Everybody loves Karaoke

Patricia Peterson

Whether it’s singing a favorite song or listening to a not so in-tune person trying to sing, karaoke can be amusing for some. Topeka has many opportunities throughout the week for karaoke, and in some cases prizes to win as well.

Firehouse Karaoke will host a karaoke contest September through November that consists of thirteen qualifying rounds. With a $5 entry fee for each date, particpants only have to win one local round to qualify for the semifinals, which will be held Nov. 13 at Stingers, 2335 N.W. Clay St.

Skinny’s, located near Gage Boulevard and Huntoon St., has karaoke every Wednesday and Thursday nights, with a contest on Wednesday. The prize is usually a $20 gift card towards a purchase at a local Topeka business, but  five singers are needed before the contest can start.

Lamont Jackson and Mark Garcia usually run the karaoke at Skinny’s. They keep the karaoke going whether it is a packed house or completely vacant.

“I enjoy good clean music,” said Lamont Jackson, professional karaoke director. “Never in my life have I not sung if it was a dead or a packed house.”

Jackson has traveled around the U.S. singing karaoke and won, Most Promising Adult Male from USA World Showcase at the MGM Las Vegas.

Jackson practices singing all types of music. He enjoys karaoke because he never knows what audience members will want to hear. From country to rock and roll, to gangster rap, the variety is all encompassing.

“I try to learn two new songs a week,” said Jackson. “I try a variety of music so I can cater to everybody.”

Karaoke began in Japan in the 1980s,  as something for business people to do when they got off of work and had a couple beers at the local bar.

“Karaoke is supposed to be fun,” said Jackson. “You don’t [have to] be good at it!”