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Idiot's Delight

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For August 23

by WFUV Staff
Johnny Cash's 'Bitter Tears' Cover

On "Idiot's Delight"® tonight at 8, Vin Scelsa highlights the new Joe Henry-produced Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited, a reworking of the original, ground-breaking Johnny Cash album Bitter Tears: Ballads Of The American Indian, released in 1964. This 50th anniversary tribute to Cash, America's champion of the rights of the powerless and abused, features Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Kris Kristofferson, Rhiannon Giddens (of Carolina Chocolate Drops), Steve Earle, Norman Blake, Emmylou Harris and more, all backed by a fine "house band." Vin explores the original Cash recording too, along with the Smithsonian Folkways recordings of Peter La Farge, who was one of Bitter Tears' main songwriters and composer of "The Ballad Of Ira Hayes" and "As Long As The Grass Shall Grow." 

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For December 13

by WFUV Staff
Sufjan Stevens

Vin Scelsa celebrated his birthday yesterday, December 12, so tonight's "Idiot's Delight"® at 8 focuses a little on the pleasure and pain of finding himself one year older. For the festive occasion, Vin will play—yes, play—his recently refurbished 1955 Buffet Crampon clarinet that he's owned since the tender age of eight. In addition, he's lined up some clarinet masters like Benny Goodman and Sidney Bechet. Vin also has some wintry songs from Sufjan Stevens, Over the Rhine and ice hockey fan Jane Siberry.

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For December 6

by WFUV Staff
Fiona Apple (courtesy of the artist, Facebook.com)

Vin Scelsa finds himself on a winding path on tonight's "Idiot's Delight"® at 8, an unpaved road strewn with tangential asides and deeper meditations. As his guides, Vin will bring along the passionate voices of Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox and Joe South. He might even howl at the moon with Fiona Apple (pictured) or await December's first snowfall with Sufjan Stevens and Over The Rhine. Wherever Vin might go tonight on "Idiot's Delight,"® you know it's a journey you'll want to be on too.

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For November 29

by Vin Scelsa
Joan Baez and Bob Dylan at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963

My wife Freddie and I were sitting over coffee and the New York Times one morning earlier this week, bemoaning the racial and cultural strife in contemporary America, the ugly non-productive political divide, the seemingly "endless" war, etc. when we both simultaneously said aloud, "It's just like being back in the 1960s." And I thought of the Incredible String Band song with the lyric "I was a young man, back in the 1960s," and decided to use that as the "theme" for this Thanksgiving weekend edition of "Idiot's Delight"® tonight at 8.

I thought, let me play only some of my favorite music from that decade. I rarely do this sort of show, where the entire two hours is given over to single topic or one particular musical genre or era. I hope you enjoy tonight's unique departure from form and I extend my wishes to all dear listeners for a peaceful Thanksgiving weekend.

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For November 22

by Vin Scelsa
Elaine May, Mike Nichols and Dorothy Loudon in 1959

Might Neil Diamond and Neil Young be separated at birth? One Neil loves sequined blazers while the other prefers flannel shirts (guess which one). However, both Neils have grand new albums just released and tonight on "Idiot's Delight"® at 8, I'll explore both releases. In addition, there seems to be a lot of talented women singing the theme songs for high quality television series; enough for an entire set. I'll also have a musical remembrance for John F. Kennedy on the 51st anniversary of his death and honor the great Mike Nichols via his brilliant improvisational work with Elaine May.