I've had a lifelong love affair with radio. I was a huge Howard Stern fan, back when he was funny, and I'm into political talk, but music has always been the biggest draw. I find most of the new music I buy on the radio.
A great DJ can turn you onto great music. They work as filters, filtering out the crap, and playing stuff you might not hear anywhere else. That's what makes them great DJs.
I've been listening to Vin Scelsa since the early 1970s, starting with, I think, WABC-FM in New York City. His sets, now on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio can go on for 30 minutes or more, and the way he weaves together tunes from rock, jazz, classical, world, strange and wonderfully obscure music is unmatched. His deep knowledge and vast music library (he broadcasts out of his house) should be cited as some sort national treasure. There's something about the way Scelsa makes musical connections I never tire of.
He's not just randomly stringing tunes together; there's a lot of thought and preparation that goes into the choices. The way he moves from Roseanne Cash's new CD "The List," to Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, some little known zydeco player to the "West Side Story" soundtrack to Alice Cooper, and it all makes sense. Scelsa's a genius of musical connections and juxtapositions.
The only real drawback to listening to Scelsa nowadays is Sirius' sound quality, it's worse than crappy-sounding MP3s. To get around that, I listen over a tabletop satellite radio, which hides the harsh sound really well.
Scelsa calls his show "Idiot's Delight," and it can be heard live on Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2 PM ET on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's "The Loft" channel. The combined four hours of "Idiot's Delight" are repeated on Sunday nights, 8 PM to midnight ET.
Scelsa is also on WFUV 90.7 FM radio in New York on Saturday nights 8pm-Midnight. The radio show is simulcast on the Web and is archived for listening for two weeks after each broadcast.
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