The late kayo singer Frank Nagai（フランク永井）released a countless (or when it comes to me, too lazy to count) number of singles between 1955 and 1985 of which up Noelle and I have covered 10 up to now in the blog. Most of those 10 are his Mood Kayo contributions such as the classic "Tokyo Nightclub"（東京ナイト・クラブ）of 1959, and that's how I've seen this crooner: as that middle-aged fellow in a suit or a tux singing away in a smoke-filled club with a tumbler of whisky in his hand.
I know that in all likelihood though that Nagai has done his fair share of enka tunes and that is how I see this particular tune, his 7th single from February 1957, "Ichiman Sanzen Happyaku En" (13,800 Yen). Instead of the smoky nightclub and the tux, I see Nagai in something far more casual getting off work at either the office in the concrete building or in some shop in Ueno. With the jaunty down-at-home feeling of Ichiro Tone's（利根一郎）music (I can imagine some Bon Odori being performed to it), Seiichi Ida's（井田誠一）lyrics have Frank singing cheerfully about what to do with the titular amount of money that he now has in his pocket. Does he spend some of it on that drink at the local watering hole or take the family out to the zoo on Sunday? Considering those days, 13,800 yen must have been a very nice sum. Ah...decisions, decisions.
The above version was recorded by a YouTube uploader by the name of Peter Firth (and no, I don't think he's the British actor), and I think he's just fantastic singing his version of "Ichiman Sanzen Happyaku En". The arrangement sounds as if it had been performed by a particularly swinging chindon'ya（チンドン屋）band. These are the traditionally dressed street musicians who often walk around areas such as Asakusa promoting the opening of new shops or some sort of special discount. My hat is off to him!
What did 13,800 yen mean to me back in the day? Well, it used to mean 3 or 4 CDs or perhaps a nice full night on the town with friends at the izakaya followed by karaoke.