David Dye

Host / Producer

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is 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 Cafe was born.

Since launching World Cafe in 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
5:08 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Isaac Hayes On World Cafe

Isaac Hayes.

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 5:50 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
5:00 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 11:32 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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World Cafe
2:20 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Trey Anastasio On World Cafe

Trey Anastasio
Rene Huemer

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 3:33 pm

In addition to leading Phish, one of rock's most beloved jam bands, Trey Anastasio has built a successful solo career in the past 10 years with his Trey Anastasio Band.

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World Cafe
11:32 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Ingrid Michaelson: Unique Indie-Pop and Folk

  • Ingrid Michaelson in Studio on World Cafe 12/21/07

Ingrid Michaelson frequently gets compared to the likes of Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor, but she's staked out her own distinct musical territory. The formally trained 27-year-old New Yorker fuses indie-pop and folk in a smooth and unique way that helped her attract a large audience via MySpace.

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World Cafe
11:31 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Sheryl Crow: Surviving Life's 'Detours'

  • Sheryl Crow in Studio on World Cafe 12/14/07

Bluesy rock-pop singer Sheryl Crow has an amazing track record, winning nine Grammy Awards and many other accolades, but her success didn't happen overnight. After receiving her college degree and teaching music, Crow attempted to release her first album in the early '90s, but her label rejected it. In 1993, Crow was finally able to release Tuesday Night Music Club, but the disc didn't receive much attention until a year later, when "All I Wanna Do" became a breakthrough smash.

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World Cafe
11:12 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Forro In The Dark: Building On The Sound Of Brazil's Northeast

Forro in the Dark.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:28 am

Forro in the Dark gets its name from the Forro, a type of dance and music that's been popular in northeastern Brazil for more than 100 years. The style's traditional incarnation involves a three-piece band with a triangle, an accordion and a bass-like drum called a zabumba.

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World Cafe

The premier public radio showcase for contemporary music serving up an eclectic blend that includes blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country. Visit World Cafe to see what's playing. 

World Cafe
11:49 am
Tue July 7, 2009

World Cafe Remembers Levon Helm

Levon Helm.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:12 pm

  • Levon Helm in Studio on World Cafe 1/18/08

This segment, from Jan. 18, 2008, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances. Here, we remember an Americana legend and drummer for the '60s rock group The Band, Levon Helm, who died in 2012.

Levon Helm first picked up a guitar at age 8, but soon switched to drums. Though best known as the famous drummer for the rock group The Band, Helm continued to influence music with his collaborations and solo works.

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