How Twitter reacted to Vinyl Café host Stuart McLean’s death
By and large, Canadians had a private relationship with Stuart McLean: he was our companion on long solo drives, the soundtrack to Sunday afternoons at home. But yesterday, when McLean died after more than year battling melanoma, the country held a very public love-in for the iconic storyteller. On social media, fans recalled his warm humour and catalogued their favourite stories from two decades of The Vinyl Café, his long-running CBC show that combined music and stories. He described nostalgic vignettes about a fictional Toronto family running a used-record store (and, of course, cooking Christmas turkeys). On his seemingly never-ending cross-country tours, he stopped in more cities and towns that the average Canadian could name, and he was adored from Victoria to St. John’s. Here, a small sampling of the people who bid him farewell.
The PM expressed his condolences:
On the Vinyl Cafe and in communities across the country, Stuart McLean told uniquely Canadian stories. We’ll miss his humour and humanity.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 16, 2017
As did other politicians:
Stuart McLean, Canada's great storyteller, someone I was proud to call a friend, has left us. Our love to his family and a nation of fans.
— Tom Mulcair (@ThomasMulcair) February 15, 2017
[1/2] So many great memories. We loved listening to Stuart McLean, especially at Christmas. Dave Cooks the Turkey was my absolute favourite.
— Rona Ambrose (@RonaAmbrose) February 15, 2017
Sad to hear of the passing of iconic @cbcradio host Stuart McLean. He will be missed by his devoted listeners.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) February 15, 2017
Then, there were the tributes from the generation of radio hosts that McLean inspired:
Stuart McLean, Peter Gzowski & the "sleeping cricket." Radio magic. RIP to a legendary storyteller & lovely man. https://t.co/azSmNEicNW
— Matt Galloway (@mattgallowaycbc) February 15, 2017
stuart mclean: a canadian voice that made this big country feel like a small town. humour & empathy- without cynicism. such a loss. #cbc
— Raina Douris (@RahRahRaina) February 16, 2017
— Grant Lawrence (@GrantLawrence) February 15, 2017
So sad to hear that Stuart McLean has passed. One of the finest storytellers and broadcasters this country ever produced, and a great person
— Tom Power (@tompowercbc) February 15, 2017
And from musicians who had played (or been played) on The Vinyl Café:
Sad to hear that Stuart McLean has passed away. It was an honour to play on The Vinyl Cafe. A gentleman, and a fantastic writer & performer.
— Joel Plaskett (@joelplaskett) February 16, 2017
So sad to hear of Stuart McLean's passing. Vinyl Cafe played one of my songs once & when I heard HIS voice say my name I nearly passed out.
— Donovan Woods (@DonovanWoods) February 15, 2017
One Globe and Mail journalist shared a personal story. When he was rejected from Ryerson University, a call with McLean encouraged him to try again:
A personal story about why I am super sad about Stuart McLean's death: I would not be a journalist or married to my wife if not for him. 1/
— Shane Dingman 👌 (@shanedingman) February 16, 2017
This cartoon pretty much nails it:
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) February 16, 2017
And more than a few people reflected on that most Canadian of moments—staying in a parked car to hear the end of one of McLean’s stories:
— Stephanie (@anatomyofawave) February 16, 2017
— Dawn Walton (@CTVdawnwalton) February 16, 2017
— Adrienne Arsenault (@adriearsenault) February 15, 2017