The Vinyl Cafe

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of entertainment. For millenia, we have used everything at our disposal to tell stories: art, oral and written language, acting, song, and dance. One that seems to have been left behind is the oral tradition in which stories are meant to be told and heard. I want to share one of my guilty pleasures with you: The Vinyl Cafe.

Stuart McLean at the Word On the Street in Toronto (2010)

The Vinyl Cafe is a CBC radio show written and hosted by Stuart McLean. The stories are about a goofy second-hand record store owner named Dave, his wife Morley, their children Sam and Stephanie, and their friends, neighbors and relatives. Every show has me laughing, gives me goosebumps and makes me blink away a few tears. The stories are collected on CD and in books, but I like to tune in on Sundays and have a listen. I hope you listen and enjoy it too.

Since we’re still at the beginning of the school year, I think many of you parents will appreciate this episode.

What do you think of the Vinyl Cafe? Do you know anyone whose stories you love to hear? Do you have a favorite radio show?


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  1. #1 by Ken Hay on January 30, 2013 - 2:25 AM

    Are we allowed to be a detractor? Is this a fan club?
    Well I enjoyed Vinyl Cafe when it arrived some 20 years ago but after a couple of years I had had enough of the hokey, James Stewarty, drawling, pseudo country, preacher voice of Stuart Mclean. When I hear him being announced now I run, dont walk, to the radio to switch him off as quick as possible. And the singer/songwriters, that seals the deal. For me he is in the same league as those visitors who stay too long at a dinner party and cant take a hint. There are a few of them around the CBC , Don Cherry and Mclean for example. Oh dear, another Mclean.

    • #2 by Patricia Caviglia on February 5, 2013 - 12:56 AM

      I respect your opinion Ken. Stuart McLean’s not for everyone, but he is for me. 😉

  2. #3 by Tami Clayton on September 15, 2012 - 3:07 AM

    I just love radio shows like this. Thank you for introducing me to this one. As a kid, each year around Christmastime, I would listen to the Cinnamon Bear on the radio with my sisters and my mom. Each night was a new episode and even though I knew the story well, it was still exciting to sit and listen. I’m glad there are people still making radio shows.

    • #4 by Patricia Caviglia on September 17, 2012 - 10:55 AM

      I’m glad that I could be of service and hope you tune in weekly. If you want to catch up with the storyline, podcasts are available through the Cafe website.
      Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  3. #5 by Joan Leacott on September 14, 2012 - 11:08 AM

    Another pair of fans here. We’ll sit in the driveway at a destination and be late just to hear the end of a story. Check out The Debaters as well for some excellent laughs.

    • #6 by Patricia Caviglia on September 14, 2012 - 12:54 PM

      I thought I was the only one who did that! And yes, The Debaters are hilarious.

      Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  4. #7 by Linda Ewart on September 14, 2012 - 9:21 AM

    Love Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Cafe and have listened to it for years. Not only it is a terrific venue for HIS stories, he also reads stories submitted by readers AND as well has been the reason many Canadian singers & songwriters have come to the attention of the public.
    Stuart McLean isn’t just a great storyteller….he’s a NATIONAL TREASURE!

    • #8 by Patricia Caviglia on September 14, 2012 - 12:56 PM

      You’re absolutely right. He is a NATIONAL TREASURE!
      Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  5. #9 by patriciasands on September 14, 2012 - 8:41 AM

    Oh yes, three cheers for Stuart McLean and The Vinyl Cafe! “We may not be big, but we’re small.”
    That show truly is a fine example of the art of storytelling.

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