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After 25 years at the World Cafe, David Dye’s role is changing

David Dye | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN
David Dye | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN

After a quarter century at the helm of NPR’s World CafeDavid Dye announced today that he is stepping down on March 31st, 2017, as the full time host and producer of the show. He’ll continue hosting WXPN’s weekly Funky Friday show and will have a continued role on World Cafe as a special contributor.

“On one hand, it is extremely hard to picture my life without hosting the World Cafe on a daily basis,” says Dye. “It is the best job in radio, working with the most talented people. For years I have had the opportunity to sit in the same room talking with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and thousands of others. Our 25th anniversary seems like the perfect juncture to get off the treadmill of daily radio and see what is next.” Continue reading →

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A Funky Sunday dance party with Christian McBride (AKA DJ Brother Mister)

Christian McBride | Photo courtesy of the artist via http://www.christianmcbride.com/press.html
Christian McBride | Photo courtesy of the artist via http://www.christianmcbride.com/press.html

Fans of the funk and WXPN’s Funky Friday with David Dye won’t want to miss a Funky Sunday dance party, hosted by Dye. The party features Philly jazz bassist and composer extraordinaire Christian McBride as DJ Brother Mister, and it takes place on Sunday, November 22nd at World Cafe Live. Continue reading →

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This weekend, listen to the #SuperXPN No. 1 Hits of the 60s weekend with David Dye

Super_60s_weekend_w_DD
First, we had the Solid Gold #1 Hits of the 70s weekend, then the #Awesome80s weekend with Robert Drake, and this weekend WXPN moves back a couple of decades to present the #SuperXPN No. 1 Hits of the 60s weekend. Join World Cafe host David Dye as he plays every Number One Billboard hit in chronological order starting with January of 1960, ending with December of 1969. Continue reading →

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Listen to David Dye’s Heavy Rotation pick on Morning Edition: “Devil’s Whisper” by Raury

Raury | Photo by Faisal Mohammed
Raury | Photo by Faisal Mohammed

World Cafe host David Dye was on NPR’s Morning Edition this morning, talking about a song he’s got in Heavy Rotation, “Devil’s Whisper” by Atlanta musician Raury.

About the song, Dye says “He’s part of a new group of musicians called young Atlanta, and he feels that with his music everything is equal –  hip hop is next to folk, next to some kind of funk, next to rock. It all makes sense as one music. You really hear that in this song. He talks about the church, he talks about that he’s not a reverend, but as he does that his rap gets more and more intense and you want to say Amen at some point.” Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: David Dye’s five favorite live music moments in and out of the World Cafe studio

World Cafe's David Dye and Spoon's Jim Eno | Photo by John Vettese
World Cafe’s David Dye and Spoon’s Jim Eno | Photo by John Vettese

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, World Cafe host David Dye shares his favorite music moments of the year.

1. Punk Cajun band The Lost Bayou Ramblers, featuring the Michot Brothers, recorded a session live during our Sense of Place Visit to Lafayette. Loved it when Andre switched out his accordion for the key modulation in their version of “My Generation.” Maybe in Philly this summer…? Continue reading →

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“It’s Kind of Like God has Died”: Read David Dye’s thoughts on the passing of Pete Seeger

Pete-Seeger-With-Voices-Together-We-SingWhen news broke early this morning that iconic folk singer and activist Pete Seeger died yesterday at the age of 94, one of the first responses we saw was a Tweet from WXPN’s David Dye, host of World Cafe:

Dye expanded on these thoughts later today on World Cafe’s Tumblr page:

Like everybody else,  I woke up this morning to the news of Pete Seeger’s death.  Against all reason, I never really thought this would happen.

After absorbing Pete’s passing for a few minutes, I turned to my wife and said, “It’s kind of like God has died.”

Not being particularly religious, I realize that Pete Seeger’ s life and beliefs have come to represent a set of principles that have helped guide my life.

