August 14, 2007
I believe it was the Koreans that invented Karaoke, or " empty Orchestra " as it is called. When I was growing up in the deep South we were used to singing along with the radio, in church, etc. I was even good enough to sing duet in church. Southerners love to sing. So do Koreans.
I discovered the Koreans love of singing after being married to one for a number of years and attending get-togethers that always ended in song fests. Then, along came Karaoke, which first started in bars . Then came sophisticated machines for home entertainment.
One holiday evening we attended a New Year's Party at a friend's home where everyone was Korean except for Moi. Sure enough, after dinner, the singing began , this time with the Karaoke machine. Soon as I went to the ladies room and came back I was told it was my turn. Caught offguard, I just picked the song I knew best - " Beautiful Brown Eyes. " As soon as I belted it out, the machine gave a fanfare and drew a yellow line across the screen that stopped at 99 . I heard whooping and hollering and some were jumping up and down .
What? What ? , I asked. " You've won !" was the reply. " Won what ? " $200 , the first prize. I had no idea there was a prize, if I had I would've been so nervous I know I would have messed it up good. No one has ever hit a 99 score in the four years the machine had been in operation, they said . Geez ! I was astonished. I knew there were better singers than me so I encouraged everyone to try to beat my score, but for the rest of the evening no one came even near. And believe you me the Koreans are damn good singers.
At the end of the evening, my hubby Simon and I sang together and got the next highest score - 98 !
I tried to look at my win very logically and came to the conclusion that the computer was not judging as humans judge , but by pitch. I had perfect pitch ! I'm not the best singer, but then I'm not the worse. I can carry a tune. Or , so , the computer thinks I can. I told our host if he ever wanted to sell that Karaoke machine, I'd be the first in line.