BIG RAPIDS — Fans of karaoke at the Gypsy Nickel Lounge will definitely recognize a friendly face in John Kelley, the man sitting behind the elaborate DJ setup.
Born and raised in Big Rapids, and living just outside the area, Kelley drew musical inspiration from his father who was in a band, and started off being a DJ before getting into karaoke.
“I think I’ve done just about every kind of DJ job I can ever think of,” he said.
His father had the big sound systems necessary to DJ or facilitate karaoke.
“Whenever my friends were at a party, they’d be like, bring your stuff over,” he said.
After a couple of years, the business really took off, and he took on the name “Red Hot Karaoke,” which has now been in operation for thirty years.
“At one point, I was doing six shows a week. I was doing every day but…