Stu­art McLean, host of CBC Ra­dio’s ‘Vinyl Cafe,’ dead at 68

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM/GAMES -

Stu­art McLean, a best­selling au­thor, jour­nal­ist and hu­morist who was “firmly com­mit­ted to cel­e­brat­ing the pos­i­tive, joy­ful and funny side of life” through his pop­u­lar CBC Ra­dio pro­gram “The Vinyl Cafe,” has died. He was 68.

His death was con­firmed by the CBC.

“We were deeply sad­dened to learn that Stu­art McLean passed away ear­lier to­day. Stu­art was an ex­cep­tional sto­ry­teller who has left an in­deli­ble mark on CBC Ra­dio and count­less com­mu­ni­ties across Canada,” reads a state­ment from Su­san Mar­jetti, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of ra­dio and au­dio for CBC English Ser­vices.

In De­cem­ber, McLean an­nounced he was sus­pend­ing the long-run­ning pro­gram to fo­cus on treat­ment for me­lanoma, which he was di­ag­nosed with in late 2015. He said his first round of im­munother­apy treat­ment that win­ter was not com­pletely suc­cess­ful and he needed to un­dergo an­other round this year.

“The Vinyl Cafe” ra­dio show, which fea­tured a mix of sto­ries, es­says and mu­si­cal per­for­mances, was spun off into best­selling books and be­came a tour­ing pro­duc­tion in 2008. The show’s sto­ries cen­tred on Dave, the owner of a sec­ond­hand record store, and also fea­tured Dave’s wife, Mor­ley, their two chil­dren, Sam and Stephanie, and var­i­ous friends and neigh­bours.

A post­ing on the of­fi­cial “Vinyl Cafe” web­site said the staff be­hind the show were “find­ing com­fort in mem­o­ries of our dear friend.”

“Stu­art al­ways em­pha­sized that the world is a good place, full of good peo­ple, try­ing to do their best. He be­lieved in peo­ple’s ex­traor­di­nary ca­pac­ity for love and gen­eros­ity. And he had faith in our abil­ity to work to­gether for the com­mon good,” the mes­sage reads.

McLean’s pub­lisher, Vik­ing an im­print of Pen­guin Ran­dom House Canada - said in a state­ment that he made in­di­vid­u­als feel they “were part of his de­light­fully idio­syn­cratic ‘Vinyl Cafe’ fam­ily.”

“In so do­ing, he brought us all to­gether, con­nect­ing us with sto­ries of road trips, mu­si­cal mem­o­ries and neigh­bour­hood ad­ven­tures. That lovely lit­tle fam­ily will re­main in our hearts, as will Stu­art.”

Born An­drew Stu­art McLean on April 19, 1948, in Mon­treal, he at­tended high school in the city’s Lower Canada Col­lege, and grad­u­ated from Sir Ge­orge Wil­liams Univer­sity - now known as Con­cor­dia Univer­sity - in 1971.

McLean was an of­fi­cer of the Or­der of Canada and a pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at Ry­er­son Univer­sity in Toronto. He also re­ceived the Cana­dian Book­sellers As­so­ci­a­tion Life­time Achieve­ment Award in 2014.

McLean is sur­vived by his three sons Christo­pher, Robert and An­drew, and grand­chil­dren Ra­mona and Os­car.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS/HO-CBC

Stu­art McLean, best­selling au­thor, jour­nal­ist and hu­morist who en­ter­tained mil­lions as host of the pop­u­lar CBC Ra­dio pro­gram “The Vinyl Cafe,’’ has died. He was 68.

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