After a few weeks off for the New Year's break, NHK's "Kayo Concert"（歌謡コンサート）came back on tonight, so Tuesday night entries on "Kayo Kyoku Plus" can be about the enka/Mood Kayo once again. With a festival theme for the first show of 2016, I'd have to say that just about all the guests on stage as they were singing Sabu-chan's "Matsuri"（まつり）sounded as if there was more than just tea in the Green (Midori?) Room. Good heavens...Aki Yashiro（八代 亜紀）was bopping about like a cheerleader for her contribution of "Onna Minato Machi"（おんな港町）.
Moving on...there was another one of those songs on tonight's episode that sparked off some dusty old engrams in the memory. Yes, "Koi wo Suru nara" can be categorized as an old kayo from my toddler-hood. The handsomely beautiful Keisuke Yamauchi（山内 恵介）covered it tonight but it was originally sung by Yukio Hashi（橋幸夫）whom I now consider not just an enka singer but an overall kayo generalist. He has done sweet pop reminiscent of music from decades earlier and the moodiest of Mood Kayo along with the usual enka ballads.
"Koi wo Suru nara" (If You're In Love), though, sounds almost as if it were flirting with Group Sounds and a bit of nightclub Latin. Released in August 1964 as a Hashi single, it was written by Takao Saeki（佐伯孝夫）and composed by Tadashi Yoshida（吉田正）, it was also the theme song for the movie "Kodoku"（孤独...Loneliness）starring Hashi in the same year.
There are a couple of reasons that I was able to remember the song. One is Hashi's relatively higher-pitched and nasal vocals and the other is the part in the lyrics where the singer is putting forth some basic vowel sounds. Definitely helps out in karaoke. Plus the melody is sparky enough to have at least some listeners hop on the floor to do the Twist (I'm just theorizing here).
Of course, being the early 1960s, there was no Oricon which meant no rankings but it was successful enough that Hashi was able to come onto the 15th Kohaku Utagassen in 1964 for his 5th appearance to perform "Koi wo Suru Nara".
And according to J-Wiki, the song has found some traction overseas in nations like Taiwan and Singapore where it has been covered. Even Teresa Teng（テレサテン）covered it during the early days of her career.