The music ranking shows of the late 70s and 80s greatly helped me in my education in kayo kyoku. As you may have gleaned from looking at the Labels section, that period has the bulk of the songs I've highlighted. Part of Must-See TV Thursdays on TBS was "The Best Ten" at 9 pm. I wouldn't be surprised if parents in the 70s and 80s despised the program since it would've taken nothing less than capital punishment to drag the kids away from the screen at that time. It lasted from January 1978 to September 1989 for a total of 603 hour-long shows. And at one point, the show reached a peak of 41.9% in the ratings department. Managers and production agencies must have dreamt about getting their singers on there.
"The Best Ten" was hosted by Hiroshi Kume（久米宏）and Tetsuko Kuroyanagi（黒柳徹子）. Their sartorial style has imprinted itself into everyone's brains. Kume in his tuxedo while Kuroyanagi had her gowns and onion-bulb hairstyle. But it wasn't just their fashion. The duo was probably the fasting-speaking pair in Japanese TV history. I could only imagine how a guest must've felt being bracketed by those two while getting aurally machine-gunned.
Shortly after getting back from my 1981 graduation trip in Japan, the graduates and I got together for a bit of a reunion a month later at one of the students' houses. And we all watched tons of "The Best Ten"that she had dragged back via VHS tapes. So, I got to learn about Jun Horie's "Memory Glass", Hiromi Iwasaki's "Sumire Iro no Namida", Hitomi Ishikawa's "Machibuse", etc.(all profiled). Couldn't have asked for a better education in Japanese popular music.
But the one highlight for me is something that has yet to get onto YouTube. It was one in which a young Seiko Matsuda got onto a roller coaster to do a performance live (as it always was) on the show. The cameraman and a minder also got on. I can't remember which song she sang, but as soon as the coaster went into its power dive, Seiko-chan just freaked out....was pretty much a gibbering mess by the time it finally returned to base. Meanwhile, the minder was a complete and utter rock beside her....bastard!
The happy news for us oldies is that "The Best Ten" has been out on DVD for some time now. So, if I can get some money together, I may just invest in a few choice box sets.
Enjoy another one!