EDITORIAL: Canadian storyteller Stuart McLean will be missed

It was very sad to hear the news Wednesday that Stuart McLean, host of the Vinyl Café on CBC radio, died this week at the age of 68.

McLean began his career as a journalist but later wrote and hosted the Vinyl Café which featured stories, essays and music.

McLean’s fictional stories about Dave, owner of a second hand record store called “The Vinyl Café,” and his wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie, and assorted friends and neighbours were hilarious. His outlook on life, particularly Canadian life, was spot on. McLean was also a genuine fan of music and musicians and welcomed sharing the stage with them.

McLean’s shows were attended by fans of all ages, from four-year-olds to seniors, who would travel several hours just to take in The Vinyl Café on tour.

With his passing, many fans have written that McLean’s unique brand of humour and ability to see the funny side of life connected all Canadians to our country and one another.

At one of his last live shows in Prince George, McLean shared the stage with local musicians Pharis and Jason Romero.

“Indeed such sad news,” said Pharis of McLean’s death Thursday. “So sad.”

In 2016, just a week back from their month-long tour in Scotland, Wales and England,  the Romeros went on tour with McLean and the Vinyl Café show, singing songs from their Juno Award winning album A Wanderer I’ll Stay.

The duo performed and chatted with McLean during his shows in Grand Prairie, Alta. March 4; in Fort St. John Thursday, March 5; in Dawson Creek on Friday, March 6; and in Prince George on Sunday, March 8.

A tribute to McLean with clips from past Viny Cafés can be listened to on CBC’s website.

- Williams Lake Tribune

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