David Dye

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafeis produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dye launched his distinguished broadcasting career as host of a progressive music show on WMMR 93.3 FM, a pioneering progressive rock station in Philadelphia. During his four-year tenure, Dye won accolades for his taste and laid back presentation. After a five-year stint programming radio stations in Maine, he returned to Philadelphia where he gained public radio experience at WHYY before being recruited in 1981 by alternative rock station WIOQ 102.1 FM where he made his mark on the music scene for nearly a decade.

In 1989, Dye took his musical quest to WXPN where he hosted the station's Sleepy Hollow radio program. Two years later, Dye was asked to spearhead research on the viability of a new public radio program. The research revealed an audience need for a new kind of musical format - one that was intelligent, diverse and would give musical guests a showcase for their artistic expression. Based on the findings, Dye went to work to create a unique program of musical discovery where listeners would be introduced to an eclectic blend of contemporary sounds from legendary and up-and-coming artists. World Cafewas born.

Since launching World Cafein 1991, Dye has served as the host of this nationally acclaimed show, now syndicated on more than 250 public radio stations across the United States. Every week, Dye brings out the best in interviews with internationally known artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Joni Mitchell. He has conducted nearly 4,500 interviews during his 20 years with the program. He introduces a half-million listeners each week to newcomers like Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, PJ Harvey, Sheryl Crow, Beck, LCD Soundsystem and Amos Lee.

World Cafe and Dye have received numerous awards including: two NFCB Gold Reel Awards, Album Network's "Best Triple A Air Talent," five Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly Awards," the Philadelphia Chapter of NARAS "Hero Award," the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award and numerous radio industry trade magazine citations. In 2006, Dye was named the "Triple A Air Personality of the Year" by Radio & Records.

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World Cafe
12:38 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Phoenix On World Cafe

French indie-rock band Phoenix performs on stage at the 13th Annual Non-COMMvention in Philadelphia in May.
Joe Del Tufo WXPN

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:32 pm

The French band Phoenix seems to be appearing at the top of music charts all over the world. In 2009, Phoenix's album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix guided them to fame with popular tracks like "1901" and "Lisztomania."

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World Cafe
2:50 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Latin Roots: Catupecu Machu

Argentine-rock band Catupecu Machu.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:02 am

  • Listen To Catupecu Machu Perform In Buenos Aires

Though Argentina may be known for tango music, there is a strong and thriving rock scene that seems to be taking over. World Cafe recently traveled to Buenos Aires to visit the home-studio of Catupecu Machu, one of Argentina's most popular rock bands.

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World Cafe
1:52 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Frank Turner On World Cafe

Frank Turner.
Tara Novak Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Singer-songwriter Frank Turner has a fanatically large following in the U.K. Though he might not be filling large halls in the States quite yet, his American fans are just as dedicated and engaged.

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World Cafe
1:33 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Charles Bradley On World Cafe

Charles Bradley.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:02 am

  • Listen To Charles Bradley On World Cafe

Soul man Charles Bradley knew he could sing — former band members and friends always told him that. But he just never got the shot, shuttling from one odd job to another. Into his 50s, Bradley was living with his mother in New York and performing as a James Brown interpreter under the name "Black Velvet." When Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth saw him perform, this soul man finally got his shot at fame.

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World Cafe
2:14 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

BRONCHO On World Cafe

BRONCHO.
Jaret Ferratusco Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:03 am

The fun, aggressive pop band BRONCHO is reminiscent of both The Ramones and Weezer. Straddling the line between pop and punk, the band's 2011 debut Can't Get Past The Lips has 10 songs but clocks in at just 20 minutes.

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World Cafe
10:05 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Next: Daughn Gibson

Daughn Gibson.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:04 am

Pennsylvania singer-songwriter Daughn Gibson has a deep baritone voice like Johnny Cash and a country style not unlike Lee Hazlewood. Toss in a few electronic loops and bagpipes, and Gibson's second album, Me Moan, is a spooky production.

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World Cafe
11:50 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Portugal. The Man On World Cafe

Portugal. The Man.
Hayley Young Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:05 am

Portugal. The Man is a shape-shifting indie-rock band originally from Wasilla, Alaska. Led by vocalist John Gourley, the group just released a new album called Evil Friends, which was produced by Brian Burton, a.k.a Danger Mouse. Burton helped the band capture the potential of each track, while lending a rhythmic feel to its psych-rock style.

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World Cafe
11:45 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club On World Cafe

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Courtesy of Stephen Kallao

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:07 am

  • Listen To Black Rebel Motorcycle Club On World Cafe

Recorded live at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recently performed a special stripped-down session for World Cafe. The band appears as a trio, playing songs from its latest album, Specter at the Feast. In 2010, lead singer Robert Been's father Michael died of a heart attack while Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was on tour; this is the group's first release since his death.

