Bogart's on Airport Way does karaoke on Wednesdays, Fridays and every second Saturday of the month. Last Saturday, I had the great fortune of catching the debut of their newest host, Ronnie Love Jones. It was around 11:30 pm when I walked in. I'd visited this place when it was called Goldie's, but the owners who sold the bar in '08 bought it back and changed its name to match their family's. The scene that night couldn't be more different from the Wednesday I was there years ago when I sang "My Way" to a bunch of geriatrics.
The majority of this crowd was black and concentrated in the poker room, where a DJ was blasting old-school R&B and late-90's Hip-Hop. From the karaoke lounge, I could see two attractive gals sitting at the bar and a couple who looked to be in their early 40's in the booth next to mine. Nobody had any slips up.
Bogart's new KJ was a handsome brother in his mid-30s. casually dressed in a polo shirt and baggy jeans. He put on a smooth background track ("I Can't Stop Loving You" by Kem) and the sound from the speakers in our area was loud enough to drown out the music coming from the poker side. With a sweet tenor voice, he sang the words: "I'm looking for some singers tonight." At that moment, it did not matter to me if anyone there took him up on his request. I wanted to see what he could do.
Ronnie Love then sang the O'Jays' classic "Back Stabbers," a double-treat for me because it's a song I love that I've never seen. His performance was spot-on. The guy sitting at the booth next to me let Ronnie know that his lady-friend was ready to sing. She was tall with bangs and had a rockin' caboose that was barely covered by a black mini-skirt. She turned in a stellar performance of Oleta Adams "Get Here (If You Can)".
After she was done, Ron came up to me to make sure I was going to sing and handed me an old, beat-up binder of their available songs. I ended up delivering a solid performance of "Sail On" by The Commodores. Then Ronnie totally went off, knocking out three of my all-time favorites back-to-back-to-back: "Boys to Men" by New Edition (Johnny Gill), "Whip Appeal" by Babyface and "Casanova" by Levert. It was like a dream; I seriously thought I was going to cum.
At around 1 a.m., one of the bartenders relieved Ronnie of his duties and told the crowd: "We've got to give this guy a break. He's been singing his heart out all night." At that point, I kicked myself for not getting there earlier.