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We all know how fun karaoke can be!  Singing out your favorite songs with friends while a karaoke machine displays the lyrics and the music! Pretty much everyone has tried it at least once in their lives.

Where did karaoke originate?  Here’s some history on this Japanese pastime.  Karaoke is a blending of two Japanese words “Kara” meaning empty and “Oke” meaning orchestra.  The first karaoke machine was developed in the 1970’s!  It originally was a cassette player!

The karaoke machines started to appear in hotels and bar as a diversion to enhance drinking and socializing. It allowed people to have fun while socializing.   In the 1980’s, the karaoke box was created where people gathered in a small room with a karaoke machine and were served food and drinks.   In the late 1980’s, laser disc technology enhanced the karaoke experience with DVD’s that were the size of 12” records.  In the 1990’s the first karaoke machines were created that provided songs and videos.

Now, with technology being so advanced, karaoke can be done on phones and computers.  In Asia, karaoke boxes are still the most popular type of karaoke venue.  A karaoke box is rented by the half hour or hour providing a more personal feel with food and bar service.   In North America & Europe, there are karaoke bars, or restaurants and bars that provide karaoke equipment so that people can sing publicly.

Here are some karaoke facts for you:

  1. Karaoke was born in Japan when a band failed to show for a gig in a bar, the owner put on some music and asked his customers to come up and sing
  2. The Word Karaoke actually means “Empty Orchestra” in Japanese
  3. Karaoke is such a popular past time in Japan that business men often hire professional singers to coach them how to sing to impress clients
  4. The most popular song requested is “Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
  5. The Karaoke World Championships started in 2003
  6. The 2014 Karaoke World Championships were held in Stockholm
  7. Many Karaoke Champions go on to secure record deals with Adrian Kenny from Cork doing so in 2005 and went to support Jedward and Shane Ward in Concerts

Many places have weekly karaoke nights such as Charlie’s Kitchen where you can belt out your favorite songs every Tuesday night!  Come early have dinner and then get out there and have some fun singing with your friends!  Charlie’s Kitchen is the best venue in the Cambridge area to hang out  with friends and have a good time!

Charlie’s Kitchen is located at 10 Eliot St., Cambridge, MA 02138