5 Things to Know About the Journey-Singing Janitor on ‘America’s Got Talent’

On Tuesday, May 28, 2024, Richard Goodall received the Golden Buzzer during the season 19 premiere of America’s Got Talent after delivering a rousing performance of the 1981 Journey classic “Don’t Stop Believin‘.” Before his AGT breakthrough, the 55-year-old janitor from Terre Haute, Indiana had been singing for himself and his students at a local middle school but never took his big voice to a larger stage.

Goodall first tried out for AGT in 2009 in Chicago, but never made it past the open auditions. Before his 2024 audition, he had never even been on a plane but made the trip to Los Angeles to give it another try.

“When I took off from Indianapolis, I felt that front wheel come off the ground and you have this floating [feeling], you’re no longer stable,” said Goodall of the experience during an AGT pre-taped interview “And that’s what this whole experience is like right now. It’s a good off-balance but until you actually do something, you don’t know if it’s right for you or not.”

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Richard Goodall during his May 28 audition on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ Photo: Trae Patton/NBC)

He added, “I’m not a fancy person. I take out the trash. I wipe off the tables, I sweep the floors. I’m just having fun and I’m trying to make people happy. The kids would hear me sing and they tell me that I’ve got talent. That’s why I’m here, that’s why I got on a plane.”

Before Goodall returns for the America’s Got Talent Live Shows, which kick off on Tuesday, August 13, here are five things to know about the singing janitor from Indiana.

[RELATED: Indiana Janitor Delivers Mind-Blowing Cover of Journey Classic “Don’t Stop Believin’” on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 19 Premiere]

1. He’s Been a Janitor for 23 Years

Goodall has worked as a janitor for 23 years. When the time came to find a job, Goodall found himself working as a janitor at Chauncey Rose Middle School, which was only three blocks his home in Terre Haute. Today, Goodall is employed by the West Vigo Middle School.

“I was that kid up in my bedroom with the Radio Shack stereo,” said Goodall in his AGT interview. “My favorite thing was just to sit up and listen to my music, and I just belt it out. Eventually, I was like ‘I gotta find me a job,’ so I became a janitor at Chauncey Rose Middle School, which is only three blocks away from my house.”

2. He’s in a Band Called ManOpause

Outside of his regular 9-to-5 janitorial obligations, Goodall also plays in a band called ManOpause with a few friends. “I knew that was coming,” said bandmate Tom Greenberg of Goodall’s Golden Buzzer win on AGT. “He deserved it. He’s just so good and Journey, I mean you throw him on a Journey song and he’s just the best of the best. He’s just a perfect Journey singer.”

ManOpause plays local venues, including Archie’s Sports Bar, where they typically perform “classic to current rock anthems that others just can’t play,” according to the band’s Facebook page.

“I think it is amazing because I’ve never heard of anybody from Terre Haute making it that far,” said Jamie Cheesman, a bartender at the venue. “I did hear him play at The Mill here in Terre Haute and he was amazing. He did Journey just as well as I’ve heard any other person sing Journey.”

3. Steve Perry is a Fan

Shortly after Goodall posted a video on TikTok in 2022 of himself belting out Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” during a performance for his students, he received an unexpected new fan.

Former Journey frontman Steve Perry gave Goodall high praise, and commented “I love this.”

Goodall responded to his idol: “Love your music, sir. Thank you for commenting. This means so much to me. Thank you.”

[RELATED:American Songwriter 2022 ‘Writer’s Block’ Interview with Steve Perry]

4.  Journey, Foreigner, and Survivor Calm Him

Before his performance on AGT, Goodall was visible nervous but said that once he heard the opening notes of the Journey song, all the nerves disappeared.

“I went to my music,” revealed Goodall of how he calmed his nerves. “When I hear Journey, Foreigner, and Survivor music, it center me, calms me down, and lets me know that I am okay.”

5. He’s Covered Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, and More

Goodall has been uploading videos of himself covering a series of songs on his TikTok page since June of 2022 and has already amassed a following (as of June 2024) of more than 104,000.

Throughout the past two years leading up to his appearance on America’s Got Talent, Goodall has shared videos of him singing everything from the Lee Greenwood classic “God Bless the USA”—his first TikTok video—along with his renditions of The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody,” the Mack Rice-penned “Mustang Sally,” made famous by Wilson Pickett in 1967, The Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreamin’,” Bon Jovi‘s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Eric Clapton‘s 1992 hit “Tears in Heaven,” and dozens of more songs.

Main Photo: (l-r) Terry Crews, Richard Goodall, Heidi Klum (Photo: Trae Patton/NBC)

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