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
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
3:24 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Phosphorescent On World Cafe

Phosphorescent.
Steve Gullick Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:44 pm

It's easy to hear the steady growth in the music of Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck since the release of his band's 2009 Willie Nelson tribute album, To Willie. In 2011, Here's to Taking It Easy was a sprawling, languid epic written with his road band's performances in mind.

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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
1:07 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Emmylou Harris And Rodney Crowell Get The Old Band Together Again

Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:48 pm

It was 1975 when Emmylou Harris had to figure out how to make a solo album after her classic work as Gram Parsons' duet partner. Her record company told her to "get a hot band." So she got The Hot Band with James Burton on lead, as well as a newcomer, Rodney Crowell, on rhythm guitar and, more importantly, songwriting.

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World Cafe
11:29 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Pickwick On World Cafe

Pickwick.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:49 pm

The first incarnation of the Seattle band Pickwick revolved around Galen Disston's strummy acoustic songs. Disston eventually found himself bored with his own music until a not-so-subtle shift took place; as the band began experimenting with new sounds and ideas, Disston shifted into the role of lead singer and crowds immediately noticed.

In this installment of World Cafe, you'll hear three songs from Pickwick's debut album, Can't Talk Medicine, as well as the full story behind the band's reinvention.

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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
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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