Karaoke for the Record Books

Sometime time way back in history when we lived in the Southern portion of Alberta in the rival big city called Calgary. A friend talked me into going karaoke singing with her on a Thursday night whilst my wife was working late.

Even further back in history I was the kind of guy who went to nightclubs, went out dancing till two in the morning and never made time for just sitting around a pub, singing songs and conversing with others.

Then came our unexpected move here to Stony Plain in the heart of Central Alberta and that friend from Calgary just happened to be living here too.

One night during our start-up years here, she invited us to The Redline Sports Restaurant and Lounge. It turned out to be a 1950’s decorated place with racecar memorabillia, a soda fountain countertop and billiards tables. There were red leather couches, projection screen televisions and a karaoke machine.

That first night out there was Pirate Steve, Shauna, Kate, Theresa, three other customers and two employees. We sang songs, conversed, laughed, and spent $22 on adult beverages and a snack.

I thought that night whilst in conversation its a new era of to life and I’ll have to oblige. As the months dwindled on we tried other pubs that had karaoke but always returned to the Redline until it closed its doors for good.

The four of us searched out a new location which is when we came across Parkland Pub and Pizza which hosted karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights.

That first night out we picked up Kate and met out at Pirate Steve’s cove for a bit of predrinking. And on our way to the pub Kate decided that we should all have “Pirate themed names” and all of us heartedly laughed. Then immediatley following we shouted out names that might actually fit: Shwab the deck Shauna, Kanteen Kate, Ashore Aaron…

We sat in the truck barreling down range road twelve and after a prolonged string of silence Kate says, “I’ve got it: what about First Mate Kate!” Everyone jumped on it, “fantastic”, “yes that’s awesome”, “nice one first mate!” Followed by Shauna yelling out, “I’m Shipwreck Shauna!” and we all gleamed with joy and as we finally pulled up outside the pub it came to me at last, “Well I thin this ship needs a Captain. And I declare myself to be Captain Juan!”

Scrambling out of the truck that night we bounced into the pub, found ourselves a table, a song book, a stack of request sheets and a couple of pens. One after the other our music choices changed the dynamic in the pub from 100% country to anything and everything else.

After our third or fourth visit the karaoke host dubbed us The Nautical Crew and whenever we entered the pub together he’d announce our arrival. We’d become infamous in time at this no name hole in the wall pub. And as others joined our crew we insisted they too have a Nautical themed names such as

  • Diver down Dave
  • Rum runner
  • Nautical Norma
  • Kalypso Kim

Overtime the original karaoke host retreated into the darkness of the night and a new one appeared. She caught on quickly to our Nautical Crew adventures and began slinging about our good name. The crew on occassion grew to as big as twelve members and to this day everyone enjoys when the Nautical Crew members appear… as the genre of music enjoyed will surprise your ears.