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.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Aiko Hirano/Kazuko Matsuo/Saki Takaoka -- Kimi Mate Domo (君待てども)

During last week's NHK-broadcast special charity concert in Shizuoka Prefecture, I did hear a lovely bluesy ballad called "Kimi Mate Domo" which was originally sung by Aiko Hirano(平野愛子)in 1948. Written and composed by Tatsuzo Azuma(東辰三), it was a torch song about pining for that special someone who would probably never come or come back. The original recorded version has that old-fashioned stateliness.

(Sorry but the video has been taken down.)

However, to be honest, I have much preferred the later versions of "Kimi Mate Domo" since they have possessed more of that good time swing. And apparently it has been covered a number of times by a lot of different folks. Kazuko Matsuo(松尾和子), for example, gave her cover of the song in 1963. And that picture of her above sums her stylings on the song perfectly: as someone who is by herself for another night at the bar while sucking back on that cigarette. Plenty of atmosphere there as she seems happily resigned to her fate.

The big surprise for me is that actress Saki Takaoka(高岡早紀)has given her own sultry take on the song with the added English title "I'm Waiting For You". When I first knew her, it was as the buxom tarento on the variety show circuit, and Marcos V. has written about one of her early tunes as an aidoru, "Nemurenu Mori no Bishoujo"(眠れぬ森の美女)from 1988.

But it's been many since that song. And in 2013, she performed "Kimi Mate Domo" as the ending theme for one of her movies from that year, "Monster" where she played a woman who had undergone serious plastic surgery to escape from a horrific childhood of being bullied due to her facial deformities. I'm actually quite impressed with her vocals here. The song itself was a track on her album of standards, "Sings-Bedtime Stories" from October 2014.

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