As It Happens

'He told us our story': Stuart McLean remembered by his longtime Vinyl Cafe producer

As It Happens host Helen Mann speaks with Stuart McLean's longtime producer Jess Milton.
Stuart McLean, the writer and host of CBC Radio's "The Vinyl Cafe," has died after suspending his popular show to focus on his cancer treatment. He was 68. (Ben Flock/CBC)

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He was one of CBC Radio's most recognizable, and most loved voices. 
(Stuart McLean - Jerry Davey CBC Still Photo Collection)

We're sad to report that our friend and colleague Stuart McLean, the host of The Vinyl Cafe, has died. He was 68. He was diagnosed with melanoma in late 2015. 

Stuart McLean was born in Montreal, and was a fixture on CBC Radio since the 1970's.

He produced documentaries for CBC's Sunday Morning and was often heard alongside Peter Gzowski on Morningside.

"He took the mundane … and made it beautiful," Jess Milton tells As It Happens guest host Helen Mann.

"He believed that moments add up and that every moment counts and I'm certainly grateful for every moment I had with him."

Stuart McLean takes a bow in Thunder Bay, Ont.

CBC News

5 years ago
Vinyl Cafe host cancelled the remainder of his Christmas tour this year because he has been diagnosed with melanoma 1:14

Milton has been the producer of The Vinyl Cafe for many years and was a friend of Stuart McLean. She says McLean's stories united Canadians and brought listeners into the small towns and big cities across the country.

"Every town that he stopped in. He swam in our oceans. He rode our railways. He skated our ice and he told us our story."

For more on this story, listen to our full interview with Jess Milton and if you have a memory of Stuart McLean you'd like to share — let us know. You can send us an email at or call our Talkback line at 416-205-5687.