I only got as far as Sapporo when I made my trip up to Hokkaido several years ago. In fact, I think a good chunk of Kenichi Mikawa's（美川憲一）music made more headway throughout Japan than I ever did unfortunately. But then again, wanderlust was never a strong point with me. In any case, I'm in a bit of a Mood Kayo mood tonight and just felt like adding another one of Mikawa's geographical songs onto the blog.
So far, I've got "Yanagase Blues"（柳ヶ瀬ブルース）and "Niigata Blues"（新潟ブルース）covered, so here is "Kushiro no Yoru" (Night In Kushiro) giving tribute to that other city in Japan's northernmost prefecture. Hideo Usa（宇佐英雄）, who had also taken care of "Yanagase Blues" for Mikawa, was also responsible for the music and lyrics of his 11th single from July 1968. That languid melody with the melancholy sax and the deep voice of the singer are back but lyrically unlike those two aforementioned ballads, "Kushiro no Yoru" doesn't have Mikawa languishing over a lost love but has him taking the woman's role as the resentful heroine alternately admonishes and pleads for her lover to show a little more caring and a lot less coldness.
By the time "Kushiro no Yoru" came out, it looks like Oricon had just been born, so the song managed to get as high as No. 5 and sold about 445,000 records.More importantly, Mikawa got his first invitation to appear on the Kohaku Utagassen with Kyu Sakamoto（坂本九）doing the introductions of this "new face". It was interesting watching the above video as a very serious-looking Mikawa stepped up to the mike to perform the song in a tuxedo considering all the years that I saw him unhesitantly unleash his often snarky remarks on television.