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, May 15, 2016

Yukio Hashi -- Ame no Naka no Futari (雨の中の二人)

It was only for a very brief period this afternoon but we actually had a snow shower today. Yes, snow in May. What's the phrase I always like to use about Toronto weather?: predictably unpredictable. Well, in any case, it was brief. It's now sunny if unseasonably cold...we're only up to 6 degrees Celsius today.

Time for a another precipitation-based kayo today. However, it is not on snow but on rain...what we should be having this time of year. I heard this on today's edition of NHK's "Nodo Jiman"(のど自慢). My memory sparked at this old chestnut since it is one of my childhood oldies from the old wooden stereo. It has one of those distinctive melodies that I can remember clearly but I couldn't find out who sang it or what it was called.

It figures then that it was sung by Yukio Hashi(橋幸夫)since another one of my earliest musical memories was one of his other singles released some months down the line called "Muhyo"(霧氷). "Ame no Naka no Futari" (A Couple in the Rain) was released back in January 1966 as his 75th single (man, those singers really shot out those releases like a Gatling gun back then), and like that later single, there is a certain haunting stateliness to "Ame no Naka no Futari" thanks to the background chorus supporting Hashi. What is also striking about the ballad is the use of the violins which help make it sound somewhat like a R&B tune from the 1950s or 1960s although it is a Mood Kayo. Just the way those bows rapidly swished across the strings seared itself into my memory forever.

Written by Tetsuo Miyagawa(宮川哲夫)and composed by Ichiro Tone(利根一郎), "Ame no Naka no Futari" is a pretty dramatic tune to describe that romantic walk under an umbrella. In fact, one of the things I learned while teaching in Gunma Prefecture is that that a line drawing of an umbrella with two names written underneath was the Japanese sign of romance, and of course, the trope has been used to death in just about every anime. The song was also the theme tune for a movie of the same name starring Hashi himself.

My personal memory of the record that was played on the old RCA Victor was that the disc was probably warped in some way since it often got stuck on a groove until my Dad nudged the needle a bit.

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