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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Michiru Jo -- Iruka ni Notta Shonen (イルカにのった少年)

It's Tuesday night, so of course it was another night for NHK's "Kayo Concert" on Japan TV. The theme was the summer and the sea, so some of the oldies-but-goodies such as "Miserarete"(魅せられて)by Judy Ongg and "Juu-Nana Sai"(17才)by Ai Nishida (originally by Saori Minami) were performed on the stage. But there was also the live location shoot at a marine resort where a middle-aged fellow performed his song with the background of flipping dolphins.

To be honest, I had never of the fellow, Michiru Jo(城みちる), before. But he made quite the splash (oops) when he debuted as a 16-year-old aidoru. When I saw the video above, I couldn't quite tell whether Michiru was a guy or a gal (so it was lucky that I got to see him as the older fellow tonight), but his team certainly made him look like quite the fop back in the early 70s. His debut song was "Iruka ni Notta Shonen" (Boy on a Dolphin) from December 1973. Just from how the tune sounded, I had wondered if it had been the theme song for an anime or a tokusatsu but it was actually just a plain single whose title was settled by the president of Jo's entertainment company, Jun Nagara(長良じゅん), since he was a big fan of a movie titled "Chinbotsusen Senshu no Iruka ni Notta Shonen no Zou"(沈没船船首のイルカに乗った少年の像...The Statue of A Boy On A Dolphin On The Sunken Ship's Bow). In any case, the song has that heroic beat to it, and in a way, it reminds me of an early Hiromi Go(郷ひろみ)entry as well.

Written by Satomi Sugi(杉さとみ)and composed by Shosuke Ichikawa(市川昭介)under his pen name of Akira Hayashi(林あきら), "Iruka ni Notta Shonen" became a huge hit for Jo, selling half a million records although I couldn't find out how high it went on Oricon. Some 3 years and 10 singles later, Jo decided to take a break from show business for about a decade to help out his family and get some post-secondary education under his belt, but then returned in the mid-80s as a tarento.

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