Karaoke has its roots in 1970s Japan. The Kobe City port was an international mecca, often referred to as “the gateway of fashion and trend.” In fact, instant noodles, automated ticket gates and saunas all stemmed from this region. Whenever a strolling guitarist canceled a gig, bar owners would bust out accompaniment tapes for their patrons to sing along to, which would up becoming a popular pastime not just in Japan, but around the world. Perhaps it was the suppression of individualism, the pent-up frustrations of working such long hours or the exportation of it around the world that ensured the karaoke party never stopped.
In the 1980s, Pioneer started 수원셔츠룸 churning out karaoke songs on laserdisc. Japanese companies like Victor and DKK followed suit to produce English karaoke hits. When CDG karaoke came out, playing accompaniment tracks and bouncing lyrics across TV screens, the karaoke craze had officially hit America.
Hudson marketed one of the earliest mainstream karaoke machines, the “TurboGrafx-16,” which sold for $400 and enjoyed a very short shelf life before dying off. In the early nineties, DK Karaoke produced a collection of ninety-nine karaoke hits, containing everything from Bel Biv Devoe to Lenny Kravitz, which became the standard in every venue. Entertainers hired for parties, weddings and other events added it to their rosters, thus solidifying the pastime as a fun party activity.
At the turn of the millennium, it took on a more serious note in American culture. With the advent of shows like “American Idol,” aspiring talent saw the opportunity to sing karaoke as pop star or rock star practice. In the past, the best singers would occasionally receive a standing ovation, a free drink at the bar or a small pot of prize money.
Today, however, singers can get recruited by agents hidden in the audience and awarded with lucrative multi-million-dollar contracts. Everyone enjoys a good sing-a-long these days and Numark was quick to revolutionize karaoke equipment with the KMX01, KMX02 and CDN25+G, which make performances even more professional-sounding.
Since many Americans still feel a bit timid about belting out in public without practice, websites like Karaokeparty have popped up to revolutionize the industry. Friends can get together, create a play list, sing free online karaoke songs and upload the good ones to share.
Songs can then be rated by other karaoke enthusiasts. Boasting a worldwide community, the site has partnered with Facebook to let users include their karaoke party widget to their profiles. Over the past forty years, it has moved from the Japanese box to the American stage. Who saw it coming?
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