There is not much written about Ono; there's not even an entry for her in J-Wiki for reasons that will become clear in a few lines. I actually had to get what little I could find from a Japanese blog titled "Jerrio's Café". It wasn't made totally clear whether Ono was even an amateur singer but she entered the 13th Yamaha Popular Song Contest (nicely nicknamed PopCon) in May 1977 with "Sayonara no Kotoba". She did extremely well....in fact, she won the Grand Prize for the entire contest! And yet, soon afterwards, Ono gave up any intentions of going professional and instead went overseas to study. And that's all she wrote. I can only imagine what kind of songs she could have made if she hadn't taken that other path.
Go ahead one year later. Junko Yagami, who herself had won an Excellent Prize at PopCon back in 1974 with "Ame no Hi no Hitorigoto" （雨の日のひとりごと....Speaking to Myself on a Rainy Day）, did her own version of "Sayonara no Kotoba" for release as her 4th single in May 1978. Yagami also possessed that clear high voice that Ono did, so she made for a good fit for the song. As I said, her cover made it onto at least one of her BEST albums but also originally appeared as a track on her debut album, "Omoide wa Utsukushiku Sugite"（思い出は美しくすぎて...The Memories Are So Beautiful）which came out in June of that year. Of her early singles, Yagami was known for her Latin and/or disco-infused hits, but her version (and the original) stood out because it had that folksy, kinda European charm. In fact, I think it has some melodic similarity to at least a few of the tracks on Taeko Ohnuki's（大貫妙子）"Grey Skies" (1976).
|Junko Yagami -- Best of Me|