Several decades ago, crooner Bing Crosby would travel north to see his old friend and fellow racehorse aficionado, oil and newspaper baron Max Bell, in his splendid home high on Calgary's Mount Royal.
Last weekend, it was rocker Randy Bachman who sat in the backyard of that same 97-year-old mansion, and entertained a new generation of Alberta tycoons during Stampede week.
Music tastes change, plutocrats and politicians come and go - but the urge for Alberta's wealthiest and most powerful people to celebrate in high style is a constant.
Today, the mansion belongs to oil-patch financier Jim Kinnear who, for the 30th year, held a giant yard party to celebrate the Stampede and eat a few hamburgers - this year, with each bun branded with Mr. Kinnear's JSK initials. (The S is for Stewart).
This year is different from the past two because the oil patch has rebounded from the doldrums of the financial meltdown. "We had to cut back the last couple of years," Mr. Kinnear acknowledged, but the Sunday bash was reminiscent of the heydays of 2000-2007.
Mr. Kinnear's event has grown to 1,700 registered guests. And who knows how many more wandered in on the Sunday afternoon to grab some grub and make a few connections.
There was the same reaction at Firewater Friday, the annual party held by investment bank Peters & Co. The organizers estimate about 1,000 people showed up on a blustery night, 25 per cent ahead of last year.
Peters chairman Mike Tims said he senses that Stampede parties are really back, since he has received many more invitations, often with conflicting times.
But the attraction is that you never know who you will meet. Certainly, the political types were on hand at the Kinnear bash, with a large sample of Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership hopefuls, Wildrose Alliance Leader Danielle Smith, federal bigwigs like Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and Laureen Harper, the Prime Minister's wife, As far as politics is concerned, "we're sort of multidenominational," Mr. Kinnear explained. If you send the invitations, they will come - particularly as the provincial Tory leadership race heats up toward a September vote.
As for next year, the parties should be just as big or bigger, because Alberta's energy-driven economy, in Mr. Bachman's words, is "takin' care of business and workin' overtime."