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.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Junko Sakurada -- This Is A "Boogie"

Back in the early 70s, three young girls of around the same age auditioned on the NTV talent show "Star Tanjo"(スター誕生...A Star Is Born): Momoe Yamaguchi, Masako Mori and Junko Sakurada(山口百恵・森昌子・桜田淳子). The media caught onto the fact that their careers were basically launched there and then, and labeled them initially as the Hana no Chu-San Trio(花の中三トリオ...The Flower Junior High Senior Trio). As they grew up in front all of Japan, the group name appropriately changed in terms of their school year until their final moniker was Ko-San Trio(高三トリオ...The High School Senior Trio).

Of the three, Junko Sakurada was the one that I knew about the least in terms of her music career (although the name often popped up here and there and now and then over the decades) which would explain why I had never featured her in the blog up until now. Her popularity, like Yamaguchi's, was basically in the 70s....though several singles would come out until 1983. However, the first time I heard about her was that special (to me) 1981 Kohaku Utagassen when she performed her 36th (and 3rd-last) single, "This Is A 'Boogie'".

Released in September 1981, it looks like Sakurada was going a bit Manhattan Transfer with the 40s boogie-woogie sound. Her act stood out since her dance partner was the guy who had preceded her in the performance order, Toshiyuki Nishida (who sang "Moshimo Piano ga Hiketa Nara"). Now, knowing NHK, the double act was planned to the second, but it was still nice to see a bit of hamming it up on Nishida's side. Sakurada's appearance in the 1981 show was her 8th, her penultimate Kohaku before her final bow in 1982.

"This Is A 'Boogie'" was written by Toshiharu Jitsukawa(実川俊晴) and composed by Yuuichiro Oda(織田裕一郎) who also created a number of Seiko Matsuda's(松田聖子) songs such as "Aoi Sangosho"(青い珊瑚礁) and Ikue Sakakibara's(榊原郁恵) "Shining Love" (which also got onto the 1981 Kohaku).

Gonna have to explore some more of Junko's earlier hits.

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