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Don't Stop Believin': How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life


Don't Stop Believin': How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life Cover

ISBN13: 9780306815836
ISBN10: 0306815834
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Armed with a keen eye and a terrible singing voice, writer Brian Raftery sets out across the globe, tracing karaoke's evolution from cult fad to multi-million dollar phenomenon. In Japan, he meets Daisuke Inoue, the godfather of karaoke; in Thailand, he follows a group of Americans hoping to win the Karaoke World Championships; and in New York City, he hangs out backstage with the world's longest-running heavy-metal karaoke band. Along the way, Raftery chronicles his own time as an obsessive karaoke fan, recalling a life's worth of noisy relationships and poor song choices, and analyzing the karaoke-bar merits of such artists as Prince, Bob Dylan and Fugazi.

Part cultural history, part memoir, Don't Stop Believin': How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life is a hilarious and densely reported look at the liberating effects of a good sing-along.


Book News Annotation:

Setting out to cross the globe singing, and armed with a spectacular cover of "Sister Christian," journalist Raftery did not fully expect to find a complete subculture, but in the wildest bars of New York, Thailand and points beyond he discovered a community with leaders, followers, and a lot of sacred 1970s music. As he recounts his adventures, however, he goes far beyond merely recording required behavior, fashion trends, and counting drinks. Instead he comments on collective memory, competitiveness among and within nations, the ratio between aspiration and talent, and the evolution from casual participant to fanatic. He also takes karaoke very seriously as a multimillion-dollar phenomenon that ranges far from its birthplace, Japan to nearly every corner of the globe, and shares the experience on stage, backstage, and among those who run karaoke bars and competitions. The result is a mystery tour married to a serious ethnography. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


A scintillating social, cultural, and personal history of the worldwide phenomenon of karaoke.


About the Author

Brian Raftery's features, profiles, and criticism have appeared in such publications as Wired, Spin, GQ, and Entertainment Weekly. His favorite karaoke song is Night Ranger's "Sister Christian."

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Jennifer Howell, April 13, 2009 (view all comments by Jennifer Howell)
This book is a necessity for anyone who loves karaoke. If you've spent a significant amount of time bent over a karaoke book, you will laugh out loud at Raftery's discussion of the merits of Bobby Brown's "On Our Own" and identify with his fascination with karaoke videos. There are other books out there that claim to be "karaoke guidebooks." For the most part I have found them shoddy and ill-written - they don't even give good advice. You'll have to dog-ear the pages with helpful tips, but you'll find more sound karaoke advice in Raftery's book than in all the so-called guidebooks combined.

Now all I want to know is - when's Raftery going to come to Portland and sing with me and my friends?
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Anna Creech, January 8, 2009 (view all comments by Anna Creech)
Raftery's writing is engaging and accessible. Scattered throughout the book are references to song lyrics, inside jokes, and humorous re-telling of his karaoke adventures. There are also more serious an poignant moments, which provide more depth than what one might expect from the book's title and cover. Even if you never feel compelled to pick up the microphone and sing to a room full of strangers (or your friends), this book will draw you in and give you a glimpse of the people and culture that drive karaoke today.
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Product Details

How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life
Raftery, Brian
Da Capo Press
General Music
Composers & Musicians - Country & Folk
Popular music
History and criticism
Popular music -- Social aspects.
Karaoke - Social aspects
Music - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.25 x 5.5 in 8.4 oz

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Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
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Biography » Composers and Musicians
Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Don't Stop Believin': How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life Sale Trade Paper
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Product details 232 pages Da Capo Press - English 9780306815836 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A scintillating social, cultural, and personal history of the worldwide phenomenon of karaoke.
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