On any given Friday or Saturday night in Casper, you might catch a glimpse of myself or possibly any of the My Country 95.5 staff belting out tunes at Karen and Jim's Movie Star Lounge.

It's been about a month or more since I've grabbed a mic to belt out "Marie Laveau" in the style of Bobby Bare, or one of my many favorite songs in the style of David Allan Coe.

If you didn't know - this week national Karaoke Week and though I've been singing songs, some good, some really bad, for a few years now.  I love it when people ask how I started singing karaoke, cause it always brings a smile to my face.  Not only for the story, but for my first ever on stage singing with a famous Nashville country music artist.

About 7 years ago, a couple of friends invited me out to have a few beers and I said sure - not knowing that we were headed to a karaoke bar.

Karaoke is literally translated - Kara = "Empty" + oke = "Orchestra"

When we arrived at the packed parking lot, we walked in the back of the long "L" shaped bar with a karaoke singer blaring through the speaker system.  I stopped after entering the door of the bar because the lady singing was so bad, I couldn't understand the lyrics and my ears actually hurt.  It sounded as though someone was strangling a cat!

Without moving, I asked my friends "What the hell is this place"?  They informed me, we were at a karaoke bar and that they were all planning on singing.  I replied, that there was in no way "I" was going to do any singing that evening.

As I rounded the corner of the bar, that off pitch sound of singing was coming from kinda cute older woman, who was belting her heart out.  After seeing this, I realized that if she could do it, I could do it.

When my name was called, I approached the stage with my friends whoopin' and hollarin'... I grabbed the mic and gave it a - CHECK.  It was show time.

My First Time Singing Karaoke

My hands were visibly shaking as I was terrified.  Had never sang in front of anyone, at least not with a mic in my hands.  I looked at the screen and as the music started playing, I started singing.  I closed my eyes to try and block out the room, but then the room went silent.  What the hell!!  I opened my eyes thinking to myself - am I that bad?

It was entirely the opposite.  I quickly learned that in the world of karaoke, silence is a compliment.  It usually means that everyone in the bar has stopped to turn and see who is singing and to listen.  From that moment on - I became a karaoke fan!

In fact, had I not been singing karaoke, I probably would have chickened out on this opportunity to share the stage and sing in a bar with Jake Owen just a few months later.  At the time, I was working for KQFC in Boise, ID and Jake invited me onstage to help close his show. I'll admit, I was more than a little nervous (thank goodness there was  liquid courage being consumed), but this is a memory that I will always cherish!

If you're headed out to do some singing this weekend, you might catch me at one of many karaoke spots around Casper.  But the karaoke bar I sing most at is Karen and Jim's - I love that place!

Do you like to sing karaoke?  If so, what are some of your favorite songs to sing?




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