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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.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dick Mine -- Yogiri no Blues (夜霧のブルース)


Ah, I love it when I'm able to see scenes that remind me of certain songs. That photo up there with its atmospheric lighting had me thinking of "Yogiri yo Konya mo Arigatou" (夜霧よ今夜も有難う). But what you see in the picture isn't light from the street lamps filtering through night fog, it's actually the haze from three nights ago when it was at its worst, and I wasn't particularly thankful for it. Nevertheless, the night scene it created was quite pretty despite being quite detrimental to one's health. The Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) close to or around 300 at that time, which caused quite a stir amongst the locals in Singapore since it usually doesn't get that bad. As for myself, I was just happy that my nose did not have any violent reactions to the air. Thankfully, it has gotten a lot clearer again in past couple of days, but I can't help but pity the folks in Indonesia, where the annual haze has been coming from, who have it a lot worse.


But anyway, since we're sort of on the topic of night fog, I'd like to write about another tune that concerns this natural phenomenon, "Yogiri no Blues". While more severe than "Yogiri yo Konya mo Arigatou" in terms of both its jazzy musical arrangement, with "Yogiri no Blues" having a more haunting sound brought to you by Tokujiro Okubo (大久保徳二郎), and the vocals of the singers - Yujiro's voice was lighter and laid back, Dick Mine's (ディク・ミネ) had more of a deep, guttural growl that sent shivers down my spine - it fits the bar scene very well. I can just imagine "Yogiri no Blues" being played in a quiet drinking establishment late at night, and listening to it is a work-worn salary man at the counter with a smoking cigarette in one hand and a glass of brandy in the other.

"Yogiri no Blues", released in 1947, was one of Mine's biggest hits and it allowed the jazz singer to regain his popularity after World War II, but surprisingly, Mine did not sing it during any of his 6 appearances on the Kohaku. Many covers of this song had been done by other singers as well, like Yujiro Ishihara (石原裕次郎), Frank Nagai (フランク永井), and Naomi Chiaki (ちあきなおみ). "Yogiri no Blues" was used in two movies; the first being "Jigoku no Kao" (地獄の顔) in 1947, which was set in Shanghai hence there are references to some spots from that city in Kinya Shimada's (島田磬也) lyrics. The second movie that used "Yogiri no Blues" as its theme song was also named "Yogiri no Blues", aired in 1963, and it starred Tough Guy - I think they used his rendition rather than the original though.




The video above has Yujiro's cover of "Yogiri no Blues". Yup, his delivery of this song is definitely a lot smoother and softer than Mine's. I don't have a favourite version as both are good in their own way.

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1 comment:

  1. Hello, Noelle.

    That's quite the interesting cover by The Tough Guy. I realize that he sang it from the early 60s, but I'm struck at how much smoother his voice sounded back then since I always remembered him as the whiskey-&-cigarettes guy. But his version was also quite mournful...and yet, the intro has that no-nonsense feel...just the thing for The Big Man.

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