singers take shots at fame
in televised karaoke contest
event is filmed, broadcast on Cable TV channel
(February 2007) Season six of American
Idol has hit the airways worldwide. Millions of people tune in
to watch contestants sing their hearts out to try to make it to Hollywood
and hopefully become the next big singing sensation.
In Jefferson County, Ind., meanwhile, season one of King of Karaoke
has hit the airways in a smaller, but no less heartfelt way. Lorin McAllister
of Madison has brought the world of karaoke to the small screen via
the citys TV cable Channel 15.
by Chemaign Drumm
singers Travis West (top) and
Julie Welsh (middle), among others,
compete in contest organized by
Lorin McAllister (bottom).
McAllister, who owns a production company ironically named
Tone Deaf Productions, has been in show business in one way or another
for 20 years. Doing stand up comedy, parts in movies, radio Deejay,
and now entertainment producer, McAllister was asked by Bob Fourhman
of Madisons Cable Advisory Board to come up with more entertainment.
Fourhman was the pioneer of TV 15 and station manager.
McAllister started by developing a professional wrestling show in 2005.
Then one day later that year, while riding around with Dennis Crank,
the current station manager, the two tried coming up with a new show.
Crank suggested karaoke. To get the show up and running, McAllister
thought a contest would be best.
There was a lot of it around here, so we decided to do a contest
and broadcast it, said McAllister.
The King of Karaoke Contest was a series of four contests held at Bellos
Lounge, River House II, The Crown Room, all in Madison, and Johnny Rebs
in Hanover, Ind. There were two winners out of 15 or 16 in each contest
who advanced to the finals, which were held at Bellos Lounge.
Each show was televised, with McAllister hosting.
Ironically, the man crowned King of Karaoke 2006 didnt win the
first contest. Scott Drumm, 36, of Madison, just showed up to hang
out. One of winners from a previous contest didnt show,
so Drumm was encouraged to take his place. He also took the crown.
It was great winning, said Drumm, who comes from a long
line of musicians. He was also in several bands in high school and college.
He won the title by singing Detroit Rock City by KISS and
Purple Rain by Prince.
My favorites are Frank Sinatra, Elton John and Pearl Jam,
said Drumm. Songs I didnt get to sing in a rock band.
Since that contest, King of Karaoke is now a weekly show that is getting
good feedback, according to McAllister.
I run into people all over who talk to me about the show,
McAllister said. He added that the show is family oriented, with no
cursing, drinking or smoking allowed. It is filmed at Johnny Rebs
in Hanover every Sunday night and is aired the following Friday at 8
McAllister said Johnny Rebs owners, Wayne and Kelly Handcher,
have made McAllister and his wife, June, who tapes the show and is her
husbands support system, feel like family.
The Handchers, of Columbus, Ind., have owned Johnny Rebs for almost
two years. McAllister said of the Handchers, Theyre just
salt of the earth people.
Johnny Rebs also has karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights. The
King of Karaoke can be seen on Saturday and at 1 a.m., 8 a.m., 1 p.m.
and 8 p.m.; and on Monday at 1 a.m., 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Theres a time to catch it in anyones schedule,
McAllister said with a laugh.
McAllister is working on developing more shows, such as cooking, home
improvement and car repair. He said his goal is just to make people
Drumm said there are a lot of good singers in the area.Its
all about having fun, no matter how good or not so good
Anyone interested in participating in the King
of Karaoke contests should call Johnny Rebs at (812) 866-9276
or Lorin McAllister at (812) 265-2361, Ext. 41, or (812) 265-1505.
Back to February 2007