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.

Galea McGregor / WXPN

Parker Millsap grew up in the small town of Purcell, Okla., where he began singing in the Pentecostal church his parents attended. In 2014, he released his self-titled debut, which was full of songs and characters from his youth and earned him an Americana Emerging Artist of the Year nomination.

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.

Kris Payne/Courtesy of the artist

After starting out in the punk scene, Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Moreland decided it was best to start writing about himself. That attitude, and a new Americana sound, helped lend depth and honesty to his new album, High On Tulsa Heat. Moreland's World Cafe session is one of the most unexpectedly beautiful in a while.

Kris Payne/Courtesy of the artist

This week's World Cafe: Next artist, John Moreland, is an Americana singer-songwriter from Oklahoma who just released his second album, High On Tulsa Heat.

Before turning to songwriting, Moreland was in a metal band; nowadays, though, his work channels a deep well of emotion and pain. In this segment, you can hear two of his songs, which can also be downloaded here.

Set List:

  • John Moreland, 'High on Tulsa Heat'
  • John Moreland, 'Cleveland County Blues'
Kelsey Stanger / WXPN

To hear JD McPherson say it, he heard Little Richard and there was no turning back. That pioneering hero and the music of Buddy Holly form the basis of the sound of the records McPherson has gone on to make. His song "North Side Gal" caught a lot of attention for his first album, which was made in a bit of a vacuum with nobody having many expectations.

That's not so true for his new one, Let The Good Times Roll. McPherson worked hard to not make the same record again. We'll talk about that process, let him expound on some of his favorite music and mostly hear some fabulous performances from the stage of World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Jimmy Sutton / Courtesy of the artist

After all the time we've spent looking back at the best music of 2014, it is finally time to explore some of the releases we can look forward to over the first few months of 2015.

NPR Music's pop critic Ann Powers keeps her eyes on wide range of music; she helps us understand the middle and explore the edges. Her picks for the new year include songs from Oklahoma's retro-rocker JD McPherson, Seattle's female hip-hop duo THEESatisfaction and a brand new country duo from Nashville called Striking Matches