101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No 12. Karaoke

“Sing, Lofty.” said Sgt Major Tudor ‘Shut Up’ Williams, and Lofty did—tubby little everyman tho he was. And tubby little everymen and everywomen around the World have sung. Along to backing tracks, badly, when they’ve had just over the recommended amount of booze.

The recommended amount of booze being just a sip below the amount that assures you that other people need your version of Paradise By The Dashboard Light in their ears.

But, hang on? Isn’t Karaoke a Japanese invention, like the digital watch and cartoon porn?

Well…back in the mists of computer and video time, Aston Micro-Electronics Ltd invented an easy way of putting captions on video. Electronically. Before that Karaoke would just be some sod reading the words to songs off a bit of paper. Aston dominated TV captions from their introduction in the 1980s. 

And why were Astons called Astons?  After Mr Aston? Hell no. Aston in Birmingham of course.

Author: Jon Bounds

Jon was voted the ‘14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands’ in 2008. Subsequently he has not been placed. He’s been a football referee, venetian blind maker, cellar man, and a losing Labour council candidate: “No, no chance. A complete no-hoper” said a spoilt ballot. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama performed on Twitter when he persuaded a cast including MPs and journalists to give over their timelines to perform Twitpanto. But all that is behind him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.