"Karaoke night brings out lots of fabulous, fun people, and we do a lot of dancing. It's great for new people at Sun City who want to meet people and enjoy themselves,'' said Joy Lilith Hermann of Sun City, waxing upbeat on the allure of the newly inaugurated Karaoke Club.
"Plus, she likes to sing!'' said her husband, Bob Hermann, who described himself as "her male social secretary.'' The Hermanns were cutting a rug on the dance floor at Pinckney Hall on Jan. 9, as the Karaoke Club made its 2012 debut.
DJ/KJ Jay Thomas, who has been facilitating karaoke for "years and years,'' got festivities off smartly by saying "Let's start this New Year all over again!''
Assisting Thomas was B. J. Livigni of Sun City, who has worked karaoke nights with Thomas for more than 10 years.
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In the background, a parade of pop and country songs welcomed a steady stream of arrivals, bearing coolers and insulated bags-- "It's just water,'' one arrival insisted--to the bring-your-own-drinks-and-snacks gathering. A vat about the size of a kayak was filled with ice for drink-cooling replenishment.
Attendees chatted at tables laden with everything from nachos and nuts to deli sandwiches and chicken wings.By 7 p.m., about 165 fun-seeking folks had arrived, said Rodney Jenkins, president of the club. The healthy turnout did not surprise Jenkins, despite its being held on the same night as a hotly contested college basketball game.
"My husband is at home watching the game, but I just had to say that Rodney Jenkins made this all happen!'' said Margie Farina, who was not singing but was certainly enjoying the evening.
Herman Erbacher, who arrived early, also was not singing but was looking forward to watching the lineup of resolute performers, the dancing and to "having a few laughs.''
Jenkins said that "our #1 Sun City Karaoke Club member is Hazel Burger, who is 101. She is extremely active and when in attendance you will find her dancing (to) nearly every song. She's a great gal.''
Just behind Hazel for membership honors, Jenkins said, is Fred Zoda, age 94, who loves to dance and has been known to sing "Heartaches by the Number" and Dean Martin's "That's Amore.''
Once the actual Karaoke performances began, Thomas and Livigni try to find each singer's choice of 50,000 possible selections on a laptop programmed to the Karaoke machine.
Selections ranged from "Good Morning, America'' to that '50s anthem to love between an older woman and a younger guy, Paul Anka's "Diana'' (sung by Joy Hermann, who looked as young as springtime.)
Special honors for singing ability and show biz elan should go to a husband and wife team from Sun City: Sharon Sokol, a fitness instructor, warbled "She's In Love With the Boy;'' her husband, Mel Sokol, sang "Home'' with gusto.
Dancing the night away
As the evening picked up steam, there was a break in the Karaoke performances, as a long line of dancers gyrated and clapped in line dancing. They did "American Bandstand'' and its many spinoffs proud.