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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Golden Half -- Chotto Matte Kudasai (チョット・マッテ・クダサイ)/Kiiroi Sakuranbo (黄色いサクランボ)

As I've mentioned before, "Kayo Kyoku Plus" has been a joy for me since I can talk with other like-minded folks about our mutual love for the kayo, but at the same time, I've also been able to discover some of the new up-and-comers and the forgotten singers from yesteryear along with some interesting history.

I encountered another example of the latter some days ago. Cannot remember for certain but I think on one of the past "Uta Kon" (うたコン) shows, one of the guests performed "Kiiroi Sakuranbo" (Yellow Cherry), an old pop ditty that had originally been done by the trio Three Cats back in 1959 but was covered in 1970 as a debut single for the aidoru group Golden Half (ゴールデン・ハーフ).

Now I will get to that cover later on but I wanted to write a bit about the group itself since its gimmick as their name will hint at was that all of the female members were biracial...half-Japanese and half another nationality. Starting off with 5 women when "Kiiroi Sakuranbo" was released, by the time Golden Half released their 10th and final single in 1974, the group was reduced to a trio.

The lineup in the beginning was Eva Maria Vasquez, Maria Mori, Luna Takamura(高村ルナ), Yumi Kobayashi(小林ユミ)and Eri Ishiyama(石山エリー). The last two members were the ones who had left before the final breakup with Ishiyama departing soon after the release of  "Kiiroi Sakuranbo".

Their 5th single from December 1971 was "Chotto Matte Kudasai" (Never Say Goodbye), a nice little ballad that was a cover of a single by singer Sam Kapu Jr. from earlier in the year. The Golden Half cover seems to have a bit more of a Bacharach feeling to it. Loyal Garner and Jeanne Nakashima created the song with Osamu Katori(香取治)providing Japanese lyrics.

In the same year, there was yet another version released by a duo known as Geminesse (ジェミネス) who were twin Japanese-Brazilian sisters. I couldn't find much information at all on them...not even their names. Not surprisingly, their version has a bit more bossa nova.

This final video is Golden Half's version of "Kiiroi Sakuranbo".

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