YOU have all heard of karaoke and might well have given it a try in a Furness pub but did you know the Japanese craze arrived in Barrow on Saturday, July 21 in 1990?

This was when a karaoke evening called Rock The Boat was held at Forum 28 as part of the Feast of Furness held by arts group Welfare State.

The host for the evening was Rikki Tarascas who had taken his karaoke machine into Duke Street to introduce shoppers to this new form of entertainment.

Karaoke had begun in Japan where businessmen sang to backing tracks in special bars.

One of the first to try it out in Barrow was Nick Carson — with Otis Redding's Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay.

He said: "I like singing and I'm a bit of a frustrated singer, but you do need to build up a rapport with the audience in karaoke."

Mr Tarascas said: "There are a few clubs in London doing karaoke."

The article noted Karaoke is great fun. It is obvious the singers get a real kick out of it but the crowd also shares in what is a genuinely funny experience."

In December 1991 Susan Pickering became The Mail's karaoke champion with two Tammy Wynette classics, Crazy and Stand By Your Man.

Tony Beckman finished second and Debbie Gardner was third in the contest, held at the George Hotel, Walney.

Up to 80 contestants in a Krazy Karaoke Kompetition were left glum in May 1992 when the event at Barrow nightspot Allsorts was cancelled at the last minute when people just turned up to have a go without filling in entry forms.