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
3:58 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Next: Luella And The Sun

Luella and the Sun.
Courtesy of the artist

For our Sense of Place: Nashville week, we just had to showcase Luella and the Sun, which has made major fans out of Grimey's Records' Doyle Davis, other bands like Moon Taxi and NPR Music's Ann Powers.

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World Cafe
12:53 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Jim James On World Cafe

Jim James' new solo album is titled Regions of Light and Sound of God.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 2:45 pm

There have been releases under the name Yim Yames and projects with New Multitudes and Monsters of Folk, but Regions of Light and Sound of God is the first album bearing Jim James' own name.

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World Cafe
1:46 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Latin Roots: Argentine Rock

The Argentine rock band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
Courtesy of the artist

Today's Latin Roots co-host, Josh Norek, was given a hefty task: Define the broad swath of Argentine rock with just a few bands. But Norek, co-host of The Latin Alternative, is up to the occasion precisely because he spent time in Buenos Aires as a student during a vibrant period for music.

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World Cafe
10:39 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Jessie Ware On World Cafe

Jessie Ware.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:21 pm

Soulful singer-songwriter Jessie Ware is far from the first vocalist to make the transition from backing vocals to center stage; Sheryl Crow once backed Michael Jackson, after all. But the Londoner has made the leap with tremendous success in her own right.

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World Cafe
2:37 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Night Beds On World Cafe

Winston Yellen of Night Beds.
Jarrod Renaud Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:09 pm

Night Beds is the work of Winston Yellen, who originally started making music in his hometown of Colorado Springs. But he traveled to Nashville to write the songs for Night Beds' debut album, Country Sleep, in a pre-Civil War cabin once owned by Johnny Cash.

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World Cafe
1:30 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Kail Baxley: Music From An Amateur Boxer Who Danced For James Brown

Kail Baxley.
Courtesy of the artist

When Kail Baxley was a kid growing up in Williston, S.C., James Brown used to challenge him to dance-offs. Baxley didn't win so much. He did better as an amateur boxer — his key to getting out of the small town and traveling to Europe and Africa.

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World Cafe
4:08 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Next: Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee's new album is titled Cerulean Salt.
Courtesy of the artist

The world is catching up with Katie Crutchfield and Waxahatchee, and with good reason. Her shows at SXSW, including an NPR showcase, were greeted rapturously. Her new album, Cerulean Salt, is a sonic leap forward from her debut, American Weekend, which was recorded in a bedroom in Alabama.

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World Cafe
3:03 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Beach House On World Cafe

Beach House.
Liz Flyntz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 2:05 pm

Sitting down with Beach House is a bit like listening to the band's music. No matter how many times we feature Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, they impress with their relaxed complexity and refreshing insight into how music can work.

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World Cafe
11:03 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Next: The Lions

The Lions.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:25 am

  • Listen To The Podcast

In 2007, a dozen or so reggae and soul artists met in Los Angeles and eventually formed The Lions. Heavily inspired by the culture surrounding Jamaican music both old and new, the group is deeply rooted in soul, but also has a rough edge reminiscent of The Upsetters or The Rockers Band.

Members Deston Berry, Alex Désert and Malik Moore handle lead vocals, while Black Shakespeare produces the backing tracks. Guitarist Dan Ubick and bassist Dave Wilder also contribute, along with a mix of musicians who've played with Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul and Raphael Saadiq.

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World Cafe
6:09 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Lucero On World Cafe

The Memphis rock band Lucero.
Andy Modla Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 2:13 pm

In this "Sense of Place" installment, we meet the blue-collar Memphis rock band Lucero, which performs a stripped-down session in Ardent Studio A, where they worked on their album 1372 Overton Park.

In the beginning, Lucero was all about combining a punk aesthetic with Tom Waits' lyrical sensibility. Over the years, the Memphis sound has crept into the band's music, including a horn section on its last two albums.

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World Cafe
5:54 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Big Star And Ardent Music On World Cafe

Big Star's members pose in front of their barn.
Andy Modla

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 7:25 am

Our "Sense of Place" visit to Memphis, Tenn., moves away from soul music to the place where some of the seminal American power-pop records were created. Ardent Studios is where the Memphis band Big Star made three albums that helped define the genre.

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World Cafe
4:35 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Graceland On World Cafe

World Cafe takes a tour of Graceland.
World Cafe

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 7:29 am

In this installment of "Sense of Place: Memphis," we pay a visit to Graceland, Elvis Presley's storied estate. We hear from Kevin Kern, PR director for Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., and Elvis' daughter Lisa Marie Presley.

Kern gives us a personal tour of The King's estate, shares how Graceland was really a home to the singer, explains why it might seem small to us today, and offers up a few facts listeners might not know.

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World Cafe
4:33 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Steve Cropper And Booker T. Jones On World Cafe

Today's World Cafe features interviews with Steve Cropper (second from left) and Booker T. Jones (third from left), both part of the Stax Records house band.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:50 pm

As part of World Cafe's "Sense of Place" series on Memphis, Tenn., we've dug up archival interviews with two legendary Stax Records performers: guitarist Steve Cropper and organist Booker T. Jones, both of Booker T. & The M.G.'s.

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World Cafe
4:08 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Isaac Hayes On World Cafe

Isaac Hayes.

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:50 pm

As part of our "Sense of Place" series on Memphis, we dug into the World Cafe archives and pulled out a 2003 interview with Stax Records' best-selling artist, the late Isaac Hayes.

Before Hayes became known for the theme to Shaft, he was an in-house songwriter and producer for Stax; along with David Porter, he wrote the iconic hit "Soul Man" for Sam & Dave.

Here, host David Dye speaks with Hayes about his beginnings at Stax, his work with Booker T. Jones and the Memphis scene in general, which he called "wonderfully incestuous."

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World Cafe
4:00 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Stax Records On World Cafe

The Stax Records recording studio in Memphis, Tenn.
Courtesy of Andy Modla Photography

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 10:32 am

Soul music, barbeque and Elvis Presley. World Cafe is spending this week getting the vibe of Memphis, Tenn., a city that — like New Orleans — has had an undeniable influence on all of American culture. Our "Sense of Place: Memphis" radio journey takes us to the five major studios where much of the music that came out of radios from the '50s to the '70s was made.

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