This guest post is written by Andrew Molinaro (Sauce), frequent and long-time HUB-BUB volunteer, and ardent karaoke lover.
I’ve been a performer from a very young age. My extended family still reminds me of the time when they saw me sing/lip sync The Oak Ridge Boys “Elvira” as a 3 or 4-year-old and I also remember a similar series of performances of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.” In fact, I used to think the opening line to the second stanza of the latter song (“Yo no soy marinero”) featured my last name. Marinero… Molinaro, they’re really not that far off. I sang in a local youth choir in elementary school in my hometown just outside Atlanta, was active in my middle and high school choruses, performed at the National Cathedral during my sophomore year of high school and was also involved with drama and musical theatre during those years. I’ll even admit I can still sing the lyrics to most of the music from THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST pretty much from memory. And during my early years of involvement with 4-H, I competed locally and at the state level performing celebrity and cartoon impersonations. Last spring, I had an opportunity to be a cast member in the Spartanburg Little Theatre’s production of SEUSSICAL and had a wonderful time, despite the fact that I ended up losing my voice for a brief spell during the show’s run from so much singing.
As a result of this, it’s no surprise that I would be naturally drawn to the Japanese performance art that is known worldwide as karaoke. I didn’t actively seek it out until one evening in August 2009 when I joined some friends for dinner at a small Mexican restaurant in metro Greenville following an afternoon of hiking at Paris Mountain. I had such a good time. In fact, I think I enjoyed myself a little too much. I became a regular at weekly karaoke at The Tap Room in downtown Spartanburg last year until it unfortunately closed its doors just before Halloween 2010. I also visited Rome and Blues Boulevard when they offered karaoke on select weeknights. Since I started working just a few miles outside of downtown Greenville, I’ve visited the Northgate Soda Shop for their bi-weekly karaoke nights during the last month and change.
When my good friend, Stephen Long, manager of The Showroom, told me a couple of months ago that he planned to start a regular karaoke night (at least twice a month) this summer, I got excited. Seriously! I’ve spent countless hours in The Showroom since getting involved with HUB-BUB in 2005 and this is just another reason I’ll continue to stay active with the organization.
My favorite artists to cover are often the crooners: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and Perry Como. I also have covered tunes by Harry Nilsson, Bill Withers, Loggins & Messina, Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, John Mellencamp, The Beatles, Simply Red, The Temptations, Herman’s Hermits, Joe Jackson and more. I also regularly perform an extra special cover of America’s “Horse with No Name” as interpreted by several Muppets.
The first edition of “Karaoke Night” at The Showroom will take place Monday, June 27th from 8-11pm. I’ll be there with bells on. I hope you’ll join me and others for a night of excitement and laughs. It should definitely cure your “Case of the Mondays.”
~ Andrew Molinaro a.k.a. “Sauce”