|He was really cute... Still is now, but a different sort of cute.|
Alright, I'm pretty sure that back in mid-60's, many ladies who preferred the nice guys to the bad boys would have loved to be with the Wakadaisho. But who can blame them? He was good-looking, had a nice body tanned from all the beach activities, had a bright, winning smile with perfect teeth, musically-inclined, and the list goes on. So there's no prize for guessing that many would "volunteer as tribute" - never watched "The Hunger Games" and this is the only thing I know from it - when Yuzo Kayama's (加山雄三) "O-Yome ni Oide" was played on radios throughout Japan back in the day.
Considering the jaunty Hawaiian music and the lyrics that have him proposing marriage to some lucky girl, the young Kayama seems a tad serious and awkward in the video above. And then again, it's Kayama, whom I learnt tends to be more stiff when it comes to... well, stuff like this, and not someone like Akira Kobayashi (小林旭) or Yujiro Ishihara (石原裕次郎), who were from the same league as the Wakadaisho but were most likely be smirking at the camera and making people swoon. But I suppose it does give the flirty ditty an element of earnestness. Combined with that garden setting in that performance, it reminds me of those movie scenes where the main character is serenading his special one who's perching at an opened window in her room, listening intently and enchanted by the romantic albeit rather cliche gesture.
"O-Yome ni Oide" was released on 15th June 1966 and had its lyrics done by Tokiko Iwatani (岩谷時子) and the very catchy melody by Kayama himself under his pen name Dan Kosaku (弾厚作). Being one of his many successes, I get to hear this often on his medleys - not that I mind as I like it a lot and the new, fuller arrangement of this song makes it much cooler and funky. Kayama only sung this once on his 8th Kohaku appearance in 1981 as the 2nd song to his "Wakadaisho Hit Medley".
If you're wondering where I got these pictures of shirtless Kayama-s at the beach, they're from the lyric booklet from his album "Hawaii no Kyujitsu" (ハワイの休日), or "Holiday in Hawaii", that came out at the same time as "O-Yome ni Oide", which happens to be it's first track. I found it in Taiwan together with many more of the Wakadaisho's older albums. I got 3 of them, including "Holiday in Hawaii"; they all have Kayama at the beach.
|Here's one more. There are others, but I'll save them for|