Karaoke is where brave amateur performers sing to a live crowd using a microphone and background music. It’s growing in popularity around the country and in Citrus County.
When a singer performs, the lyrics are displayed on a computer screen with a moving symbol that guides the singer.
Karaoke is done in bars, clubs or even some restaurants. Many times, people who do not want to sing, but enjoy the musical ambiance, come just to listen to the different genres.
The karaoke machine was created in the 1970s by Japanese businessman
Daisuke Inoue, who had a musical background in his youth, “to allow businesspeople to sing live without having to have back-ups.”
Karaoke translates to “empty orchestra” in Japanese.
Lonnie Lyons is one of the popular DJs in Citrus County who has regular groups of singers who follow him at Rivera Mexican Cantina in Crystal River, the Elegant Pelican in Crystal River, Norton’s Riverside Sports Bar & Grill in Crystal River and at the Bayport Inn in Weeki Watchee.
He also does numerous parties and weddings.
Lonnie and wife Lilley toured all over Florida singing as entertainers for years when they were first married.
“We gave that up when our daughter Jamie was born,” he said, and that’s how he began his DJ career.
His entire family sings. Even his 11-year-old daughter, Jamie, has a beautiful voice.
Some of DJ Lonnie’s karaoke followers and the types of songs they most like to sing are:
- Darren Bedini has been singing at the Riviera Cantina for the past three months. “I love listening to music and singing is a way for me to get through things and heal,” he said. He lost his young wife this past year and singing helps him. “I sing disco and classic rock,” he said.
- Paul Bradford, nicknamed “Mr. Rock ’n’ Roll” used to have a rock band in high school. He’s been signing karaoke the past four years singing songs by Elvis and more. He sings at Riviera Cantina and at the Two Deuces.
- Trish Tramontana has been singing for 12 years, belting out Carole King songs and songs of the 1960s through the ’80s. “I’m a child of the ’60s and the Woodstock era,” she said. She sings at various places including Elegant Pelican and Riviera.
- Tony Abner of Spring Hill sings at the Elegant Pelican and the Bayport Inn. “I like to sing easy rock and country,” he said. He used to sing gospel in church with his dad.
- Terry Daniels has been singing since he was 15. He sings country and soft rock ’n’ roll. “I sing at the Elegant Pelican, Old Mill, the former Witches Brew, Clawdaddy’s, Norton’s, etc. It relaxes me,” he said.
- Angela Edwards always sang gospel with her family when they got together. She sings a variety of genres including rock and Broadway tunes, but her favorite is to sing alternative rock — such as “Creep” by Radiohead — which she sings beautifully.
- Vince Horsley likes to sing different types of karaoke songs all over the county. He sings “Asleep at the Wheel,” The Kentucky Headhunters’ “Dumas Walker,” Jimmy Buffett songs and more. He also plays a harmonica and sings and plays a guitar in a dance band called “Just Wing It.”
- Lisa Lisenby has a flare for country music and sings at Norton’s, Elegant Pelican, Riviera Mexican Cantina, Old Mill, Hot Shots and other places. “I do it for fun,” she said.
- Paul Winburn sings Johnny Cash songs and songs that tell a story. He’s from Floral City and sings at Elegant Pelican, Shamrock and Riviera, to name a few. “I used to be a DJ and did it for fun, but now I just sing at karaoke.”
- Donna Kordawiecz met Paul Winburn at karaoke and has been coming to Elegant Pelican and Riviera Cantina with him ever since. She sings rock. “I’m a girl from the ’60s,” she said.
- Rick Page used to play in a band in Michigan. He sings rock ’n’ roll, blues and country. “Singing helps me with my panic attacks,” he said. He’s also a published suspense book author — “Fate’s First Turn.” Writing helps him relax.
- Debbie Taylor likes to sing blues and country. “My parents were musically inclined. My dad had a band for 20 years in Florida and my mom was a drummer.”
- Lorie Othouse likes to sing oldies such as “In the Still of the Night” by the Five Satins, as well as Bob Seger songs for the fun of it. She recalled singing “My Funny Valentine” in high school and was surprised she got a standing ovation.
- Tom Othouse’s parents, George and Mercedes, were performers. He has powerful vocals and is a wonderful singer himself. He loves singing George Jones songs at karaoke. He and his Lori are DJ Lonnie’s parents.