For 20 years, John Sheard joined Stuart McLean in bringing the world of The Vinyl Café to life for thousands of fans. “We’re trying to recreate the feeling of the show, but using my own stories,” said Sheard of the performance that includes bass player Dennis Pendrith, who also toured with McLean, and four vocalists. “As you can imagine, after 20 years on the road, there’s all sorts of odd and funny tales to share.”
A Canadian radio broadcaster, humourist, monologist and author, McLean was best know as the host of the CBC Radio program The Vinyl Café. He was often described as a storytelling comic, and McLean’s stories celebrated the decency and dignity of ordinary people, highlighting humanity’s ability to persevere with grace and humour through embarrassing or challenging situations.
Creating the show actually came quite by accident. While doing a fundraising presentation for the Haliburton County Public Library, Sheard shared his extensive experience working in the music industry.
Since he began his musical career in 1975, Sheard has appeared on more than 300 recordings, including artists such as Rita MacNeil, Ian Tyson, Colm Wilkinson, Dan Hill, Rita Coolidge, Olivia Newton-John, Celine Dion, Russell deCarle, David Wilcox, The Guess Who, Ronnie Milsap and Quartette. He has written and/or arranged songs for such artists as Murray McLauchlan, The Pointer Sisters and The Nylons, and has produced and written music for U.S. and Canadian television shows such as CBC’sSesame Street, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and David Letterman’s Holiday Film Festival.