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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dick Mine -- Dinah (ダイナ)

Is there anyone finer
In the state of Carolina?
If there is and you know her,
Show her!

One of the verses from "Dinah". It was a song I used to hear almost daily when I was a kid since one of the talk shows that seemed to populate the airwaves from morning to night was Dinah Shore's programs, either "Dinah's Place" or "Dinah!" Of course, being that kid, I had assumed that the song had been made just for her.

Well, not so fast. Actually, it was a popular tune that had been published all the way back in 1925 (when Shore was just a kid herself) by Harry Akst, Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young for the show "The New Plantation" (thank you, Wiki). Ever since its first recording, it has become a standard covered by many jazz artists.

I was watching "Uta Kon" (うたコン) as usual last night and it was one of their expanded versions at 75 minutes with the theme being autumn, and although I didn't think any of the songs had too much of a fall feeling to them (it seemed to emphasize those regional songs), I was happy to hear that most of those kayo have already been covered in this blog. However, I was surprised to find out that Dick Mine's (ディック・ミネ) debut song from December 1934 was a cover of "Dinah".

Just before Dick Mine became known to Japan, he had been an unknown band singer, Tokuichi Mine(三根徳一), before he came across "Dinah", translated the lyrics by Lewis and Young under the pen name of Koichi Mine(三根耕一), called himself Dick Mine (the inspiration for that name can be found in this article) and sang it. His version became the first hit for Teichiku Records as well as for him. If the custom had existed back then, Mine probably would have dropped the mike intentionally.

If Sayuri Ishikawa(石川さゆり)ever got tired of enka, she could go into a more Western genre easily. In the Wikipedia article on "Dinah", there is even a section based on the Japanese versions of the standard. And personally, I know that the groovy band Sing Like Talking used the Django Reinhardt cover to start off one of my favourites by the band, "Together".


  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    That was quite a good song lineup on "Uta Kon" this week despite them not sticking to the intended theme - it kinda felt like a random mishmash of themes that night. I enjoyed the ryukoka segment though and thought the jazzy number "Dinah" was a nice addition. I can imagine Duke Aces giving "Dinah" a go, with Michio Tani (baritone) as lead vocals.

    1. Hi, Noelle. Good to hear from you again.
      Yeah, not exactly an autumn-based lineup despite the title but I'm not complaining at all. Some fine kayo there.

      I wouldn't be surprised if Duke Aces indeed had covered the song sometime in their long illustrious career.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.