Credits

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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ikue Sakakibara -- Natsu no Ojosan (夏のお嬢さん)




Last year, I put up a post for Ikue Sakakibara(榊原郁恵) called "Shining Love" which was her 1981 hit and my first musical introduction to her via the Kohaku Utagassen of that year. But I think probably her trademark song had come out a few years earlier as her 7th single, "Natsu no Ojosan"(Summer Young Lady). Sakakibara has long left her aidoru career behind and is now known basically as the beaming face on many a Japanese variety show, but in the rare cases that she's asked to sing again, "Natsu no Ojosan" is the go-to song.


Written by Jun Kasama(笠間ジュン)and composed by Ben Sasaki(佐々木勉), "Natsu no Ojosan" was released in July 1978. Sakakibara was also quite famous for her stage portrayal of Peter Pan in Japan, but when this song was created, Kasama and Sasaki had based their composition on what the public image of the aidoru was at that time....and that was her wearing considerably less, prancing about in the sea. Even if most people don't remember the title anymore, they probably catch on when they hear that one particular lyric: "I scream, you scream". Apparently, the line was put in merely as a cute example of English euphony more than anything else.

The song peaked at No. 11 on the Oricon weeklies and was the 72nd-ranked song of 1978. It was a hit for Sakakibara, and it launched her popularity on TV which has continued right up to now. And the song helped her to get that very first appearance on the 1978 Kohaku Utagassen. Strangely enough though, she was quoted as saying, "This song set the image for me as someone who likes summer, but actually I prefer spring and autumn."

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