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.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Yukiji Asaoka/Keiko Fuji -- Ame ga Yandara(雨がやんだら)

It's been a rather sad time for the geinokai this month. Along with the passing of 70s aidoru Hideki Saijo(西城秀樹)and singer-songwriter-musician Takayuki Inoue(井上堯之), I received news this morning online that actress-singer Yukiji Asaoka(朝丘雪路)had passed away at the age of 82 last month on April 27th.

As I mentioned for the first article about her, "Furimuite mo Kurenai"(ふり向いてもくれない), she was a familiar presence on Japanese television for decades who came up through the Takarazuka Troupe. As such, I knew her mostly for those appearances on everything from dramas to quiz shows to online shopping programs, but she did release a number of singles, and she appeared on NHK's Kohaku Utagassen 10 times.

That final time on the Kohaku was at the end of 1971 after an absence from the special for 5 years. And it was for her 4th single "Ame ga Yandara" (When The Rain Stops) which was released in October 1970. This is about as Mood Kayo as one can get with all of that bluesy saxophone and those lyrics by Rei Nakanishi(なかにし礼)about the end of a passionate tryst or one-night stand. The music was provided by veteran composer Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平), who I now believe could whip up any sort of music for anybody...outside of heavy metal. In fact, "Ame ga Yandara" earned Tsutsumi the Best Composer Prize at the Japan Record Awards. The song peaked at No. 5 on the weekly charts and became the 23rd-ranked single for 1971.

I don't know when Keiko Fuji's(藤圭子)cover of "Ame ga Yandara" came out but this is the perfect song for her. If anyone can do old-fashioned angst-laden kayo, it would be Fuji.

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