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World Cafe
11:45 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Galadrielle Allman On Her Father's Work In 'Skydog'

Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band lived to play music. A new box set, Skydog, collects the work he produced before his death in 1971.
John Gellman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:06 am

In 1971, Duane Allman — one of the greatest slide guitarists of all time — died at age 24. His daughter, Galadrielle Allman, was only 2 at the time. Here, she joins World Cafe to present music from the lovingly curated Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective.

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World Cafe
4:48 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Bobby McFerrin On World Cafe

Bobby McFerrin.
Ingrid Hertfelder Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:11 am

Bobby McFerrin has a wide range of musical abilities, from singing multi-octaves to serving as a classical conductor, but he didn't arrive there on his own. Inspired by his father's album Deep River, McFerrin pays tribute to music of the past on his new album, spirityouall.

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World Cafe
2:34 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Christopher Owens On World Cafe

Christopher Owens.
Ryan McGinley Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:12 am

Formerly of the San Francisco rock band Girls, Christopher Owens now explores music and life on his own. Shortly after the duo released its second album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Owens announced that he was leaving to go solo. Released this past January, Lysandre is his first album recorded under his own name; it's a coming-of-age story for the singer, intertwined with hints of romance.

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World Cafe
4:00 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

World Cafe Next: Elastic Bond

Elastic Bond.
Alissa Christine Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:16 am

The Miami-based Latin alternative band Elastic Bond has a varied sound that's hard to pinpoint. Its debut album, Real, contains tropical elements well suited to its home state of Florida, but funky horns and retro-leaning samples help freshen that sound. The combination of genres goes well with the band's name, which references a chemical equation.

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World Cafe
11:24 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Iron And Wine On World Cafe

Iron And Wine.
Craig Kief Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:39 pm

At the heart of Iron and Wine is a 38-year-old singer-songwriter from South Carolina named Sam Beam, but Beam's new sixth album, Ghost on Ghost, is his most lavish full-band production yet. Back in 2002, the first Iron and Wine album essentially consisted of stripped-down demos, released as-is. In the spareness of those early recordings, Beam used only what he had available to him: a guitar, a banjo and a 4-track tape recorder.

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World Cafe
3:55 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Latin Roots: The Evolution Of Flamenco

Spanish flamenco singer Estrella Morente.
Diario FemeninoSp Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:40 pm

Judy Cantor-Navas, managing editor of Billboard En Español, joins Latin Roots to discuss the mysterious world of flamenco music. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where the style originated; though known for its close ties to Spain, it's suggested that the roots of flamenco actually begin in India. Whatever its origins may be, however, it's a style dominated by strong performers.

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World Cafe
3:35 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Tom Jones On World Cafe

Tom Jones.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:01 pm

This segment, from June 27, is part of our Best Of 2013 series, in which we revisit some of our most memorable interviews and performances of the year.

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World Cafe
12:45 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Laura Mvula On World Cafe

Laura Mvula.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:15 pm

U.K. singer Laura Mvula has been well-served by her conservatory training, which helped her uncover her own unique sound: Mvula's first full-length album, Sing to the Moon, blends classic pop, jazz and soul.

With help from producer Steve Brown, Mvula's choral-like arrangements are wonderfully layered and complex. In this installment of World Cafe, the singer performs live with her band and talks to host David Dye about how she separates her roles as a songwriter and a performer.

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World Cafe
2:56 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Michael Nesmith On World Cafe

Michael Nesmith.
Alexandra Battaglia Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:43 pm

He's best known as the tall, hat-wearing member of The Monkees, but Michael Nesmith has worn many other hats in the last few decades. Nesmith recently finished up his first solo tour in 21 years, playing songs from both his original country-rock group (The First National Band) and his solo albums.

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World Cafe
1:58 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Next: Houndstooth

Houndstooth.
Jaclyn Campanaro Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:45 pm

An indie-rock quintet based in Portland, Ore., Houndstooth features singer Katie Bernstein and guitarist John Gnorski — both of whom are originally from Austin, Texas. The band's sound reflects both hometowns, with Gnorski's loping guitar riffs hinting at bluesy Southern influences.

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World Cafe
2:07 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

KT Tunstall On World Cafe

KT Tunstall.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:45 pm

In the spring of 2012, Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall traveled to Tucson, Ariz., to work on her sixth album, Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon. But before she could return to finish the record, a lot happened in her personal life: The death of her father, as well as the dissolution of her marriage to drummer Luke Bullen, left Tunstall in a standstill.

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World Cafe
9:31 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Latin Roots: Timba, Cuba's Funky Dance Music

The timba collective Giraldo Piloto y Klimiax.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:51 pm

The Cuban music form known as timba developed in the 1980s, but exploded in popularity throughout the '90s. While training in jazz and classical conservatories, many Cuban musicians were looking for a new musical form that would challenge their skills. By combining rumba with funk and other dance music, timba became a new Cuban genre of synthesized styles.

