Out of all the accomplished songwriters I'm aware of, I find that Masaaki Hirao(平尾昌晃) is the one with the best singing voice. Others like Tetsuya Gen (弦哲也) and Keisuke Hama (浜圭介) don't have shabby vocals either, but Hirao's seems to be more versatile and is able to hit the high notes easily, as I've noticed in probably his best known single "Hoshi wa Nandemo Shiteiru" (The stars know everything).
As mentioned in an earlier article on Haruo Oka's (岡晴夫) "Akogare no Hawaii Koro" (憧れのハワイ航路), I was lucky enough to chance upon this pack of 4 CDs filled with old tunes ranging from the late 30's (1939) to the 60's late last year. And as I browsed through the lists to pick out anything/anyone familiar, "Hoshi wa Nandemo Shiteiru" appeared as one of the last tracks to one of the CDs with Hirao's name beside it. At that point in time, I had no inkling as to how this song sounded like but I recognized the singer as the one behind the music to many of Hiroshi Itsuki's hits.
As I listened to "Hoshi wa Nandemo Shiteiru", I had assumed that its music that makes me think of someone looking up and contemplatively gazing at the dark starry sky - in the version I listen to, that is - was composed by Hirao himself. It was only after doing some research on the song as I wrote this article did I discover that it was done by Yo/Hiroshi Tsutsumi (津々美洋... I'm not sure how to pronounce his name), and the score from the original recording sounded quite Western, as in like the Wild West Western. Turns out "Hoshi wa Nandemo Shiteiru" was released in 1958, the year Hirao debuted and during his rockabilly days before he started composing. The lyrics were by Tetsu Mizushima (水島哲). Also, in the version I have - probably a new self-cover since it sounds more modern - he says his little monologue at the beginning rather than in the middle of the song.