I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Yu Hayami -- Natsu Iro no Nancy (夏色のナンシー)

On the 1983 Kohaku Utagassen, another aidoru popped on out midway through the epic show in the usual frilly short dress and haircut. But then, she said something that suddenly got my undivided attention. In perfect English, she said, "Wish me luck!" And indeed, I did. Having been in my sophomore year of listening to old-style J-pop, it was the first time for me to hear an aidoru speak any sort of English.

Yu Hayami (早見優)was born Kazumi Tateno(舘野 一美)in Shizuoka Prefecture. However, from 3 to 14 years of age, she lived in Guam and Hawaii which would explain her mastery of the English language...and probably that tan when she first appeared on stage. Apparently, she was discovered in 1980 in front of an elevator at a Hawaii branch of Mitsukoshi Department Store which eventually led to her return to Japan to take lessons in becoming a celebrity via The American School in Tokyo.

"Natsu Iro no Nancy"(Summer-Coloured Nancy) was Hayami's 4th single, released in April 1983. Originally the title was to have been "Natsu Iro no Cathy" since the singer's nickname at school up to her recruitment was Cathy, but due to linguistically aesthetic considerations, the name "Nancy"was chosen instead.

The song is a typically 80s frothy/synthy aidoru concoction, written and composed by Yoshiko Miura and Kyohei Tsutsumi (三浦徳子・筒美京平), which appropriately became the campaign song for Coca-Cola. Of course, Hayami is in the ad as well. The song peaked at No. 7 on the Oricon charts, and ended up being the 40th-ranked song of the year.

Right now, Hayami is still active as an entertainer but instead of soda pop, she now pitches cable TV.

1 comment:

  1. In the late 90s, she played Cosette in Les Miserables, opposite fellow former aidorus Minako Honda (Eponine) and Hiromi Iwasaki (Fantine). Quite the starry cast that.


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