While most students may go to Good Time Charley’s on 1140 S. University Ave. to loosen up after a hard day of classes or to have a wild night after a long week, Ann Arbor resident Tim Smith goes to Charley’s for one reason only — to experience the Tuesday night karaoke.
Smith, a Jackson, Mich. native, has been singing at Charley’s on the bar’s Tuesday karaoke nights for about eight months. He moved to Ann Arbor in July to be closer to his girlfriend.
Smith, 49, was part of a band in high school and said that music has always been an integral part of his life. A member of three local bands in Grand Rapids for about a decade during the ’90s, Smith was lead singer for both Nervous Habit and Exit and later a guest singer with Trilogy.
Smith eventually became a karaoke host in Livonia.
Now the new business development manager for Yarema Die & Engineering, a metal and industrial supply company based in Troy, Mich., Smith first started hosting karaoke in the early ’90s to keep himself busy at night. He eventually developed a passion for the spirited performances.
“One week you see someone get up to sing a song for the first time and within a few weeks they are singing five songs and you can hear their voices develop,” Smith wrote in an e-mail interview. “It really is a lot of fun to watch and sing.”
Smith said he enjoys Charley’s because of its fun and lively atmosphere.
“Good Time Charley’s is a great, clean place for people to come sing and hang with the college kids,” he said. “It gets crazy, but not out of control, great food, and the sound system is good.”
Smith said he’s drawn to karaoke because every night is a new experience with the new faces and voices who grace the bar with their stage presences.
“The whole thing about karaoke is to get people who sing in their showers and in their cars to get out and sing,” he said. “Every night at karaoke is just unique. It’s pretty much always fun. You get a lot of fresh people to sing all the time.”
Smith, who prefers karaoke to other forms of nightly entertainment, said music is a feeling that allows people to express themselves and be more in touch with their emotions.
“Music itself is a mood-changing type of media,” he said. “You can be in a bad mood, and listen to a song you grew up with — doesn’t matter how old you are — it just changes your mood.”
If you’re ever at Charley’s on a Tuesday night and you hear some Journey lyrics blaring from the speakers, stay and have a listen — Smith might be singing “Don’t stop believin’.”