Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Maria Asahina -- Disco Gal （ディスコギャル）
I've discovered another one of those rare singles on YouTube. This time, it's Maria Asahina's（朝比奈マリア）"Disco Gal", and yup, it's pretty much as the title says. Glittery disco balls, bell-bottom pants and wide-lapeled leisure suits are all welcome to join in on the fun.
However, even before I saw the video on YouTube today, I kept seeing Maria Asahina on one page in "Japanese City Pop"...just another one of those singers that inhabited some place in the mysterious lower nine-tenths of my Japanese music iceberg. I had no idea who she was until I read her J-Wiki bio in which I found out that she is the Washington D.C.-born daughter of singer-actress Izumi Yukimura (雪村いづみ...who has her own entry here) and an Italian-American. She started life in the geinokai at the age of 15 years (1977) as a model before releasing one album, "MARIA", and two singles, her debut single being "Disco Gal" in 1979. The lyrics were provided by the prolific Michio Yamagami（山上路夫）who had also written for singers like Agnes Chan（アグネス・チャン）and Saori Yuki（由紀さおり）. Koichi Sugiyama（すぎやまこういち）took care of the disco music; he also composed the music for The Peanuts' "Koi no Fuuga"（恋のフーガ）and GARO's "Gakusei Gai no Kissaten"（学生街の喫茶店）, both classics of their decades.
Asahina has been a tarento and is currently an accessory designer.