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 20, 2017

Teruko Akatsuki -- Minnesota no Tamago Uri(ミネソタの卵売り)

I've liked eggs since I was little but had always preferred that they be so hard-boiled or hard-fried that I would have to chisel out the yolks. Perhaps another weird thing for Japanese readers is that I like putting soy sauce on them instead of salt or ketchup. Over the years though, I've mellowed out over the hardness. I can even take them fairly soft in any way that they are cooked. But I will still reject raw eggs as much I can without offending any host; I won't even have them with my sukiyaki.

The above was to have me segue eventually into the song of this article. First off, the NTV variety show, the long-running "Shoten"(笑点), often had one of the rakugo comedians Kikuo Hayashiya(林家木久扇)in his doltish persona do his running gag of singing something that involved him clucking like a chicken (in Japanese, of course). Kokokoko Kokekko, indeed!

I found out earlier on Sunday afternoon via a performance on NHK's "Nodo Jiman"(のど自慢)that Hayashiya's running gag was once a true song titled "Minnesota no Tamago Uri" (Minnesota Egg Seller). It was performed by the later singer-actress Teruko Akatsuki(暁テル子)back in February 1951.

Now I have no idea how songwriters Takao Saeki and Ichiro Tone(佐伯孝夫・利根一郎)came up with a bustling tune about this brash and confident seller of eggs in The Land of 10,000 Lakes. One Japanese fellow on Yahoo even posed the question about its origins but the only answer to come back was that Saeki and Tone probably made the song as a silly gag. Heck, I even checked the Wikipedia entry for the state of Minnesota, the fictional home of Mary Richards, and there was nothing in there that said that the 32nd State was a major supplier of eggs in the United States.

Anyways "Minnesota no Tamago Uri" was another hit in Akatsuki's discography, and the song itself reminds me of the big band brassiness of Shizuko Kasagi's(笠置シヅ子)"Tokyo Boogie-Woogie"(東京ブギウギ)from a few years earlier.

Teruko Akatsuki was born Hisa Sekine(関根ひさ)in the Asakusa district of Tokyo in 1921. Debuting as a child actress in 1933, she made her first foray as a recording artist in 1949 with "Minami no Koi Uta"(南の恋唄...Love Song of the South)and "Kore ga Boogie-Woogie"(これがブギウギ...This is a Boogie-Woogie). Akatsuki released many singles until 1956 and appeared in the Kohaku Utagassen a total of 4 times including the inaugural show in 1951 on NHK Radio. Sadly, her life was cut short in 1962 due to a heart attack at the age of 41.

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