Few radio personalities are rock stars like Stuart McLean (1948-2017) was for almost four decades. Although he was little known outside of Canada, he will remain a rock star in the eyes (and ears) of countless Canucks even though he is no longer with us. Why? Simply put, he was an ingenuous storyteller with a voice and flair like nobody else out there. This was most poignantly captured over the last 20 years through The Vinyl Café, arguably the best radio show we’ve heard in Canada in a generation.
I not only have fond memories of listening to him on CBC Radio 1 every Saturday morning, but had the pleasure of seeing him live in London, Ontario years ago. Mr. McLean was a one-man wrecking crew in the best possible way: he captured your attention immediately, held it with gravitas, then sucker-punched you with a quip or out-of-left-field one-liner that brought down the house.
The feckless yet impossible-not-to-love character of Dave, owner of the Vinyl Café record shop, will go down as one of the truly great radio characters in that medium’s history.
Click here to read about the extraordinary Stuart McLean, watch a video about his life, listen to a tribute in his honour, and relive some of his vintage stories.