Canadian author Stuart McLean is the host of the CBC Radio show The Vinyl Cafe. I had often heard of The Vinyl Cafe, but hadn't actually listened to any of the stories until I caught the show in passing while listening to the radio one day. I immediately discovered why the show is so popular. The stories are laugh-out-loud funny, and Stuart McLean's voice is perfect for telling them.
The stories center around Dave, the owner of the Vinyl Café, a second-hand record shop in Toronto (motto “We May Not Be Big, But We’re Small”), his wife, Morley, and their children, Stephanie and Sam. Dave is always well-meaning but inescapably prone to trouble, whether it’s accidentally changing the outgoing message on a neighbour’s answering machine, trying out a coffin, mixing up the alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch bowls at a holiday party, or testing out a neighbour’s new bicycle while it is mounted on the roof of said neighbour’s car. In the stories you will also meet Dave's friends and neighbours - Kenny Wong, owner of a Scottish Meat Pie shop, Ted and Polly Anderson, Rasheeda and Ahmeer, and Bert and Mary Turlington.
Author Stuart McLean performs the stories live, so you can hear the reaction of the audience. The stories are also short (about 20 minutes each) and family friendly, so they are perfect for trips with children or with grandparents in the car. They are also a good way to pass the time if you happen to be at an airport, or are stuck in an RV on a rainy day. (And every family member will end up with a favourite story!)
The Calgary Public Library has several Vinyl Café book CDs, and we also have Vinyl Café books if you prefer your short stories in print form. (The books of stories from The Vinyl Cafe have won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour three times.)
Storyland (Book CD)
Coast to Coast Story Service (Book CD)
Home From the Vinyl Cafe: a year of stories (Book)
Extreme Vinyl Cafe (Book)