Ah, I really do love watching the Mood Kayo-themed episodes on "Kayo Concert", last night's one was no exception. That's when some of the geriatric Mood Kayo All Stars make their rare and much anticipated (by me) appearance on this music program to sing hits from way back in the 50's, 60's and 70's when the genre was at its peak of popularity, some of which have already been profiled on this blog. For this week's episode, the All Stars that performed were Los Primos, Los Indios and Masayoshi Tsuruoka & Tokyo Romantica (鶴岡雅義と東京ロマンチカ). Unfortunately no Mahina Stars or Happy & Blue's former lead singer, Hideo Morimoto (森本英世), like last year, but oh well. I was actually hoping that it would be like last year's episode where not a single performer was below the age of 50 - that was a lot's of fun to watch.
Coming to today's main topic, I've decided to write about Tokyo Romantica's "Kimi wa Kokoro mo Tsuma dakara", which is a staple when it comes to these Mood Kayo-themed episodes. It's quiet and haunting in terms of its music, done by Tsuruoka. The notes from the acoustic guitar gives it an air of mystery too. Then we have Masato Sanjo's (三条正人) fruity and heartbreaking vocals that make this song sound extra melancholic; I can't help but think of some poor sap staring despondently into his brandy/sake as he struggles to deal with his problems (lady trouble, perhaps?) when this song comes up. But Rei Nakanishi's (なかにし礼) lyrics seem to tell a different story. From what I gather, our lead is trying to comfort his wife (I think, I'm not sure if the wife mentioned in the title is literal or figurative), assuring her that he loves her and that they'll see each other again. Such a scenario brings to mind another classic from this genre, "Nakanaide" (泣かないで), by the Mahina Stars.
To be frank, when I first encountered "Kimi wa Kokoro mo Tsuma dakara" via monomane talent Korokke's (コロッケ) shenanigans close to two years ago, before I even knew anything about this genre, I did not like it at all due to its sluggish pace. I had half the mind to skip it and move on to something more lively, but stayed because his impression of Sanjo that, while not particularly spot on and heavily exaggerated as I had learnt after watching the man himself sing, was pretty amusing. Over time and many viewings of that same video - it had his other performances as well - the tune slowly grew on me. However, I must admit that I still have to be in a more patient state of mind if I want to appreciate it.
"Kimi wa Kokoro mo Tsuma dakara" was Tokyo Romantica's 10th single that came out on 5th March 1969. Besides "Otaru no Hito yo" (小樽のひとよ), it's one of their most successful singles, selling around 500 000 copies. The group sang this song two times on the Kohaku, first was in 1969 (2nd appearance) and the next was in 1973 (6th and last appearance).
You know, the thing that bugs me the most about these Mood Kayo groups is that they hardly, if ever, look cool when posing for the single covers. I think it's because there are just too many of them.
Just a little fun fact to round things up for this article: Tsuruoka (leader and guitarist of Tokyo Romantica) was one of renowned enka composer Masao Koga's (古賀政男) students. Why am I not surprised?