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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 February 28

by Vin Scelsa
Bruce Sinofsky (from American Masters on PBS)

The Spirit of Death hovers in and around tonight's "Idiot's Delight"® at 8, but don't let that frighten you away. It is a loving gentle Spirit. I was a little late in remembering the anniversary of the passing of Andy Warhol last week, and will make up for that tardiness. However, what's been on my mind for days is the passing of documentary filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky earlier this week. Bruce and his creative partner Joe Berlinger were frequent guests and friends of "Idiot's Delight,"® talking about such films as "Brother's Keeper," "The Paradise Lost" trilogy, and "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster."

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For February 21

by Vin Scelsa
Bob Dylan (courtesy of Grammy.org, photo by William Claxton)

Tonight's "Idiot's Delight"® at 8 begins online for a spell because of Fordham basketball. But we'll herald this snowy Saturday night with all sorts of horns: trumpets, cornets, bugles, flugelhorns and other brassy things.  I'll note the passing of Sam Andrew, the guitarist and founder of Big Brother and the Holding Company, one of the pivotal West Coast bands from the psychedelic era of the Sixties. Sam, who was 73 when he died, was the man who took band manager Chet Helms' advice and hired a young blues singer from Texas named Janis Joplin to front the band ... and Cheap Thrills soon abounded though the land!

Finally, the organization MusiCares gave its annual "Person Of The Year" award to Bob Dylan on February 6.  Dylan's wild and mercurial acceptance speech touched on the very instructive subject of how the folk, blues and country songs he sang over and over again as a young man influenced him and directly led him to compose his own early songs.

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For February 14

by WFUV Staff
Brendan Behan with Jackie Gleason

If you were expecting Vin Scelsa to do an easy, Cupid-themed show for St. Valentine's Day, you might be a little disappointed: there might be more Eire than Eros on tonight's "Idiot's Delight"® at 8. But in addition to traipsing briefly through Ireland following the mossy path of playwright and poet Brendan Behan, Vin does come across some love songs (or something close to that) by Nina Simone, Rhiannon Giddens, Bobby Darin, Wishbone Zoe and others.

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For February 7

by WFUV Staff
Vin Scelsa, a hammock and bare feet in Cape Cod (photo by Freddie Scelsa)

Vin Scelsa has lined up a warm, mostly acoustic show for this frigid February night on "Idiot's Delight"® tonight at 8. The opening set is for everyone dreaming of going to a more clement place, like a Cape Cod beach at the height of midsummer (which a bare-footed Vin enjoys doing with a pile of books). As Vin searches for that perfect idyllic nook, expect music from Diana Krall, Speed the Plough, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Elizabeth Cotton and many others. Brrrr ... how many days until spring?