Karaoke Night by Jon Bear
A lot of people have experienced the fun, fear, embarrassment and sheer entertainment of karaoke night out with family and/or friends. The first time I ever sang karaoke I was full of anxiety. I was fearful of following someone who was really impressive and talented. I can generally keep a tune, but I knew I wasn't winning American Idol anytime soon. Once I took the plunge though I had a great time, not only performing myself but hearing my friends sing and even listening to complete strangers. There was one time where a girl I did not know needed someone to sing the duet Summer Lovin' from the musical Grease with her. I begrudgingly agreed to sing with her, because even though I did not care for the song I knew the tune well enough to be able to follow the bouncing ball and sing along. It actually turned out pretty well, especially given my initial misgivings.
After the first time I sang karaoke there was really only one other time that I felt nervous. Half the time I had indulged in enough liquid courage (booze) that I could care less how I sounded. When my best friend Henda was getting married he held his bachelor party down in Orlando Florida. There was a bar at Universal Studios where you could sing karaoke in front of a live band. Henda and I agreed to put our names in for Swing, Swing by the All American Rejects. THANKFULLY the bar closed before our names were called because I could swear that 95 % of the people who did get to sing their songs were professionals with how great they sounded. Either that, or the live band does wonders for the average performer. My nerves were up that night and I had only one drink to calm them so I would have been shaking up on that stage for sure. The bar and audience for the performers was also about 10 times as large as our little local bars.
Between 2003 and 2010 my friends and I would make the semi-regular trip out to the Fuller Road House in Albany and later the Side Door Café (where we most frequently went) on Western Avenue in Albany, to test out our vocal talents at Karaoke Night hosted most often by Mark the Shark, a local DJ. Personally I think karaoke night is a lot of fun and something everyone should try at least once. I wanted to share here some of the songs that were our staples on Karaoke Night. Unfortunately you'll have to listen to the original singers versions and are not blessed with hearing Jon Bear or his friends sing. If you have any special memories or stories about karaoke nights with friends or strangers and the songs you most liked to perform please feel free to share them with us in our comments section.
Swing, Swing by the All American Rejects (a Jon Bear and Henda favorite)
Boot Scootin Boogie by Brooks and Dunn (one of the staples of my great friend Bobby V. a Texas native and Country Music Fan)
Tempted by Squeeze (a song that Jon Bear has close to perfected)
Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond (a tune my friend Matt often liked to sing and usually a crowd pleaser as most Neil Diamond songs seem to be)
Good by Better Than Ezra (one of my favorite bands and an underrated song of theirs I love to sing)
Gin and Juice by Snoop Doggy Dogg (Henda as a California native was a big W.C. Rap fan and loved to sing Snoop Dog songs)
* WARNING some lyrics may offend certain listeners
There are several other songs I could share as well, but those were a few of the classics that we would sing. Of course this isn't nearly as hilarious as hearing us try and sing these songs could be, but just writing about karaoke night brings back some great memories. Hopefully one day we can get the group back together and possible wreck havoc at a karaoke bar near you! >.<