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World Cafe
11:15 am
Thu June 13, 2013

José James On World Cafe

José James.
Janette Beckman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 8:31 am

Originally from Minneapolis, José James began chasing his dreams of jazz singing at 17. He found his way to London and New York, and eventually ended up at The New School to study jazz vocals. James was always interested in a musical place where jazz, R&B, hip-hop and more can all come together.

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World Cafe
3:33 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

John Mellencamp, Stephen King And T-Bone Burnett On World Cafe

T-Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are the creative team behind Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a stage show based on a true story of small-town tragedy.
Kevin Mazur Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:53 pm

Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T-Bone Burnett's collaboration on the musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County began 13 years ago. Inspiration for the story came when Mellencamp bought a vacation cabin; he says he found out just after closing that the home was the site of the tragic death of two brothers and the girl they both loved.

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World Cafe
2:36 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Low Cut Connie On World Cafe

Low Cut Connie.
Emad Hasan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:53 pm

Low Cut Connie is a Philadelphia band led by piano player Adam Weiner, who's a born ham: an entertainer who will pound his piano (and his listeners) into submission. Low Cut Connie began when Weiner and his partner, Englishman Dan Finnemore, decided to team up.

In this installment of World Cafe, the band plays music from last year's Call Me Sylvia and tells the tale of bonding in a stuck freight elevator.

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World Cafe
4:14 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

World Cafe Next: Last Good Tooth

Last Good Tooth.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:55 pm

Last Good Tooth shares a hometown — Providence, R.I. — with The Low Anthem, and the two bands have both shown a penchant for experimenting with fiddles and Appalachian music.

Led by songwriter Penn Sultan, the son of sculptor Donald Sultan, Last Good Tooth crafts free-wheeling songs, marked by delightful extended breaks and smart lyrics. The group recently relocated to New York City, and its new album (Not Without Work and Rest) is out now on Conor Oberst's Team Love Records.

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World Cafe
4:02 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Patty Griffin On World Cafe

Patty Griffin.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:03 am

It's a middle-age milestone, dealing with a parent's death. Singer-songwriter Patty Griffin turns the experience into powerful moments on her latest album, American Kid. The album features songs inspired by everything from her dad exclaiming "Don't let me die in Florida!" to the gleam in her grandfather's eye on his own wedding day.

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World Cafe
8:53 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Villagers On World Cafe

Villagers' Conor O'Brien.
Rich Gilligan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:57 pm

Recording under the name Villagers, Dublin singer-songwriter Conor O'Brien released his debut album, Becoming a Jackal, in 2010. A critically acclaimed Mercury Prize nominee, that record was stripped-down singer-songwriter fare.

But O'Brien changed a bit during the two-plus years leading up to the release of {Awayland}. The songwriter had listened to lots of techno in the interim and approached the new album with Cinemascope ambitions.

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World Cafe
5:08 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Madeleine Peyroux On World Cafe

Madeleine Peyroux.
Rocky Schenk Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:58 pm

Madeleine Peyroux started singing blues and jazz on the streets of Paris. Over the course of her career, Peyroux has released six albums, sold more than a million copies of her second record (Careless Love) and developed a following for her easygoing, Billie Holiday-tinged sound.

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World Cafe
2:34 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Next: The Oh Hellos

Tyler and Maggie Heath of the Texas band The Oh Hellos.
Wonderfully Made Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:59 pm

  • Listen To Two Songs By The Oh Hellos

Tyler and Maggie Heath, siblings from San Marcos, Texas, self-released their independent album, Through the Deep, Dark Valley, in October of last year. It was the culmination of a collaboration that began a couple years ago, when they wrote their first song together — for their mom. She liked it, but more importantly, they liked the process.

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World Cafe
11:12 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Jamie Lidell On World Cafe

Jamie Lidell.
Lindsey Rome Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:17 am

British producer and singer Jamie Lidell is one of electronic music's funkiest solo practitioners. When Lidell visited World Cafe in 2006 to support his successful album Multiply, he told host David Dye that he had been called the "one-man human funk tornado" — a moniker he earns yet again in this session.

In this installment of World Cafe, Lidell plays songs from his latest self-titled album and discusses the process of making the record at his new home studio in Nashville.

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World Cafe
10:24 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Petula Clark On World Cafe

Petula Clark.
Clement Schneider Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:59 pm

Petula Clark's new album, Lost In You, is her first since 2004. The 80-year-old actress, singer and entertainer launched her career in film and on the radio; she even entertained the troops in WWII, and was later known for her worldwide hit "Downtown."

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