I was going through my Dad's 45" collection when I came across that familiar face of Kiyoko Suizenji （水前寺清子）beaming on the cover. The song she was representing there was her debut, "Namida wo Daita Wataridori" (Migrating Birds Holding The Tears) from October 1964 (although the version that I have is a 1972 re-issue). When I played it on the TEAC, "Namida wo Daita Wataridori" once again jogged my long-term memory as Cheetah's piercing voice came through the headphones. It was yet another oldie from my childhood.
Written by Tetsuro Hoshino (星野哲郎...under the pseudonym of Megumu Arita), who later wrote the theme song to "Tora-san" and Suizenji's own crowd-rousing "San-Byaku Roku-Juu-Go Ho no March"（三百六十五歩マーチ）, and composed by Shosuke Ichikawa (市川昭介...under his own alias of Yutaka Izumi), the lyrics made me wonder if this would also have been a fitting song for the aforementioned wandering salesman Tora-san, as Suizenji sings about traveling from place to place like the birds in the title but never quite finding that significant other.
Oricon didn't exist back in the mid-60s but Suizenji's debut single made an impact since she was later invited to the 1965 Kohaku Utagassen for the very first time in what would be a long series of appearances on the NHK special. She certainly made an impression on the stage that night as she brought that swagger and brio in her performance.
Now, as for the Cheetah nickname....I had always thought that it was given to her as a tribute to her power as a singer in comparison with the famed animal from Africa. Well, count me wrong on that score. According to J-Wiki, her birth name was Tamiko Hayashida（林田民子）, and songwriter Hoshino, before Suizenji's debut, derived the nickname as an abbreviation of his declaration "Chiisai Tami-chan no kimochi wo wasurenai you ni"（ちいさいたみちゃんの気持ちを忘れないように...So that you don't forget little Tami's feelings）.