No one did it quite like Corey and Trina. From touching ballads to fun stuff like their own version of a Dr. Hook classic, The Herald remembers this dynamic duo
Corey and Trina (Fulford) Crewe were not only musical magic on stage, they were a couple off it as well.
They worked so well together in comedy, music and in life, that they even combined their names when their daughter came along – lovingly and adorably naming her Corina.
An entertaining show
Corey and Trina began performing together in 1973. As they toured they made people laugh as well as making them sing along and dance. Their skits and impromptu banter made for quite an entertaining show.
The duo released four albums over the years and performed in many a community throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and across Alberta as well, where they moved for employment in 1998. Their last public performance was January 5th, 2007 in Fort McMurray. While they didn’t know it at the time, Trina was battling stomach cancer.
Tragically, Trina died months later, in July of that same year.
While there were many songs, The Northern Lights of Labrador was one few can forget. Another was a fun remake of the Dr. Hook song Cover of the Rolling Stone which they titled, Cover of The Newfoundland Herald. Corey isn’t one bit shy when he explains the reason for the playful remake was to actually get on the Herald’s cover. It worked!
The Cover of the Herald
We chatted with Corey and took a little trip down memory lane.
What was it like back then to be such a big part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s culture and the music industry, we ask.
“Thanks Pamela, and hello to all the readers of The Newfoundland Herald and all the viewers of NTV. It’s nice to be asked. So thanks. It goes back a long ways I guess, although it only seems like yesterday. But I met Trina in ‘70 and we began really full-time performing in ‘73,” he shared.
One of the duo’s first recordings was a song they were doing on stage, to much fanfare, and that was The Cover of the Newfoundland Herald.
Corey laughs as he remembers back.
“The reason why I wrote that song, or I didn’t write it of course, it’s The Cover of The Rolling Stone, which I then changed to The Cover of Newfoundland Herald, but I did it for a reason. I wanted to get in the door of NTV and on The Herald and one way of doing it was to just change the words of that song and of course it was a smart move because not only did we make the cover of The Newfoundland Herald, it also got me in the door with Mr. Geoff Stirling and we became friends and we got a TV show out of it. So The Newfoundland Herald remake was the first song that really put us on the map, thanks to you guys and NTV.”
‘We missed home’
A few years afterwards, they recorded The Northern Lights of Labrador.
“It got so much airplay, then we performed The Cover of Newfoundland Herald and The Northern Lights of Labrador for NTV and we were just rolling along and we made four albums all together. And life was really good back in the ‘70s and ‘80s.”
Corey wrote a book titled, The Roads I’ve Taken: A Memoir, to capture the time.
“Trina passed away in 2007. And when she passed away and after the burial in St. John’s, I just stayed home for a while. We had moved to Alberta in 1998 and we were away from ‘98 until 2007 when I brought Trina back for the burial. And then I went into isolation for a couple of years. I wasn’t depressed, but I certainly wasn’t in the mood for singing or anything. And when I did start singing again, it was sort of different,” he recalls.
“Without Trina, it didn’t feel the same. Still, I wanted to keep her memory alive, so I reproduced 17 songs we had done and I started writing about our life and I started to get up five o’clock in the morning and going on the computer.”
He had found a new passion, he said.
Corey was 27 when he met Trina. He said he found going back in time very therapeudic. “I wrote about growing up in Grand Bank and roaming around Newfoundland and then when I met Trina my story really started.”
Corey works in Manitoba now, but he still longs for ‘home.’ He was here at Christmas and had a chance to bond with his daughter, Corina.
Corey loves this province very much, he shared. “When the cod fishery died in Newfoundland in the ‘90s I returned to teaching. I went to university again and when I graduated we moved to Alberta and we sang there until Trina passed. We missed home. We always loved Newfoundland.”
‘I’m so thankful’
Corey’s been in Manitoba for 11 years teaching on a reserve. He still sings everyday – check out his YouTube Channel under his name for more – but he doesn’t perform any Corey and Trina tunes. It wouldn’t be the same, he said when asked.
“I really am really thankful we had what we had. I watch NTV up here all the time and I still catch Trina and I singing on NTV. Seeing that and watching NTV in general makes me feel less lonely. I’m so thankful NTV captured that part of Trina and I and that it can live on,” he said. He paused for reflection.
“I don’t feel sad. I feel thankful that the music is still kept alive. The memory is still alive. And I thank all the people for requesting us and listening to us all the time on shows like Jigs & Reels.”
Still, it’s hard at times to realize how much time has passed and how long Trina has been gone. “They say time heals. And it does. But you never forget,” he admitted thoughtfully.
‘We were blessed’
Another reason why the memory of his late wife is still so alive is because of Corina. “A lot of people remember Corina traveling around with us all those years, from the time she was a baby, right up until she was in her teens and finally allowed to stay home by herself or with her grandmother. She traveled with us all the time.”
Any last thoughts? “I’m just happy people are still interested in our music and in our story. It was a beautiful time in our lives. We were blessed, and it was a magical time full of music and laughter.”
For more, visit Corey Crewe on YouTube or follow him on Facebook