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.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Teppei Shibuya -- Deep

Glad I found the above video since it has the opening credits to my old favourite Thursday night variety program on Fuji-TV, "Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Desu"(とんねるずのみなさんのおかげです...Tunnel's Thanks to Everyone)back in the late 80s. And it also has a long-running gag that was part and parcel of the show from time to time. I didn't understand the bit at all when I first used to see it, but as anyone who has seen the show, Japanese pop cultural references flew quick and thick there. The Tunnels and the guest of the week would be in the middle of one of their zany and often bawdy sketches when suddenly some youngish guy and backing dancers would pop in and perform a fast nutty number called "Deep" and just as rapidly run out of camera view. I'd thought it was just something Taka and Nori whipped up during the course of the show.

Nope, I was wrong. But I didn't come to that realization until I wrote the article about Pink Lady's cover of The Village People's "In The Navy" last month, and gradually discovered that there was this fellow by the name of Teppei Shibuya (渋谷哲平...the youngish guy) who had not only done his own version of "In The Navy" but also earlier released this song "Deep" as his 3rd single all the way back in July 1978 as a 17-year-old.

Teppei Shibuya, whose real name is Shigenori Shibuya(澁谷 恵紀), hails from Yokohama and debuted as a male aidoru with "Asahi ni Mukatte"(朝日に向かって...Turn to The Morning Sun)in February 1978. But it was "Deep" that became his biggest and only hit with Takashi Matsumoto and Shunichi Tokura (松本隆・都倉俊一)behind its creation. However, I don't think it was that song on vinyl that delivered the goods. There was also that insanely goofy yet bonenkai-friendly dancing that helped pushed the song ahead, and it was probably that choreography that got Shibuya as the running gag on the Tunnels' show. "Deep" managed to get as high as No. 52 on the weekly charts (sold 40,000 records) and earned the singer The Best Newcomer's Prize on the annual Japan Record Awards.

Although Shibuya's singing career only lasted as long as September 1982 with 18 singles and 10 albums (including a BEST album in 2010), he has had a much longer lasting stint as an actor from 1981 up to last year so far.

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