95 Year Old Karaoke Inventor’s Machine Still Rocks #MusicMonday

Karaoke has been one of Japan’s most enduring and successful exports. But where did Karaoke begin? As it turns out,  Karoke was invented by Shigeichi Negishi in 1967. Negishi is 95 and his invention, the Sparko Box, is still running. Here’s more from Kotaku:

One day in 1967, Negishi kept singing as he walked into the offices of Nichiden Kogyo, his electronics-assembly firm, which built 8-track tape decks for other companies in the suburbs of Tokyo. His head engineer gently ribbed the boss for his crooning. And that, says Negishi, is when inspiration struck…. [Later] the engi­neer had wired a microphone amp and a mixing circuit to a surplus 8-track deck. Negishi turned it on and slot­ted in an instrumental tape of “Mujō No Yume” (“The Heartless Dream”), an old favorite from the thirties. His voice came through the speakers along with the music—the first karaoke song ever sung. “It works! That’s all I was thinking. Most of all, it was fun. I knew right away I’d discovered something new.” He told his engineer to build a case for it, wiring in a coin timer they had lying around for good measure. He instantly grasped that this was something he could potentially sell.

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