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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 Announces His Retirement

by WFUV Staff
Vin Scelsa (photo by David Vanderheyden)

Vin Scelsa is hanging up his headphones. A pioneer of freeform FM radio and a New York icon for five decades, Vin announced on Saturday night during "Idiot's Delight"®, his weekly program on WFUV (90.7 FM/, that he will retire and do his final show on May 2, 2015, from 8-10 p.m. (His final satellite radio program on SiriusXM's "The Loft" channel will be on Thursday, April 30.) As a loving sendoff,  "Vin Scelsa's Fare Thee Well Concert," with many musical guests, will take place on Monday, June 8 at City Winery.

"I am incredibly lucky to have spent my entire radio career doing exactly what I've wanted," says Vin. "The kind of programming autonomy I've enjoyed, on both commercial and public radio over all these years, is unique. I am grateful to all the stations I've worked on for the privilege of being allowed to wander through their airwaves wherever my interests have taken me. I am grateful to my listeners for their support and their indulgence as we shared this journey together. It's hard to let go, of course, but I always promised myself and my audience that when the time was right I would stop. How lucky am I that I get to decide even this!"

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

by Vin Scelsa
Dayna Kurtz (courtesy of the artist,

Tonight's "Idiot's Delight"® at 8 illustrates the art of having a "conversation" on the radio by creating sets with songs that talk to, and comment on, each other. Songs that illuminate, enforce, echo, and sometimes argue with—and contradict—each other. Perhaps the way that any group of friends does on a night when words and ideas are freely flowing and connections are revealed. Something like that! So please join me with "conversations" in song via Dayna Kurtz, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Leonard Cohen, Emmylou Harris, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists and much more.

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

by WFUV Staff
"Out of the Past," with Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer (1947)

Vin Scelsa describes the opening set of this evening's "Idiot's Delight"® as the soundtrack to an imaginary Hollywood film noir starring Robert Mitchum, slanted with steely solitude, smoke-choked bars and long goodbyes. Also, Vin has set aside vintage gems from Jackson C. Frank, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, and The Band as well as new releases from My Morning Jacket and Josh Rouse.

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

by WFUV Staff
Ewert and the Two Dragons (courtesy of the artist)

On "Idiot's Delight"® tonight at 8, Vin Scelsa is tired of snow and eager to travel, musical passport in hand. Vin journeys to Estonia via Ewert and the Two Dragons, boomerangs back to New Jersey with John Gorka, and lands in Sweden with José González. He also pays tribute to the late Lesley Gore, has a hankering for violins and spends more time with Bob Dylan, forever and always.