You might have thought that karaoke night at local bars and nightclubs were just for the under 30 set. Well, guess again. Boomers are embracing the fun Japanese musical “sport” all over the country. In fact, people over age 50 are forming Meet up groups that get together and go around to different local karaoke-setup establishments, or they’re just getting a group of their own friends together for a night of fun, partying and general mayhem. You might be surprised to know that some places even hold karaoke competitions that the audience votes on and offers a prize for the 3 best karaoke singers. There are even Facebook pages dedicated to it.
There are also Karaoke “booths” in select cities that you, or you and your friends (usually holds a group of 8-10 people) can rent by the 2 hour increments for about $8-10 per person. These are actual sound-proof singing booths just like the ones professional singers use to record the vocal sound track over recorded music. When you go in, you pick what type of karaoke music you want. One of you can sing the lead with your friends as back up doo-woppers, or sing together in harmony as a group. The choice is up to you. You can record whatever you sing to take home with you on a DVD.
In case you don’t really know what karaoke singing is – its prerecorded background music of popular songs with the vocals erased. Your voice provides the vocal as you read the large words off a monitor/teleprompter. Karaoke in Japanese means “empty orchestra.”
A good example of it can be seen in the movie starring Julia Roberts, My Best Friend’s Wedding, where actress Carmen Diaz does a hound-dog-howling-at- the-moon rendition of Dusty Springfield’s old song, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. The outcome is terrible, funny and endearing at the same time.
It may take beginners a few times, and a few drinks, under their belt before they’re brave enough to get up on a stage to perform for the nightclub audience. But you can even do karaoke in your own home with a small group of friends, or just you and your spouse, or you and your grandkids goofing around on a sleepover. Decent quality/sound at-home karaoke machines can be bought for about $125 or less and there are thousands of karaoke songs recorded on DVD with the vocals removed for you to add your Grammy winning voice to. If you really get into it and want to karaoke more and more, there are even bigger, better karaoke devices to choose from for a higher price tag. You can also get a karaoke program that will work with your computer.
All told, karaoke’ing is just a lot of fun, especially at a party. Try adding one to your next family holiday or office party. If the party wasn’t hopping before, turning on the karaoke machine and watching your relatives, or coworkers, get up and turn into Elvis or One Direction will be a riot you won’t soon forget. Don’t forget to turn on the video camera though!