IN STORES OCT 6, THE VINYL CAFE : THE UNRELEASED STORIES FEATURES 13 STORIES BY BELOVED STORYTELLER STUART MCLEAN NEVER BEFORE RELEASED ON CD, INCLUDING TWO STORIES FROM STUART’S FINAL SHOW
PHOTO CREDIT : Scott Blackburn// DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
This fall, The Vinyl Cafe will release a special, all new collection of stories by the beloved – and greatly missed – Stuart McLean. The 13 stories gathered together in a beautiful 4-disc package, with artwork from long-time friend and regular Vinyl Cafe guest Reid Jamieson, are available for the first time on CD and include two brand new stories recorded at Stuart’s final Vinyl Cafe performance.
Today, The Vinyl Cafe are sharing two more story clips from The Unreleased Stories - “Dave Crosses The Border” and “Dave And The Vacuum”.
In “Dave Crosses The Border”, Dave resorts to the Big Narrows time-honoured tradition of a little innocent smuggling after he and his family have let a cross-border shopping trip get a little out of hand. But when Dave gets stopped at the border, it is clear that Dave is a little out of practice at the art of lying.
The story was recorded at the Haskell Free Library and Opera House in Stanstead, QC or, depending on what area of the building you are standing in, Derby Line, NY. Most of the seats in the venue are in America, but the stage is on Canadian soil. Making it the only theatre in the United States without a stage, and library without books.
“Dave And The Vacuum” was recorded almost almost by accident at Stuart’s final show in Thunder Bay on November 22, 2015. “We didn’t know this at the time, we couldn’t have imagined this at the time, but that would be Stuart’s final show,” says Vinyl Cafe Producer Jess Milton.
In the story, Dave’s Aunt Elizabeth gives him her Dirt Dinghy – a vacuum cleaner designed and produced in Dave’s hometown of Big Narrows in the 1940s and 50s. The vacuum achieved cult-like status in Cape Breton when Dave was a boy, and his devotion to the vacuum – which has incredible power – leads Dave intro trouble.
In the recording there a few fun ad-lib moments between Stuart and the audience - things like “Uh Oh!” and “Oh no Daaaaave!” from the front row audience members. “It cracks me up every time,” says Milton. “We left it in the mix so you could hear it all. Stuart loved audience members like this, and would often play around with them.”
“Dave And The Vacuum”, along with another story included in the collection, “The Christmas Card”, were recorded at Stuart’s final show, but were never meant to be anything more than a reference track. “I only recorded it so that Stuart and I could listen to those stories before the next tour,” says Milton. “Of course, that tour - ‘the next tour’ - never happened.” As a result, the recordings have an almost bootleg feel to them, with a few ad lib references and off the cuff remarks by Stuart which were kept in the recording. “It is our hope that listening to this collection – especially those two stories, never heard outside of the live audience – will feel like attending a live Vinyl Cafe performance.”
After Stuart’s passing in early 2017, “it took me a long time to listen to that tape,” says Milton. “Months. I kept putting it off. When I finally listened, tears came quickly. But they weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of happiness. I miss Stuart so much. But listening to his voice while I edited and mixed this album brought back so many happy memories of sitting in the wings for all those Vinyl Cafe shows. Stuart and I were lucky to do something we loved for so many years. We got to tell stories. We got to bring joy and laughter into people’s lives. We got to connect people, to each other, to themselves, to the country. And we had fun. So much fun. Listening to Stuart’s voice on these unreleased tracks reminds me how much he loved performing on stage. I thought it would make me sad but it did the opposite. It made me feel the way I felt every day working on the Vinyl Cafe: it made me happy.”
The Vinyl Cafe : The Unreleased Stories will be available in stores on October 6, and is available to pre-order.
In addition to the new CD, The Vinyl Cafe will also be releasing a new book this autumn, just in time for the holidays. Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe includes 12 Dave and Morley Christmas stories, including five never before published tales. The collection of holiday favourites is available to pre-order now from Amazon and Indigo. The book will be released October 31, 2017. It’s available to pre-order now.
THE VINYL CAFE : THE UNRELEASED STORIES
“Dave and the Vacuum”, Length: 18:55
“The Summer Cottage”, Length: 14:37
“Morley’s Garden” , Length: 17:43
“The Christmas Card”, Length: 24:55
“Murphy’s Bar Mitzvah”, Length: 19:07
“World’s Smallest Record Store”, Length: 20:58
“Stephanie and Tommy”, Length: 21:28
“Dave Crosses the Border”, Length: 24:09
“In the Weeds”, Length: 22:39
“Murphy Kruger, Philatelist, Length: 21:39
“Have Snake, Will Travel”, Length: 21:11
“Dave’s Inferno”, Length: 22:02
“The Lost Chords”, Length: 20:16
PHOTO CREDIT : Mike Dembeck // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
MORE ABOUT STUART MCLEAN
Stuart McLean (1948-2017) was a best-selling author, award-winning journalist and humorist, and host of CBC Radio program, The Vinyl Cafe.
Stuart began his broadcasting career making radio documentaries for CBC Radio's Sunday Morning. In 1979 he won an ACTRA award for Best Radio Documentary for his contribution to the program's coverage of the Jonestown massacre.
Following Sunday Morning, Stuart spent seven years as a regular columnist and guest host on CBC's Morningside. His book, The Morningside World of Stuart McLean, was a Canadian bestseller and a finalist in the 1990 City of Toronto Book Awards.
Stuart also wrote Welcome Home: Travels in Small Town Canada, and edited the collection When We Were Young. Welcome Home was chosen by the Canadian Authors' Association as the best non-fiction book of 1993.
Stuart's ten Vinyl Cafe books have all been Canadian bestsellers. Vinyl Cafe Diaries was awarded the Canadian Authors' Association Jubilee Award in 2004 and Stuart was also a three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for Home from the Vinyl Cafe, Vinyl Cafe Unplugged and Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe. In 2014 he was awarded the CBA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Vinyl Cafe books have also been published in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.
In December 2011 Stuart McLean was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1993 Trent University named him the first Rooke Fellow for Teaching, Writing and Research. He was also honoured by: Nipissing University (Ed.D.(H.); University of Windsor (LL.D.), Trent University (D.Litt.), Saint Mary’s University (D.C.L.), University of Calgary (LL.D.), Concordia University (LL.D.) and McMaster University (LL.D.). He was a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto and former director of the broadcast division of the School of Journalism, retiring in 2004 to focus full time on The Vinyl Cafe. Stuart served as Honorary Colonel of the 8th Air Maintenance Squadron at 8 Wing, Trenton from 2005 to 2008.
From 1998 to 2015, Stuart toured with the Vinyl Cafe to theatres across Canada and the United States, playing towns from St. John's, Newfoundland to Whitehorse in the Yukon; from Bangor, Maine to Seattle, Washington.
The Vinyl Cafe aired for 22 seasons and attracted a weekly audience of over 2 million people on CBC Radio, podcast, Sirius Satellite Radio and on a number of Public Radio stations in the United States. The program was also broadcast on an occasional basis on the BBC.