilities.

Dahl’s departure from HD Production was somewhat surprising since he bought into high definition television early on. He and Bill Kurtis formed a company to acquire HD footage, sensing HD stock footage would be a viable market in the near future. But earlier this year, Dahl sold his interest in the company to Kurtis.

Dennis DeYoung; Chris Isaak; Lyle Lovett; John Hiatt; Peter Wolf; Dar Williams and Casey Chambers; Michael McDonald; Trace Adkins and Travis Tritt; and Lucinda Williams are among the artists appearing on the shows Dahl produced.

Celebrating his 25th year in Chicago radio, Dahl hosts afternoons on WCKG-FM. A comedy short he made with his son, Steven, a recent NU grad, screens at the upcoming Chicago Short Comedy Film Festival. (See’s Calendar for this and other events you won’t want to miss.)