I'm back from vacation with sad tidings: Elaine Stritch, Johnny Winter, Charlie Haden and others have gone on to the After Party, my new metaphor for death. Thinking that they're all having fun at the universe's greatest After Party makes accepting their absence here on planet Earth a bit easier. And here's good news: iconic actor Harry Dean Stanton—still with us at age 88 as I recorded tonight's show on Friday morning—has an album of songs he recorded for the documentary film "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction." Tonight on "Idiot's Delight"® at 8, I play several tunes from the soundtrack of the same name, and I'll go off on a "Don't Think Twice" musical tangent too.
Before leaving on his summer holidays, Vin Scelsa set aside a few "Idiot's Delight"® shows that never received a proper on-air broadcast, for one reason or another. On tonight's encore presentation at 8, Vin resurrects his Easter Saturday show of this year, bumped off of WFUV due to the holiday Mass. That show focused entirely on various versions, stretching from iterations to tangents, of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and it featured Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Bryan Ferry, David Poe and others lost in the rain in Juarez around Easter time. Vin Scelsa returns from his fishin' break next Saturday, July 19, with a brand new show.
Last February, an episode of Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight"®, inspired by the late Pete Seeger, aired mostly online due to basketball. So since Vin is vacationing this week, he chose to resurrect that show for tonight, especially since a memorial concert for Pete and Toshi Seeger will take place at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park Bandshell on Sunday afternoon, July 20 with a lineup that includes Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow and Dar Williams and Dan Zanes.
"While my show isn't a Pete Seeger 'tribute' show by any stretch of the imagination," writes Vin, "Pete's spirit and influence hangs over, informs and inspires every moment of tonight's 'Idiot's Delight.' Pete was truly a giant cultural musical icon whose influence on several generations of Americans and people all over the world is immeasurable."
Vin Scelsa has "gone fishin'" on his yearly summer break, but he's left a trio of "Idiot's Delight"® episodes that only aired online (or were preempted) last winter. Looking back at a "lost" January show, Vin has a few thoughts on the film "Inside Llewyn Davis" and the true legacy of Dave Van Ronk (pictured far right with Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo) and his other Greenwich Village folk compadres, like Odetta and Fred Neil.
Tonight on Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight,"® joined in progress following WFUV's broadcast of the Clearwater Festival, Vin pays homage to the great jazz singer Jimmy Scott who passed away earlier this week at the age of 88. Scott's delicately pitched, idiosyncratic alto, the result of a lifelong struggle with Kallmann syndrome, could crack even the hardest of hearts as he tenderly explored a ballad. After a short period of early success in the '50s, Scott's artistic genius as a vocal stylist went unrecognized for decades, until he was rediscovered by a new generation in the '90s. Jimmy Scott, who was a guest on "Idiot's Delight"® in the early '90s, had a long list of fans that included Ray Charles, Doc Pomus and Lou Reed. Said Reed of Scott: "He has the voice of an angel."