For those with the desire to take the karaoke party beyond the bar and onto the road, one Kansas City cab driver has the answer for you: cabaraoke. The force behind this movement is the Yellow Cab driver called Papa Bear, who, for a standard cab fee, gives you a ride and a full-on karaoke session with over 300 songs to choose from. In addition to being equipped with TV screens continuously reeling song lyrics, Papa Bear’s cab contains video cameras to capture customers’ performances. The footage from these cameras is uploaded onto Papa Bear’s website as well as onto YouTube, where you can find guys in button-down shirts belting “Sweet Caroline” or twenty-something females singing “Pour Some Sugar on Me” with alarming sincerity. (Esquire has even taken the time to rate them, American Idol-style.) Here’s one of the most viewed clips, a singer belting out “I’m So Excited.”
Although cabaraoke is exclusive to Kansas City, Papa Bear hopes to expand the business. “My goal is to spread this to cabs in every major city,” he told The Pitch in an interview last month. “I’m hoping to design and develop a cabaraoke machine that is simple for any driver to use, even with no technical knowledge and even if the cabbie doesn’t speak English.”
Best of luck, Papa Bear!