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

The World Music Education of Philip Glass

In his new memoir, Music Without Words, the composer explains how a chance meeting with Ravi Shankar sparked a fascination with the cultures of the world and their music.
NPR

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

The company says Diet Pepsi consumers are concerned about aspartame. But the Food and Drug Administration has long affirmed that the sweetener is safe in amounts commonly used by beverage companies.
NPR

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy On Gun Control, Vaccines And Science

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was officially sworn in this week. His confirmation was held up for more than a year because of comments he made about gun violence. Murthy talks with NPR's Scott Simon.
NPR

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

Leave a Comment

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