The first time I heard Beethoven's "Fur Elise" was on "A Charlie Brown Christmas" when Schroeder was doodling on his miraculous toy piano before Lucy asked (ordered?) him to try out various versions of "Jingle Bells". That was all the way back in the late 60s and since then, I've heard the classical version numerous times in the department stores, mostly around the Holidays.
Go ahead several years into the 70s when my Dad was playing some old audio tapes of Japanese music shows. I couldn't recognize who was singing (maybe it was Pink Lady or Candies), but a female group did their own jazzy version of the Beethoven classic. I never found out who they were exactly (April 2016: finally found out).
However, several more years after that, "Fur Elise" was given another facelift in Japan; this time, by The Venus, a band that specialized in paying tribute to American rock/pop music of the 50s and 60s. Giving it the rockabilly treatment, lyricist Yoko Aki（阿木耀子） wrote the lyrics and the band had the new title of "Kiss wa Me ni Shite"(Kiss Me on the Eyes) which was released as their 9th single in July 1981. Considering how popular the music that The Venus aspired to play was during that time and the masses of young folk twisting away in Yoyogi Park, "Kiss wa Me ni Shite" made for quite the pop anthem. In fact, it was also used as the commercial song for Kanebo Cosmetics that year.
"Kiss wa Me ni Shite"became the 32nd-ranked song for 1981, selling over 400,000 records.
And let's finish it off by showing some of those Yoyogi teens dancing the day away. By the way, the song in the background is "Jenny wa Gokigen Naname" by Juicy Fruits. I'm gonna have to cover that one as well (and I finally have right here).