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 10, 2014

Yujiro Ishihara & Junko Makimura -- Ginza no Koi no Monogatari (銀座の恋の物語)

"Ginza no Koi no Monogatari" (The Love Story of Ginza) is another bluesy Mood Kayo classic from yesteryear, this time courtesy of Yujiro Ishihara and Junko Makimura(石原裕次郎・牧村旬子). The saxophone and the woozy horns pull in those images of walking through the famous quarter of Tokyo among all the bars and clubs and neon back in the day. This was another old chestnut that I caught on tonight's NHK's "Omoide no Melody"(思い出のメロディー...The Melodies of Your Memories)special.

However, the original came out all the way back in January 1961 when the song was used in a Yujiro Ishihara movie "Machi kara Machi e Tsumuji Kaze"(街から街へつむじ風...Whirlwind From Street to Street), and subsequently became a huge hit for The Big Man, selling more than 3 million records (if only Oricon had existed back then). A little over a year after that movie, another Ishihara vehicle with the same title as the hit song came out with "Ginza no Koi no Monogatari" used this time as the main theme.

Supposedly even today, the song is still one of the go-to duet choices at karaoke boxes. So, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that "Ginza no Koi no Monogatari" has also been performed oodles of times by the pros as above. The video here has the late Mitsuko Mori and Tomokazu Miura (aka Momoe Yamaguchi's hubby) handling themselves very competently although the latter gets some very good help for the second round.

The first time that I can remember hearing the song was back on the 1981 Kohaku Utagassen when there was a fun segment involving some of the participants tackling some of the old duets. For "Ginza no Koi no Monogatari", I distinctly remember Toshihiko Tahara's (田原俊彦)voice but I had to look up J-Wiki to find out that Sayuri Ishikawa, Yuzo Kayama and Harumi Miyako (石川さゆり・加山雄三・都はるみ)were putting in their vocal contributions as well.

The ballad was written by Hisao Ohtaka(大高ひさを)and composed by Hajime Kaburagi(鏑木創).

And to add the finishing touch, here are some scenes from the movie "Ginza no Koi no Monogatari" via a karaoke video. On a teacher's salary, I never could afford to even breathe on the door to one of those glitzy nightclubs in Ginza, but I've heard my share of stories from some of my students who had access to the expense accounts even in post-Bubble Japan. Still, it's a nice area to walk through, day or night.

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