2-16-17 7:00 PM EST: Today is a really sad day in Canada. Stuart McLean is dead. Last November McLean was diagnosed with melanoma. He died yesterday at 68 years of age.
Who is Stuart McLean? McLean was Canada's master story teller. In an age of Twitter and YouTube, McLean was a throwback to the days of Radio. I won't say absolutely everybod...but it seems like absolutely everybody in Canada has at some time or another sat listening to McLean’s radio show The Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio.
I would catch The Vinyl Cafe in the car after tuning in to CBC just to see what CBC was not reporting. When the commie leftwing CBC was not doing their commie leftwing political "reporting", their other programming could be rather decent. Some people have a love relationship with the CBC, others have a love hate relationship with the CBC. I on the other hand have a love hate hate hate thing going on with this tax sucking propaganda organ. Stuart McLean's The Vinyl Cafe was one of the few bright spots at the state broadcaster.
A common observation from McLean fans was that they would often sit listening till the end of The Vinyl Cafe in their idling cars long after they got to their destinations. That was my experience as well.
The Vinyl Cafe centred around the lives and antics of a quirky and hapless Canadian family. There was Dave the father, Morley the mother and their two kids, Sam and Stephanie. Dave owned a record shop, in their small town, called The Vinyl Cafe. Dave was the kingpin in McLean’s stories with his wife Morley playing a strong second.
McLean's passing brought renewed attention to one of his own favourite stories; a story that didn’t feature Dave or Morley. His favourite story was a true story he personally researched about Roger Woodward who fell over Niagara falls in 1960 when he was seven years old. Years later McLean contacted Woodward and got permission to tell his story.
For a good sense of McLean's humour, here is The Vinyl Cafe's Dave Meets Morley.
Dave Meets Morley Part 1
Dave Meets Morley Part 2
Stuart McLean’s Boy Goes Over Niagara Falls
Stuart McLean's casual and signature folksy voice will be greatly missed.