For some reason, I always manage to confuse Mood Kayo crooner Frank Nagai's (フランク 永井) "Kiriko no Tango" with Jazz singer Dick Mine's (ディック・ミネ) "Yogiri no Blues" (夜霧のブルース). I think may be due to both songs having the character "Kiri" (霧) and "no" (の) in it, so at one quick glance, I'd assume one was the other until the song starts playing.
As the name implies, "Kiriko no Tango" sounds very Tango-esque with its steady, rhythmic beat and trumpets, and elegant strings, there seems to be some accordion in it too. Together with Nagai's lovely baritone, it really makes me imagine a couple doing... well, the Tango under some soft lighting. It was composed and written by Tadashi Yoshida (吉田正), and it can't get anymore Latin Mood Kayo than that! Whereas "Yogiri no Blues", which I have only just listened to while writing this, is not as upbeat; it's your typical Jazz Mood Kayo that sounds perfect to listen to at a quiet bar while having a drink.
Anyway, before actually listening to the original a few weeks back, I had come across various "Kiriko no Tango" covers. One of those would be by singer-actor Makoto Fujita (藤田まこと), who seems to sing Nagai's hits quite often. Though his throaty delivery is not as smooth as the man himself, it still is quite a good effort, and his voice still sends shivers down my spine - the good type - when he hits the low notes, like at the start. Man, I wish he were still alive. It'd be great to see him on shows like "Kayo Concert".
Speaking of "Kayo Concert", the theme for last week's episode was dancing songs. It was a pretty good episode with Yukio Hashi (橋幸夫) singing "Koi no Mexican rock" (恋のメキシカンロック) and Teruhiko Saigo (西郷輝彦), "Hoshi no Flamenco" (星のフラメンコ), and of course "Kiriko no Tango" was being sung, this time by Kiyoshi Maekawa (前川清). Of all weeks he had to appear during the week I was off on vacation... Well, I had the episode recorded to watch it when I got back, but still, I much prefer watching it live on Tuesday nights while melting into the couch. And I don't know why I expected him to move more, I suppose it's because of the nature of the song. Instead he just did his usual shtick of standing there motionless like a pillar with that unamused look on his face.
"Kiriko no Tango" was released in 1962, and it seems pretty successful, judging by the number of times it's being sung by other singers.