When I was small (I still am, but that’s beside the point), machines for karaoke used to be these giant things – like around two feet high! Kids nowadays would not have been able to imagine it. They were big boxes with large built-in speakers and two tape decks. Yes, I mean cassette tapes. It’s just unthinkable now, innit?
A karaoke machine at the time was just a big boom box that played specially-made tapes of songs recorded without the vocals. Minus-One tapes, they used to be called. How do you know the words to sing with the songs, though, if they weren’t displayed on the screen (they couldn’t be hooked up to the tv because there’s no video!)? You read them from the cassette insert! It was certainly very inconvenient, trying to belt songs to karaoke and leafing through the lyrics at the same time – but it seemed fun, I think. I just watched the adults do it then.
I guess too many people think they can be good singers if they kept practicing, so karaoke machines took off. They have gone digital through video CD’s and then on to the actual videoke machines and microphones that we’re familiar with today. I have a penchant for things that trigger nostalgia, like the rotary phone, Polaroids and VHS tapes, but I certainly do not miss those humongous karaoke machines of the 80’s.