He shared more about his personal discovery of Seeger’s music as a young man, talked of getting to meet him in the 90s, and went into some more detail about that college admissions essay:

Even back in 1968, there was so much to write about, Pete’s life was already and always amazing. The son of a New England intellectual devoted his life to folk music and support of justice on all fronts. He had already been banned from television for 17 years for his beliefs. Thanks to The Smothers Brothers and Johnny Cash, who we posted earlier, he got back on the air singing his indelible songs, still standing by those beliefs. That wasn’t so long ago. Banning doesn’t happen so much anymore. I think we can give Pete some of the credit.

In the end, Dye proposed a tribute to Seeger that is at once very modern, timeless, and couldn’t be more fitting for a man who wanted to unite the country and the world in song. Read Dye’s entire response to Seeger’s death here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Glenn Tilbrook at World Cafe Live, Funky Blues Finale w/ James Cotton and David Dye at TLA, mewithoutYou at Musikfest Cafe

Squeeze80s British power pop sensation (and former Squeeze frontman) Glenn Tilbrook is playing at World Cafe Live tonight. Tilbrook has been touring the UK and U.S. in support of his upcoming solo release, expected to be out later this year. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s all ages event here. Watch as Tilbrook and his crew arrive to the states in his 2013 tour video below, and prepare for the show by listening to Tilbrook’s 2001 acoustic version of “Tempted” below.

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David Dye’s Sense of Place trip to Rio uncovers the second most recorded song ever

The Veloso Bar in Rio
The Veloso Bar in Rio
Who is the girl “that swings so cool and sways so gentle?” That’s “tall and tan and young and lovely?” Why, it’s “The Girl From Ipanema”, of course.

Helô Pinheiro, The Girl From Ipanema - Photograph: Barcroft Media
Helô Pinheiro, The Girl From Ipanema – Photograph: Barcroft Media

When David Dye and World Cafe went to Brazil for Sense of Place: Rio, they had a chance to find out more about the world’s most iconic Bossa Nova song. Written by composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinicius De Morae, the duo were inspired to compose the song by a teenage girl named Heloisa Eneida Menezes Pais Pinto, a native of Rio, in 1962. According to writer Bill DeMain in Performing Songwriter, the song was written at the Veloso Bar (pictured above), a short walk from the beach at Ipanema. It didn’t start out as “The Girl From Ipanema,” however. What began as a song for a musical comedy took a unique twist all because of “the girl.”

Jobim and de Moraes were stalled two verses in on the song they called “Menina que Passa” (“The Girl Who Passes By”). They needed a fresh breeze of inspiration, something vivid to stir their blood. Conjuring up the vision of their favorite hip-swaying distraction, they poured out all their secret longing and lust into the newly titled “Garota da Ipanema.”

The rest is history. When it was recorded by Astrud Gilberto with Stan Getz and João Gilberto in 1964 on the Getz/Gilberto album, English lyrics were added to the song and it became a Top 5 hit song, bringing the sounds of Brazil to the world. It won a number of Grammy Awards including Album of the Year and Record of The Year for “The Girl From Ipanema.”

“The Girl From Ipanema” is the second most recorded song ever. Andy Williams, Amy Winehouse, Kenny G, Sammy Davis, Jr., The B-52’s, Louis Armstrong, Cher, the Charles Watts and the 103rd Street Rhythm Band, and the Four Tops are just some who have covered it. And in case you were wondering, the most recorded song ever is “Yesterday” by The Beatles. David Dye has chosen some killer versions of “The Girl From Ipanema” for you below. From David:

Here is Stan Getz on sax (in a killer cardigan) and Astrud Gilberto playing the song in gorgeous metrocolor in the film Get Yourself A College Girl (and yes, that’s Gary Burton on vibes)

Among the historically important versions of “The Girl From Ipanema” is this one with Frank and Tom (Sinatra and Jobim) in concert.

Continue reading →