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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Karaoke Idol

Friday, September 24, 2010

(Photo)
Jared Jernagan
I just learned that the Karaoke World Championship began Thursday in Moscow.

Why didn't somebody call me?

While my skills may have grown a bit rusty in recent years, I have no doubt my skills deserve attention at the very top level. Just consider my vast repertoire.

Rapper's Delight

Considered the original hip-hop song, this melding of disco, funk and rap weighs in at a hefty 14 minutes and 37 seconds. At one point in my life, I knew every word of it.

Since then, my skills as an emcee have slipped slightly, but I would wager that with little notice, I could run you off a good eight or nine minutes of it. (Imagine the things I could do if I used my brain for good instead of triviality.)

As a college junior and senior, my friends and I frequently made trips north to the Neon Cactus in West Lafayette to spend several hours in the Piano Bar with Piano Man Bruce Barker. My buddies used to get me on stage about every week to do "Rapper's Delight."

The Piano Man loved it because it meant he had a 10- or 12-minute break coming his way while I worked the crowd for him. I loved it because it made me believe, if only for a moment or two, that I was a star.

Paradise by the Dashboard Light

This one requires a duet partner. A female is best, but my old roommate Chris has worked in a pinch.

Can I sing like Meat Loaf? Good lord, no. But there's something about this song that gets me to let loose for no good reason. It doesn't hurt that my main partner on this song, my old friend Brooke, is a great singer and she helps carry me.

But I get so many compliments on this one from people, and I think part of it is my ability to tackle it without completely butchering. I'm certain that I hack it up a little, but people seem to love seeing me act like a 300-lb. man with a strange sense of fashion.

Johnny B. Goode

We used to go to the Carbondale Tavern in Warren County for karaoke, and this was one of my favorites to tackle there. Most of the crowd was old enough to be our parents, so rap or any type of alternative I might want to do wasn't going to fly.

This song appeals to anyone though. How could it not?

*

Besides these, you name it and I've tried it -- Rolling Stones, Elvis, AC/DC, Hank Williams Jr., Journey (but not well), the Kinks, Jerry Reed. I don't even have to like an artist to tackle a song. I guess the point of it all is to have fun, and I most certainly do that.

Apparently these folks at the world championships must get that as well. First prize is 1 million Russian dumplings.

I don't know what a Russian dumpling is, but I doubt it's terribly appetizing. I'd sure like to say I'd won a million of them, tough.