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.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Koji Tsuruta -- Machi no Sandwich man (街のサンドイッチマン )

As much as I would've liked to hear the Meatball Sub and Philly Cheese Steak or any kind of sandwich in existance being mentioned in Koji Tsuruta's (鶴田浩二) "Machi no Sandwich man", this song has got nothing to do with the food itself and 'Sandwich man' is just a term for a human billboard...bummer. Nevertheless, it still makes me envision a hoagie every time I listen to it.

I came across this song just about a week ago while feeling bored and a little more adventurous in the music department. While on this YouTube channel by the name of 'subaru enka' that uploads Enka and Kayokyoku from the 50's (or even farther back) to the 70's from time to time, I decided to just pick a random video from the unfamiliar lot and listen to it, and hopefully like it. So I ended up choosing Tsuruta's first big hit (unbeknownst to me yet) since I recognize the fellow's name and the title sounded fascinating.

The 1979 performance I first watched.

"Machi no Sandwich man" occurred to me as quite a catchy, slightly jazzy tune with the trumpets, the sharp, high notes of the violin (I think), and the prominent bass in the background, or at least it does in the 1979 version where I had first heard of the song. The original from 1953 doesn't have such a full arrangement, and it sounds a little like one of those Disney tracks from the 50's... I can just see one of those walking brooms/mops marching away to this. It was composed by Yoshida Tadashi and written by Tetsuo Miyagawa (吉田正.宮川哲夫).

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