Bound for Glory Starts Its 50th Year!

On August 28, Ithaca’s own “Bound for Glory” kicks off its 50th year!  “Bound for Glory” is North America’s longest-running live folk concert broadcast, conceived of and hosted by Phil Shapiro for the entire time.  The live shows are free and open to the public.  They originate at Anabel Taylor Hall at Cornell University, from 8 to 11 pm every Sunday night that Cornell is in session. Live sets at 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30.  Listen on your radio or on your computer.

Fifty years ago this fall, Phil Shapiro came on the air, and has run the Bound for Glory radio show ever since, with approximately 32 live concert broadcasts per year.  Our guest on Sunday, 8/28, is Mark Rust.  But he’s not the only one who will be on stage.  We’ll have a proclamation from Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, a whole lot of good humored comments from a lot of people, some real surprises… and some cake.  Quite a party.  Open to all.

This first show of the 50th year will be a very special one, with one of Ithaca’s favorite performers, Mark Rust.  Mark Rust is one of those rare performers we’re privileged to see as often as we can arrange it. He’s a perennial Ithaca Festival fixture, with a new song every year based on the theme of the Festival, and he’s surely in the running for most-ever Bound for Glory performances, so we’ll be delighted to see him again this time.  His best-known song locally?  Ithaca Sunset.

Mark Rust’s music reflects the harmonies of nature and the simplicity of life he has known from growing up in the Catskill Mountains. He sings with strength and clarity, accompanying himself on guitar, piano, banjo, fiddle, mountain and hammered dulcimer. His charismatic personality combined with a delightful blend of wit and humor, creates a clear and consistent image of the world as he wants it to be. His love for his audience is genuinely conveyed and immediately returned. Mark quickly makes them an integral part of the performance, and in that moment, they become his family.

“Bound for Glory” got its start in 1967, the year folk legend Woody Guthrie died (His autobiography provided the name for the show.) and Shapiro came to Cornell as a graduate student in economics. Shapiro’s promotional savvy and word of mouth soon made “Bound for Glory” a household name on the folk music circuit.  No one gets paid money for working on or appearing on “Bound for Glory” — not Shapiro, not the producers and not the performers.  But “Bound for Glory” performers are compensated with an element that is all too rare these days, according to the show’s genial host.  “They get paid in magic,” said Shapiro. “Our live audience is known far and wide as one of the best folk audiences in the country. We have famous performers come back again and again.”

Musician’s website:


From August 7th through the 21st, Bound for Glory will be Albums from the Studios, as Cornell resumes its Summer Break, and the room we use at Anabel Taylor is closed. Give Phil a call on Sunday night at 607-273-2121. The 50th year, YES, THE 50TH YEAR, of WVBR’s Bound for Glory, live, starts on August 28th with Mark Rust!

North America's longest-running live folk concert brodcast. Sunday nights on WVBR 93.5 FM.