‘… everyone has a dream, you know whether or not you decide to make this dream come true or not, but everyone has dreams’
Wayne Covey returned to his hometown where his passion for music began.
Now 63, he’s applying for Canada’s Got Talent, a dream come true for a young boy from Timmins who started his own band, The Heart and Soul, when he was just 16.
“I’ll give it a shot. I’m going to go in (Canada’s Got Talent) and see what happens from there, ”he said in an interview, admitting he’s still guessing whether or not he should audition for the reality show. which returns to CityTV.
“I mean really, what’s it going to hurt?” It won’t do anything wrong. The only thing they’re going to say is ‘no you’re too old,’ “he added.
Covey’s deep and rich voice is still with him and his love for music is what drives him to perform at the Victory Tavern in downtown Timmins every Saturday.
Covey has taken part in countless music contests.
He remembered his first media exposure in 1983, when he did a great impersonation of Willie Nelson. This audition earned him three hours of studio recording and a chance to air his demo song on the radio.
At the time, the 25-year-old boy from Timmins was all smiles for the camera, showing off his Stars Championship plaque he won at the Country Music Talent Contest in Niagara; he was full of hope and excitement that his victory would finally see his talents recognized.
He was quoted at the time in a 38-year-old publication in which he dreamed of making a name for himself and having his own record.
But the winning pot didn’t work.
“I was given a recording contract on this (contest), which wasn’t even worth the paper it was written on, unfortunately,” he admitted.
The contract only covered the installation fee of $ 500 and he had to pay $ 2,000 out of pocket for the entire registration process.
“I just said, well, that’s out of my price books because I was married at the time, I have two kids, I was going to college, I was taking a welding course. and that, so there was no way I could find that kind of money, ”Covey added.
Everyone has dreams
Having started in the music industry, Covey’s dream was to have his records played everywhere and to open his own bar.
He had it in mind, where it would be built and what it would be called Wayne’s Country Palace. The idea of owning a nightclub was “shut down” after hearing several horror stories of owning a club.
His first dream of having his own record did not come true during his younger years.
“My biggest regret is when I was younger, when I was learning the trade. I was totally out of control in the business and my biggest regret was not having learned to control alcohol. Drugs weren’t a problem for me at the time, because I wasn’t into it. Alcohol was. It played a big part in that, and I regret it, all these kinds of mistakes that I made, but I also learned from those mistakes, ”he admitted.
In 2018, he achieved his goal.
A good friend, Gordon Murray Lapierre, who owned a recording studio in Timmins, asked Covey to create a soundtrack for the lyrics of songs Lapierre had composed.
“My dream of recording it came true, but it didn’t go as well as I would have hoped,” Covey said.
There are two original songs on the CD, Everyone has Dreams and Dreams of Yesterday. The rest consisted of covers of country, blues, jazz and gospel songs.
“Just the idea of having my own CD, my God, I was so proud when I got home, when I stood there like that,” Covey said, acting like he was holding a CD. that landed on his hands from the sky.
He fondly remembers working with Lapierre on the CD for two nights. Covey did the bass and vocals work, while Lapierre did the drums, keyboard, and all backing up instruments involved.
“It was only two nights, the CD was finished. He (Lapierre) didn’t believe it either. He told me he recorded a lot of people in his studio. It usually takes a week or two to get a CD, ”Covey said.
Covey and Lapierre just clicked. They released 20 copies of his album at the Victory Tavern and were sold the same weekend he released it. Lapierre gave him 25 other copies and he was able to sell them all.
“He was such a good friend, and he didn’t charge me a dime to make this CD. And he did it all, he did the tag, he did the cover, everything, ”Covey said, acknowledging the kind gesture his friend made.
Sadly, Covey said, soon after, Lapierre died of cancer. Covey did not get the master copy of the CD, so there are no spare copies of his album at this time.
“I tried to re-record to another CD, it doesn’t work, for some reason it won’t record. Unless I get it, I could possibly give it to a studio that maybe could do it, ”he said.
He said the song “Everybody Has Dreams” will be his song for Canada’s Got Talent, as the song would pay homage to Lapierre and his fond memories with him.
It’s also a way of showing the audience that age doesn’t matter for a musician with big dreams.
“The most favorite phrase out there is ‘Everyone has dreams’ and it’s true, everyone has a dream, you know whether or not you decide to make that dream come true or not, but everyone has dreams. It was just a beautiful song like we did, the two of us together, “Covey said.
Covey still continues to make his dreams come true, although they have changed over time. When he hangs up his guitar for the last time, he hopes people will remember who he was as a musician and as a friend.
“I plan to stay in this business for as long as my throat stays. That I just love business, I just love to entertain people, I love to play for people, ”Covey said.
“The legacy I want to leave here is that people will remember who I was… Just remember me for what I have contributed to the music business in Timmins in general,” a- he added.
In Covey’s heyday, following the disbandment of his high school band Heart and Soul, he performed with CL & Company, who played mostly country songs, the genre he grew up listening to with his parents and brothers and sisters. In the 1970s, during the disco era, he played six nights a week for a show called Rock n ‘Tap at the historic Senator Hotel. He then discovered that he could make a big impersonation of Elvis, when he sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in homage to the king of rock and roll a year after Elvis died in 1977.
“I paid tribute to Elvis in 1978 and I turned out to be so appreciated and received so well that they decided that I would do Elvis Night every Wednesday at the Senator Hotel,” he said.
Covey said he didn’t look like Presley at all, especially since he had red hair, but his voice gave a justifiable imitation of the deceased icon.
After that he moved to Niagara and spent most of his music career in Sarnia. Covey returned to Timmins in 2008.
“I came home for a visit and then I ended up staying,” Covey said with a playful laugh while drinking a bottle of beer, adding that it was good to come back.
“I knew Timmins wasn’t that good for the end of the music, I said, well, I’ll give it a shot. I’ll take whatever they have to offer, so I’ve been here ever since, ”he added.
In 2010, he started playing again at the Windsor Tavern in Timmins, which burned down a few years ago, the Dante Club and the Victory Tavern. During the pandemic, he was doing Facebook Live performances and virtual karaoke.
Now that the bars and clubs are finally reopened, Covey performs live with his band Daryll Rose & Daryll every Saturday at 3pm at the Victory Tavern. He also hosts the karaoke night at the same club every Thursday.