always grown up with music in my life.
My father, a Toronto musician, always played jazz music at home.
In my early years, I'd spend some days listening to Sharon Lois
and Bram records; on other occasions, I heard the tunes of Benny
Goodman, Artie Shaw, Tony Scott, Charlie Parker, Spike Jones,
and Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. Also, my mother has always
harboured a love for music; however, her tastes gravitated towards
soft rock artists from the 50's, 60's and 70's like Johnny Mathis
and Harry Chapin. Occasionally, she played the music of Barbra
Streisand, and I endured these sessions with humour and grace.
our very own cocktail king & personality behind
in my seventh grade year, I played the trombone in both classical
concert and stage jazz bands. Despite a traumatizing incident
at the Carleton School Board in Grade 8 (you'll just have to
ask me about that after a few drinks), I have always enjoyed
playing in bands. Many of my music teachers introduced me to
a wide array of bands and musical genres. In fact, Jim Smith
at Greenbank Public School introduced me to Abbey Road and Sgt.
Pepper. In spite of my musical interests, I was never keen on
singing in school. One day in 1993, an epiphany occurred when
our stage band conductor, Geoff Linklater, crooned a few ballads:
I realized that singing could be a calling.
introduction to karaoke came at the tender age of 12 on a spring
day at The Rideau Centre. The facility set up a booth that allowed
people to sing a song and record it on a cassette. At the time,
12" laser discs with lyrics were unknown; singers were
handed a lyric sheet as the staff hoped for the best. I decided
to try Billy Joel's Uptown Girl. I massacred the song by singing
a verse that didn't belong, and created further damage as my
voice cracked while singing a line. Despite these technical
errors, the people running the booth still thought it was good
and played it for everyone else to hear. Surprisingly, the crowd
didn't laugh at me- in fact, they kindly applauded my efforts.
My first karaoke bar experience occurred in Montreal in the
summer of 1993, at a club that boasted the perfect mix of atmosphere,
alcohol, and good singers. Ever since then, I've been a karaoke
slut. When I entered college in 1994, I enrolled in radio broadcasting
courses that further stimulated my interest in the concept of
stage performance. As the years went by, I sang more, and my
singing improved. In the summer of 1997, I won a prize for best
rookie in a karaoke contest, and in 2001, I cleaned up with
3 awards at the First Annual, and only, PMS awards at The Polo
first met Dog and Pony at the Polo Lounge in January 2002. I
am not sure what initially drew me to them; perhaps it was their
HUGE song library or their gold lamé table cover. Regardless,
I am still a big fan, and I endeavour to expand my repertoire
and discover neat fabrics too. I've always admired Dog and Pony's
ability to work a room and inspire confidence in reluctant singers.
They truly have brought a sense of community, camaraderie, and
friendship to the world of karaoke, and I am proud to associate
with their efforts.