It really started in Japan, but now Karaoke is a popular form of entertainment across the United States and especially featured here in Hot Springs Village at the Balboa lounge Tuesday and Friday nights.
カラオケ and オーケストラ  meaning voice and orchestra, Karaoke is interactive entertainment developed in Japan. Typically, an amateur sings along with recorded music using a microphone. Music is the instrumental version of a popular song. Lyrics are fed onto a screen along with movement of the words, sometimes changing colors to guide the singer.
Tim Roscoe, musician and singer, has been collecting and organizing karaoke since 1996. A former chemical plant engineer, Roscoe has been enjoying his music at Balboa since 2005. “It’s such a blessing to present these tunes and allow people to sing the songs they love,” he said. Roscoe has over 50,000 recordings and video lyrics he shares with amateur singers.
Although Karaoke has gained recognition lately, it started in 1961 when the TV network NBC featured “Sing Along with Mitch” featuring Mitch Miller and his chorus. Lyrics were posted at the bottom of the TV screen so viewers at home could participate. Karaoke is different as it features a lead vocalist.
The karaoke-styled machine was also invented in Japan in 1971 by musician Daisuke Inoue.
It’s a little known fact that Karaoke is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in Scotland. Who would guess that Aberdeen would be home to famous karaoke bars including a venue called Sing City. It seems jig dancing in kilts is taking a back seat lately.
“This is a great place to relax, be with your friends and sing. It doesn’t make a difference if you're really good or average, it is all about enjoying the music,” said Rick Riggs.
The dance floor welcomes country two-step, swing, rock and trendy line-dancing. The venue is also a place to celebrate special events. It is not surprising that locals gather to observe birthdays and anniversaries. Balboa also offers cupcakes to anyone celebrating a birthday on the last Friday of each month. How sweet is that? It is not uncommon to see a couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary as they sing and dance the night away. Leonard and Marilyn Peterson will cross that mark soon. Marilyn hits the dance floor with the best and sometimes downstages the teens.
The HSV Balboa lounge offers this well-liked form of entertainment Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Along with joining friends and neighbors for cocktails there’s food aplenty and a stage to join Roscoe as the audience listens or is free to dance along to the music.
It’s a common adage in HSV, “If you're bored in HSV, it's your own fault.” Might want to try singing and dancing at Balboa.