Well, I noticed that the Kahoku Kohiruimaki（小比類巻かほる）YouTube channel had added a new entry into its store of videos so I checked it out. It was called "Shiokaze no Love Call" (Sea Breeze Love Call) which which seemed to have been inspired through the usual kit-bashing of kayo title tropes at the time. I never heard of this one before...at least the title, so I figured it must have been one of Kohhy's very early B-sides or an album track.
Then, I heard it. Lightning struck!
Decades back, during my university days, I had heard this very song on either some compilation tape without checking out who was on it or on a tape that I had borrowed from a like-minded friend. Afterwards, I realized that both the song and the singer sounded awfully familiar.
I had already known about Kohiruimaki through what was arguably her first big hit, "Hold On Me" from 1987. And listening to "Shiokaze no Love Call", that delivery, I mused at the time, sounded just like Kohhy but I just couldn't be sure. Time flew by so the mystery of the identity gradually flew from my mind.
As it is, "Shiokaze no Love Call" was a B-side to the singer's debut single from October 1985, "Never Say Good-Bye" and now getting confirmation about who sung it, I can hear the beginnings of that husky voice which would later characterize her. I think she must have been all of 18 when she released this one.
I did say the song sounded familiar. Well, that is because Kohhy sang a cover of "Just As I Am" by the Australian soft rock duo Air Supply. That song also came out in 1985. Rob Hegel and Dick Wagner were responsible for the original music but Kohiruimaki herself took care of the Japanese lyrics.
Mystery happily and completely solved.