TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Community

January 12, 2009

It's karaoke time

Local talent emerges through Corbin karaoke nights

By Sean Bailey / Staff Writer

On any given weekend night in Corbin the city swells with karaoke singers. Nearly every restaurant that has a bar-area holds a karaoke night — O’Mally’s, Buckners, The Lion’s Den. There’s even a place — Frazier’s Karaoke Tyme — established solely for families and people who love to belt out a good tune on a weekend night.

The singers come from all around — Williamsburg, London, Barbourville all the way up to Richmond — to unwind, sing their hearts out, make new friends and reconnect with old ones.

And on any given weekend night at just about any of the numerous karaoke joints you’ll find 67-year-old Walter Lee Shannon dressed in his cowboy hat and dark sunglasses. He’ll either be walking through the crowd shaking hands or he’ll be under the spotlight wowing the crowd.

Shannon, a Londoner, is something of a Corbin legend.

“I enjoy the people, I’ve made a lot of friends, a lot of people know me, but I don’t know a lot of the people,” Shannon said Saturday night at O’Mally’s.

“I enjoy the people. I enjoy the guys, the girls, I don’t care if they are married or whatever. I shake the guy’s hands, give a hug to their woman. I don’t trash nobody, I try to be friends with everybody.”

Not far from O’Malley’s karaoke machine there’s a plaque in honor of Shannon crowning him “The King of Karaoke.” Gary Hatfield, owner of O’Mally’s, says Shannon deserves the honor — he’s a huge crowd favorite. Hatfield said that on most weekends karaoke draws in anywhere from 100-150 people. And when Shannon walks into the room shouts of “Walter!” bounce around the packed house as he makes his way up to the stage area.

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