World Cafe Looks Back: Musicians We Miss | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

World Cafe Looks Back: Musicians We Miss

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe and revisited some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

Today, we recall the lives and legacies of two American songwriters, Townes Van Zandt and Jeff Buckley, and listen to their intimate interviews from the World Cafe vault. Both died in 1997, but continue to influence countless musicians.

Van Zandt, a "tragic hero" of country music, was born in 1944 to a Texas oil family and grew up idolizing Elvis Presley. Once he made it to Nashville as a musician, he developed only a cult following despite endless critical acclaim. Van Zandt continued to generate music throughout the '90s, rekindling interest with a younger generation when he toured with Cowboy Junkies. He died at the age of 52, but the legacy of his songwriting has continued in those inspired by his heartfelt country-folk, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones and Conor Oberst. In this recording from 1992, Van Zandt discusses his musical influences and the experience of recording his first album in 1968.

In the early '90s, after years of playing in bands that never made it beyond small East Village coffeehouses, Jeff Buckley began to draw attention for his haunting voice and honest songwriting. He visited World Cafe for the first time in 1994. Grace, his debut and the only album he released during his lifetime, would come out six months later, and Buckley returned to the show after its release. Today's show features songs from the latter session, as well as Buckley's interview from the former. In the interview, Buckley discusses his family life — particularly his relationship with his father, the songwriter Tim Buckley, and the impact of his father's death on Buckley's career.

This segment originally aired on October 26, 2011.

Copyright 2012 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

NPR

What's A Pirate's Least-Favorite Puzzle? One That Hates Arrrrs

In each pair of clues, the answer to the first clue is a word that contains the consecutive letters A-R. Drop the A-R, and the remaining letters in order will form a word that answers the second clue.
NPR

What To Do With Weird Farmers Market Vegetables

The farmer's market in July is a wondrous place: juicy tomatoes, jewel-toned eggplants, sweet yellow corn. But greens that look like weeds may be more intimidating. Here's how to tame them.
NPR

Kerry: Iran Faces 'Hard Choices' To Reach Nuclear Deal With West

The secretary of state, who has been in talks in Vienna for the past several days, says an agreement could be done "quickly" if Tehran is prepared to compromise.
NPR

Want A Taste Of Virtual Reality? Step One: Find Some Cardboard

Fancy headsets can cost between $200 and $500. But if you have a smartphone, some extra time and an empty pizza box, you can make your own.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.