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.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mari Sono -- Aitakute, Aitakute (逢いたくて逢いたくて)/ The Peanuts -- Teami no Kutsushita (手編みの靴下)

Over the past few years, I've covered two-thirds of the Spark Sannin Musume, the three female singers who were the darlings of Japanese variety TV in the 1960s. There were Yukari Ito(伊東ゆかり)and Mie Nakao(中尾ミエ), and then there was Mari Sono(園まり). Of the three Musume, Sono is the one that I've known the least about, but to give a brief summary, she was born in Yokohama in 1944 as Mariko Sonobe(薗部毬子and had her first taste of public performing through participation in children chorus groups in the 1950s before winning a championship on TV in 1960 and then making her professional debut in 1962. It wasn't too long after that she got teamed up with Ito and Nakao to become the Spark Sannin Musume.

In January 1966, her 19th single was released under the title of "Aitakute Aitakute" (I Really Want To See You). A ballad of longing, I could probably see a lot of hardworking salarymen puffing on their cigarettes and sighing wistfully at their local watering holes while listening to this one. As Sono sang about desiring to meet her man at last (with a lot of those guys more than happy to answer her summons), that trumpet was the cherry on top of the sundae. It would also be the same for Sono since it would be a huge hit and one of her trademark songs. In fact, by June of that year, she would find herself playing a singer in a movie with the same title as the hit song. Then later, she would make her 2nd appearance on the Kohaku Utagassen.

The interesting thing is that "Aitakute, Aitakute" also had a previous incarnation as a ballad by The Peanuts back in 1962. Known back then as "Teami no Kutsushita" (Hand Knit Socks), this was the twins' 7th single from December of that year. Hiroshi Miyagawa(宮川泰)was behind the basic melody and his frequent songwriting partner, Tokiko Iwatani(岩谷時子)took care of the lyrics for this ballad and the totally different words for "Aitakute, Aitakute". The original Peanuts version sounded more whimsical than the more tenderhearted take by Sono. Still, both versions are chock-filled with that sepia-coloured nostalgia.

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