Credits

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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Teiichi Futamura/Frank Nagai -- Kimi Koishi (君恋し)


Another deep dip into the musical vault of time here. A couple of weeks ago on an episode of "Kayo Concert"(歌謡コンサート), there was a rendition of a song called "Kimi Koishi" (I Miss You) which had that finger-snapping rhythm of a cool Mood Kayo from way back, so I decided to look it up. Well, it looks like I had to go further back in time.

"Kimi Koishi" started life in the early 1920s as a kayo kyoku, or ryūkōka(流行歌...popular song)as it was known back then, written and composed by Kouka Sassa(佐々紅華). However, the following year, lyricist Otowa Shigure(時雨音羽)provided new words with the prominent jazz singer Teiichi Futamura(二村定一)supposedly recording it. However, no surviving records of that recording exist and apparently it was never put on sale. But later in the decade, Futamura finally made another recording which did get released in December 1928. Shigure whipped up a new batch of lyrics but the original composer Sassa just asked that the original line of "kimi koishi" be retained in this version. Meanwhile, just before this version went on sale, Futamura declared that he would include "Kimi Koishi" in the song list for his Asakusa show, the "Denki Kan Review", and it went on to become one of the big hits in his career.

There is a lot of scratch on the old record in the video but if you listen carefully, the arranger Ichiro Ida/Ita(井田一郎)put in near the end an excerpt of "Home Sweet Home", a song that I used to hear all the time on those Warner Brothers cartoons with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. And according to the J-Wiki article, Ida arranged it so that it was set lightly to the rhythm of the foxtrot which was the popular dance at the time.



The version I heard on "Kayo Concert" was the Frank Nagai(フランク永井)version. Released in 1961, the Man of Mood Kayo gave it a bar-friendly swinging delivery with a good amount of oomph. I wonder if he ever performed it with a hat worn rakishly over his head with a trench coat slung over his shoulder a la another Frank...Sinatra. This also became a hit for Nagai, and it earned him the Grand Prize at the 3rd Annual Japan Record Awards. Enjoy it on the rocks!


2 comments:

  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    Wow, I never knew "Kimi koishi" originated that far back in history! I just assumed that it was Nagai who had sung it first since this song is so closely associated with him. Listening to the two versions, I still prefer Nagai's one, especially in terms of its music and also vocal delivery. I also realised after hearing Futamura's voice that singers from way back then like him, Dick Mine and Haruo Oka had this very odd way of singing that I no longer hear in later days.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Noelle.

      Yeah, for me, I also prefer the Nagai version since it's so swinging (I'm a Sinatra fan as well). As for the original Futamura recording, I think the way Futamura, Oka and Mine sang back then was similar to the way some of those American balladeers sang at around the same time in the 20s...nasally and resonant.

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