23 Apr 2014

Perhaps a Jazz Singer: How Could We Be Wrong with Karaoke?

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Ready to twist and shout? Raring to sing, sing a song – sing out loud – sing out strong?

Yes, it’s Karaoke time.  Because the last week of April, is, you guessed it: Karaoke Week! Karaoke is for that singer in you that you just haven’t let out. Or maybe you used to sing, and haven’t tapped into that side of you in a while.

For those who haven’t (yet!) been exposed, here’s the rub on Karaoke: It is a way of singing the lead to popular songs without needing to be part of the band at all. Sound too good to be true? The way it works is that the song’s recording is played, sans the lead singer’s voice. The lyrics are displayed for the Karaoke singer (that could mean YOU!) on a screen, often with accompanying music video.

Karaoke is usually billed as amateur singing, however it’s quite common to attend a Karaoke event where the singers are highly professional – it’s just not their main gig in life. Karaoke venues can be night clubs, parties, elder care or recovery centers like Rockaway Care Center, or even, yes, one’s very own bedroom.

It’s unclear exactly when Karaoke started, but all agree that the name Karaoke is Japanese for “empty orchestra” – the “empty” refers to the missing lead singer’s voice on the recording. The Karaoke machine – a playback device adjoined by microphone – was invented in the ’60s (again, unclear by whom – American company Clarion? or someone actually in Japan?) and gained traction in the ’80s. It does have an 80’s throwback feel, doesn’t it?

No matter when Karaoke began, or when it gained popularity, it’s still good fun. Some bars or clubs even run a nightly Karaoke event – yes, meaning seven nights a week! Karaoke is commonly offered free of charge with the idea being that attendees purchase enough eats and drinks as part of the entertainment package of a Karaoke night.

So think of your favorite lyrics, and somewhere over the rainbow, you can start spreading the news about the good ship lollipop where you can rock around the clock tonight, oh yeah.

Karaoke might just be the event to show off Rockaway Care Center’s hidden talents, and/or give anyone the opportunity to just try out singing. Chances are that your chances are awfully good – all year round.


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