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, April 19, 2017

Peggy Hayama -- Que Sera Sera (ケ・セラ・セラ)

I caught "Uta Kon" (うたコン) on NHK for the first time in a couple of weeks since last week I had to put out a fire in terms of my work. The theme for the episode was songs of spring. However, I was surprised to hear the news right off the bat from the hosts that singer and tarento Peggy Hayama(ペギー葉山)passed away at the age of 83 last week on April 12th due to pneumonia.

Just late last month, I had put up my first article on her on "Kayo Kyoku Plus", "Gakusei Jidai"(学生時代)which was released in 1964. But she had actually been singing since 1952, and as was the case with other singers during those days, she sang a mix of kayo and covers of English-language songs.

One of the latter was the cover of what is arguably Doris Day's theme song "Que Sera Sera".  The original, which was created by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and then recorded by Day in 1956 for the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Man Who Knew Too Much", was also given its Japanese version by Takashi Otowa(音羽たかし)for Hayama to sing.

"Que Sera Sera" became another hit for Hayama who then sang it on the 7th Kohaku Utagassen in 1956, her 3rd appearance on the program.

Being somewhat of a sentimental softie deep inside, I chose "Que Sera Sera" for tonight since the song was one of the first I remember as a toddler. I distinctly remember seeing the opening credits for "The Doris Day Show" (1968-1973) on TV which featured the song as the theme. And my mother actually bought me a record of Doris Day songs for children.

Just to finish off, I discovered something rather interesting about Takashi Otowa. The name was actually a pseudonym of sorts used by directors at King Records whenever they translated a song into Japanese. However, unlike Hollywood directors who would use the name Alan Smithee to disown a movie they made but under duress, there was no intent of protest with the use of Takashi Otowa.

According to J-Wiki, the managing director for King Records, Go Makino(牧野剛), was one of the staffers who took on the Otowa name to provide the Japanese words for Hayama's "Que Sera Sera".


  1. I didn't know there is a Japanese version. it sounds natural to me.

    1. Hi, May. Good to hear from you.

      A lot of the singers from the 50s and 60s tended to do covers from the Great American Songbook. They still get performed from time to time on the music shows.


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