It’s Karaoke Thursdays at Green’s Supper Club
William Hung, don’t quit your day job. You’ve got some serious competition here in Greensboro.
At a little before 8 p.m. the sun has sunken behind Green’s Supper Club and the green neon sign above the club is growing brighter as the daylight slowly fades. It’s Thursday evening and inside Dave Patton, who goes by Tidal Wave Dave, stands behind his DJ equipment as the bar fills with patrons. It’s bike night at Green’s; a few bikers hang around outside while there’s still some daylight, and couples, groups of friends and workers freshened up after a hard day on the job take their places at the bar.
Dave addresses potential singers in the crowd, ‘“The more you drink the better you sound.’” Then he says to those who’ll be listening, ‘“The more you drink the better they sound to you.’”
Dave announces the first singer who’ll get things kicked off for the night, and Keith Nelson takes his place behind the mic. It’s now a little after eight and Elton John’s ‘“Rocket Man’” pumps through the speakers as Keith begins to sing. He’s not too bad; the song suits his voice pretty well and Debra Stevens and Tammy Gentry cheer him on, raising their beers and giving out a ‘“Wooooo!’”
Next up is Roger Bob, introduced as ‘“A man with two first names.’” He appears to be alone tonight, like Keith; the two hang out near each other at the bar. He sings Randy Travis’ ‘“Diggin’ Up Bones.’”
Then it’s Keith up again with the Three Dog Night classic ‘“Mama Told Me Not to Come.’” It’s a huge change in musical selection, Elton John to Three Dog Night. It’s around 8:30 now and the bar is getting busy. Keith gets into it, playing the crowd. This song’s not quite as suited for his voice, but that doesn’t stop him and nobody seems to mind. He begins ad-libbing during the chorus with ‘“But I came on anyway,’” and a ‘“Woooo,’” and ‘“Looky here.’”
Things are rolling along by now. Randy Slaydon gets up for his first song of the night. Holding a mason jar of beer, he sings ‘“Sultans of Swing.’” Then Roger Bob gets back up, his voice sounding even more Southern than it did during ‘“Diggin’ Up Bones.’” In tight black jeans, green plaid shirt, brown shoes and a large cell phone attached to his pocket, he really gets into it as he sings Alan Jackson’s ‘“Gone Country.’” Bobbing and swaying to the music, he closes his eyes and puts his head back, ‘“They’re not as back’ards as they use ta be’…gone country!’”
Keith shouts above the music, ‘“Go Roger Bob!’”
At the end of the song Dave says, ‘“Grab yourself a sweetheart and get on up here.’”
A slow song starts and couples take to the floor in front of the karaoke setup. Danny Carter and Janice Tilley share long kisses as they slowly turn arm-in-arm on the dance floor.
People are lining up now, flipping through the karaoke books of over 20,000 song selections. Two more people get up to sing. A guy named Mike sings ‘“Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.’” Dressed in a cowboy hat and ripped jeans and holding a longneck, Tony Jones dances around the floor, lifting off his hat and shaking his shaggy hair.
Dave mixes up the songs by playing country, slow ballads and even some hip-hop. ‘“I have to gauge them with my music,’” he says. ‘“If I put too much hip-hop in there’ll be a fight by 11:15.’”
Nelly’s ‘“It’s Getting Hot in Here’” comes on and flocks of beer drinkers take to the floor, dancing and swaying and putting their arms in the air. Keith really gets into this one. He begins dancing gangsta-style ‘— the best he knows how, anyway ‘— twisting, turning and lifting up his shirt as the chorus sings, ‘“It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.’” He is cheered on and then several girls get in front and back of him, bumping and grinding and lifting up his shirt, his large belly protruding and bouncing to the music.
Tony’s face is pretty red by now and his eyes bloodshot. With beer still in hand, he slides his cowboy boots across the floor and lifts his hat to shake out his hair.
Randy Slaydon sings a couple more songs, beer in hand but now in a mug, rather than a mason jar. ‘“I’m fixin’ ta burn it up in here,’” he says. But before he sings his rendition of ‘“Plush,’” Roger Bob serenades couples on the dance floor with Keith Whitley’s ‘“Don’t Close Your Eyes.’”
There’s line dancing, romancing and many who aspire to impress the ladies with their talent.
So it goes late into the night. The neon sign on the top of the club now casts a green haze over the parking lot. Through the frosted window from the parking lot Richard Wright and Wendy Martin are laughing and dancing to Lorrie Morgan’s ‘“A Picture of Me Without You,’” sang by Levon Hines. A Harley cranks, the rider covering his face with an orange bandana to fend off the biting wind. He takes off, rumbling pipes fading as he disappears down US 29.