CD loving tribute to Corey’s Trina
Trina (Fulford) Crewe always told her husband Corey she’d like to be remembered as a singer. Trina passed away a year ago, a few months shy of her 57th birthday.
Corey is fulfilling Trina’s wish by compiling her music on a new CD.
Corey and Trina began performing together in 1973. Making people laugh with their skits and impromptu jokes was as much a part of their show as the music.
“We played in about 300 communities over and over for 25 years, going back to some communities three times in a year. So, I’d like to get a couple of these CDs in the communities where we played. How to do that? I don’t know,” Corey says.
Although the duo released four albums over the years, they concentrated on performing rather than producing.
“We neglected our recorded music and did live shows,” Corey says.
Corey and Trina moved to Alberta in 1998 to find work. Corey taught. Trina managed a hair salon. They both worked full time, continuing to entertain when they could, and all the while, Corey says, Trina talked about getting back into the music business.
“She really wanted us to get our music out on CDs and she wanted us to do it right this time,” he says.
The couple began by having some of their songs re-mastered, Corey says. “We were going to come back home and do shows and sell our CD at our concerts, like the way they do it now.”
Just as the project got off the ground, Trina became sick.
“And, of course, then everything stopped because of finances.”
Corey and Trina did their last show as a duo Jan. 5, 2007, in Fort McMurray.
“It was a two-hour family show and I think it was one of our best shows. I could have had it filmed and kept. But you never know something so bad is going to happen and all of a sudden it’s gone and you can’t get it back.”
While ill at the time of the concert, Trina had no idea she was battling stomach cancer — not the ulcers doctors were diagnosing.
The news came just weeks after the Fort McMurray concert.
“They told her the cancer was too bad to treat with chemo, that it was too aggressive. That was the only time she cried,” Corey says.
Corey and Trina have one daughter, Corina. Their only grandchild, Elizabeth was three months old when Trina was told she had terminal cancer.
Pointing to a family photo of Trina lying in bed cradling the infant brings a tear to Corey’s eye.
“She told me that’s the only time she didn’t feel any pain,” he says. Trina died July 5, 2007. Months after her death, Corey moved back to Newfoundland. His daughter, son-in-law and grandchild also returned.
Corey is now committed to finishing the CD collection that was so important to his wife.
“I thought that’s the least I can do for her memory, to complete her music,” he says.
The CD “Corey and Trina Favourite Newfoundland and Irish Ballads, Waltz and Jigs” focuses on Trina’s singing rather than comedy, Corey says, and begins with their most popular song, “The Northern Lights of Labrador.”
Flipping through photos, videos and memories of the girl he met when she was 19 and he 26, Corey says his biggest regret in life is leaving Newfoundland a decade ago.
“ Trina always wanted to come back. You can’t change the decisions you make and we made it together. But I don’t think it was the right decision to ever go away. Alberta was good to us, but we should never have gone away from our friends, our family and our music.”
“Corey and Trina Favourite Newfoundland and Irish Ballads, Waltz and Jigs” is now on sale at O’Brien’s Music, Fred’s Records and the CD Co. in St. John’s. Corey is also making a video of their performances.
Once that project is put to bed, he says, he’ll be satisfied that he’s done everything he can to remember the woman he loved.
While he often thinks of the past and the good times he shared with Trina for almost 37 years, Corey says he stays upbeat as much as possible.
“I have my quiet moments, but when I get in public I’m not all doom and gloom, because I know Trina wouldn’t want that. Sometimes it still seems like she’s still here, because you can hear all her music and watch her on the videos. She’ll always be close to me that way,” he says.
Trina Crewe holds her granddaughter Elizabeth.