You won’t believe who brought karaoke to SA..

When did karaoke come to SA?

When did karaoke come to SA ?

It’s been almost 30 years since karaoke found its way to South Africa. Former Protea captain Clive Rice discovered his passion for singing while playing cricket in Hong Kong and decided to introduce function venues in Cape Town to the Asian art of karaoke entertainment. In the late 1980’s the Springbok Pub (as it is now known) in Newlands was one the earliest entertainment venues to host a karaoke event spearheaded by the late great Clive Rice. So when anyone at the pub asks: When did karaoke come to SA? You will have the answer.

Karaoke, a Japanese compound word blending kara (empty) and ōkesutora (orchestra) is a form of interactive entertainment or video game developed in Japan in which an amateur singer sings along with recorded music using a microphone. The music is typically an instrumental version of a well-known popular song. Lyrics are usually displayed on a video screen, along with a moving symbol, changing colour, or music video images, to guide the singer. The global karaoke market has been estimated to be worth nearly $10 billion.

The concept of creating studio recordings that lack the lead vocal has been around for nearly as long as recording itself. Many artists, amateur and professional, perform in situations where a full band/orchestra is impractical, so they use a “karaoke” recording; they are, however, the original artists. (This is not to be confused with “lip synching,” in which a performer mimes to a previously produced studio recording with the lead vocal intact.)

From 1961–1966, the American TV network NBC carried a karaoke-like series, Sing Along with Mitch, featuring host Mitch Miller and a chorus, which superimposed the lyrics to their songs near the bottom of the TV screen for home audience participation. 

The karaoke machine was invented by Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue in Japan, in 1971. Inoue rented his karaoke machines out as opposed to selling them and it caught on as a popular form of entertainment in restaurants and hotel rooms and soon, new businesses called karaoke boxes, with compartmented rooms, became popular. Karaoke soon spread to the rest of Asia and other countries all over the world. As more music became available for karaoke machines, more people within the industry saw karaoke as a great form of lounge and nightclub entertainment. It was not uncommon for some bars to have karaoke performances seven nights a week, commonly with high-end sound equipment superior to the small, stand-alone consumer versions. Lighting effects also became common sights in karaoke bars. Lyrics would be displayed on multiple television screens around the venue.

In Taiwan, karaoke bars similar to those in Japan and South Korea are called KTVs, which stands for karaoke television. Karaoke is a highly popular form of recreation in Taiwan. The biggest KTV chain in Taiwan is Cashbox KTV.

A noraebang refers to a singing venue in South Korea where private sound-proof rooms are available for rent, equipped for singing – typically microphones, remote controls, a large video screen, couches, and mood décor such as disco lights and tambourines. The term noraebang is a Korean compound word, blending norae (song) and bang (room). It is the regional equivalent to the Karaoke box in Japan.

Karaoke in the Philippines is also known for the My Way killings, a number of fatal disputes which arose due to the singing of the song “My Way”, popularized by Frank Sinatra, in Karaoke bars. A New York Times article estimates the number of killings to be about six up until 2010. Another source estimates at least 12 deaths from 2002-2012. Opinions differ over whether the possible connection is due to the coincidence that the song was simply frequently sung amid the nation’s karaoke bars where violence is common or owing to the aggressive lyrics of the song itself.

According to the New York Times, the dozens of karaoke bars in Portland, Oregon make it not just “the capital of karaoke” in the United States, but also “one of the most exciting music scenes in America”

When did karaoke come to SA ?

Since the rise of karaoke around the world, karaoke contests have become a phenomenon of mainstream culture, giving non-professional singers an opportunity to showcase their talent, win prizes, and at times, travel the world. The “Karaoke World Championship” is one of the most popular global karaoke contests and has been around since 2003. In September, 2011, the Karaoke World Championships took place in Killarney, Ireland.

Robbie Williams holds the record for the largest number of people singing karaoke at one time. Over 120,000 people sang “Strong” at Knebworth in 2003. Hungary holds the record for the longest Karaoke marathon with multiple participants for an event organized at the Honey Grill Restaurant. It lasted for 1011 hours, and 1 minute, between 20 July 2011, and 31 August 2011. Each song was over 3 minutes long and the gap between songs was no longer than 30 seconds. No song was repeated in any 2 hour period.

Fancy yourself as a karaoke legend? Book one of our karaoke machines for your next event. Our karaoke machine is affordable, fun and easy to use and our karaoke song choice list is packed with the biggest hits from the golden oldies to the latest hits on the music charts. so when the question is asked: When did karaoke come to SA? Thank our Asian friends (and Clive Rice) for karaoke in South Africa and enjoy your party! / Adrian 0847428939

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