David Dye

Host of The World Cafe

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.

A distinct American voice is gone. The bluegrass and old-time singer Ralph Stanley died Thursday at age 89. He lived a rich, full life of music; singing with his brother Carter as The Stanley Brothers, he helped define the bluegrass sound from the 1940s onward. After Carter Stanley died in 1966, Ralph continued playing with The Clinch Mountain Boys.

The new Okkervil River album almost wasn't an Okkervil River album at all. That's how the band's lead singer and songwriter, Will Sheff, explains it. "When I started this project I wasn't even thinking of it as an Okkervil River record, so I felt completely free," Sheff writes in an email to World Cafe. "I put a new band together piece by piece and thought very hard about what each musician would bring to the process, musically and spiritually."

Ray LaMontagne says the shape of his sixth album, Ouroboros, revealed itself to him as a whole in a dream. An easy-to-interpret dream, at that: A colorful puzzle representing the songs assembled itself as a whole picture as he slept.

There was a time when the world of World Cafe and the world of the Grammys only intersected with a few Contemporary Folk nominees. These days, that category doesn't even exist — hello, Americana! — and World Cafe guests like Melbourne's Courtney Barnett are cropping up as nominees across the board.

The imminent release of The Lumineers' second album, Cleopatra, warrants the cliche "long-awaited." It isn't simply the fact that the self-titled debut by the unassuming Denver trio came out almost four years ago (April 2012), but because it was the rare case of a new folk-rock artist making a major impact.

Brandi Carlile has a deserved reputation for a dynamic voice that she has really learned to work over the years. But it's always in service to the song. Case in point: this version of the new song "The Eye." It's a beautiful, subdued World Cafe performance with The Twins, Tim and Phil Hanseroth.

The Cure On World Cafe

Sep 2, 2014

The Cure was one of the first alternative bands to have huge commercial success in the 1980s, both in the U.K. and here in the states. Starting in 1979, the band released a trilogy of albums that established its popularity with those, who like lead singer Robert Smith, donned black garb and heavy eye makeup. Then came the hits: "Heaven," "Love Cats," Friday I'm In Love" and many others.

I love mixtapes. Don't we all? If I'm having a party or even a dinner, I meticulously program the music — even though, if it's a good party, no one will hear it because they're all talking!

Here's my Fourth of July mixtape for you. No in-studio guest today, just a wide variety of music with the only stipulation that "America," "American" or "U.S." has to be somewhere in the title. It's not even all from the U.S.! There's a version of the Brazilian singer Jorge Ben's "So Loco Porti America." There are some stirring classic tunes from Tom Petty and The Steve Miller Band.

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