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
4:35 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Latin Roots: Fado Creates 'Nostalgia For The Present Moment'

Fado singer Mariza.
Courtesy of the artist

Today, we welcome singer-songwriter, Grammy-nominated producer and record-company owner Rachel Faro, who visits World Cafe to discuss the Portuguese tradition of Fado.

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World Cafe
4:16 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Shovels And Rope: A Husband And Wife, A Homemade Sound

Shovels & Rope.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:35 pm

Husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst had their own careers going — his with the band The Films and hers solo. Then they started performing together, just the two of them, and found that their personal chemistry translated to their music together.

The South Carolina duo released its debut album, O' Be Joyful, last summer. Here, Trent and Hearst join us to talk about how that homemade record came to be — and, of course, perform live in the studio.

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World Cafe
3:05 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

The James Hunter Six: 'Minute By Minute,' A Classic Soul Sound

The James Hunter Six.
Ruth Ward Courtesy of the artist

James Hunter fell in love with vintage R&B during his youth in England, with his grandmother's records providing a foundation. Hunter sang in workingman's clubs and got a break in the early '90s, when Van Morrison heard him singing and invited him on tour as a backing vocalist.

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World Cafe
10:34 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Jesse Dee: From The South By Way Of Boston, A Vintage R&B Sound

Jesse Dee.
Michael D. Spencer Courtesy of the artist

Jesse Dee grew up in Boston — far from the South, where the music he loves has its roots — and could never quite shake the '50s and '60s R&B he'd heard on the radio as a kid. He started writing his own material in high school because he wanted his music to be contemporary.

Dee's first album, Bittersweet Batch, came out in 2008; his latest is On My Mind/In My Heart. His love of singing shines through, in both our conversation and this live session.

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World Cafe
3:30 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper On World Cafe

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, a.k.a. Aly Spaltro.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:27 pm

The name Lady Lamb the Beekeeper came to singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro in a dream. When the Maine native emerged from the DVD-store basement where she'd been experimenting with music for several years, her friends responded positively. She soon moved to Brooklyn, where those original songs were re-worked for her debut album, Ripley Pine, released this past February.

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World Cafe
3:12 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Next: Escondido

Escondido.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 5:29 pm

It's not as if Escondido members Jessica Maros and Tyler James didn't have enough going on already. Maros is a thriving fashion designer in Nashville, Tenn., known for dressing Lady Antebellum and others. James has been a member of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and recently had one of his songs placed on the TV show Nashville.

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World Cafe
12:34 pm
Fri April 12, 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 5:48 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
3:45 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Country Music Hall Of Fame On World Cafe

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn.
Courtesy of the museum

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:37 pm

So you think you know country music? Our friend Michael Gray, curator at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., will tell you what you need to know in just a few music-filled minutes. The Hall of Fame is right in downtown Nashville and is a must visit.

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World Cafe
3:45 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Buddy Miller And Jim Lauderdale On World Cafe

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.
Paul Moore Courtesy of the artist

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale have contributed to roots music to an immeasurable degree throughout their careers. As songwriters and players, both solo and together, they've led bands, worked as sidemen and written great songs.

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World Cafe
9:03 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Moon Taxi On World Cafe

Nashville's Moon Taxi.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:26 pm

You might be tempted to call World Cafe's Sense of Place: Nashville guest Moon Taxi a jam band — that is, if its instrumental excursions weren't so concise, carefully thought-out and frequently refined in the years it's spent touring.

The quintet formed at Belmont University in Nashville and released its debut, Melodica, in 2007. Moon Taxi's second studio album, Cabaret, came out last year. Here, the band performs an intricate live set and discusses what makes Nashville's independent music scene special.

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