Yes, folks, welcome to June! I hope wherever you are, you are getting some of that fine summery weather. No, not the torrid stuff that melts tires, ice cream...and you...into sludge but the sunny warm and dry days that keep folks like me quite happy. As it was today in Toronto.
For my first entry of June 2016 in "Kayo Kyoku Plus", I'm going with an interesting entry that I had been wanting to write for some weeks but never got around to until now. I saw the performance on NHK's old "Kayo Concert"（歌謡コンサート）earlier this year and was quite charmed with the dynamic 60s/70s-ness of it.
This would be "Naomi no Yume" (I Dream of Naomi) by the duo of Hedva & David（ヘドバとダビデ）. Recently, there have been a number of singers originally from other countries who have been making inroads into J-Pop, but there was also a similar phenomenon in the late 60s and early 70s...one example of which was Hide & Rosanna（ヒデとロザンナ）with their "Ai no Kiseki"（愛の奇跡）in 1968.
Hedva Amrani and David Rosenthal, according to their bio in Wikipedia and J-Wiki, were a singing duo from Israel who made their debut in 1965 but it was closer to the end of the decade when they hit it big with a song that was supposedly produced for a coffee commercial in their native land. As it was known there, "Ani Holem Al Naomi" by Tirzah Atar and David Krivoshai had this certain punch like a good cup of coffee. And apparently, Hedva & David thought it good enough to enter it in the 1st Yamaha Song Festival in 1970. I'm not sure whether Kazuko Katagiri's（片桐和子）Japanese lyrics had already been placed into the song which would become known in Japan as "Naomi no Yume" when the two performed it at the festival but it won them the Grand Prize.
By January 1971, it was released as their first official single (actually, Hedva & David had become known as early as 1967 when their song "Aishuu no Jerusalem"「哀愁のイエルサレム」 was released as a B-side to an A-side by a completely different singer). I don't know how well it did on the Oricon weeklies but it actually finished the year as the 5th-ranked single! And yet, it didn't make it on the Kohaku Utagassen for some reason. I couldn't see why not. It sounded like this go-go boot-friendly number that could have made for a fine theme song for not just a Japanese coffee ad but also for any tongue-in-cheek spy show featuring a girl named Naomi. Still, getting that ranking of No. 5 is nothing to cry about either. According to Hedva's own website, the single sold over a million copies. Hedva & David probably did become household words in Japan for most of that year at least. The single, by the way, had the Japanese version as the A-side while the B-side contained the original song.
In the summer of 2015, Hedva returned to Japan to perform "Naomi no Yume" on the annual "Omoide no Melody"（思い出のメロディー）special on NHK. Her partner that time was enka singer Keisuke Yamauchi (sadly, David had already passed away from a drug overdose).