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, June 6, 2018

Chiko to Beagles -- Kaeri Michi wa Tookatta(帰り道は遠かった)

It's a nice lazy Wednesday evening out there, and I've just finished a translation batch so perhaps it's time to go back a while.

The group Pinky to Killers(ピンキーとキラーズ)may have started something in the music and style department back in the 1960s since I have encountered another kayo group from the same time period which looked quite similar. Chiko to Beagles (チコ と ビーグルス...Chiko & The Beagles) had some nattily-attired backup fellows surrounding a stylish lead female vocal singing similar jangling guitar pop.

There is no J-Wiki article for them but I could find another website that gave their biography. Starting off as a Tokyo rock band known as The Buffaloes before changing the name and recruiting Chizuko Sako*(硲千鶴子)from Osaka. Chiko to Beagles' debut single was "Kaeri Michi wa Tookatta" (The Road Home was Far) which came out in December 1968. Written by Yoshikazu Fujimoto(藤本義一)and composed by Hideo Okumura(奥村英夫), it was a pretty good debut for the band as it peaked at No. 14.

However, that ended up being the only hit for Chiko to Beagles and after four more singles and no albums leading into 1970, the band officially called it quits in the spring of 1973. Along with Sako, there were Takahiro Tomioka(富岡隆広)on bass, Toshio Yoshida(吉田俊夫)on drums, George Hori(ジョージ堀)who was also a vocalist, Kenji Tsuchiya(土屋健二)on guitar, and Atsushi Suzuki*(鈴木篤)on keyboards. Before the disbanding, there would be two more replacements of members.

One thing I have been wondering about is whether the folks behind the Group Sounds of the 1960s ever considered bands such as Pinky & Killers and Chiko to Beagles with their female vocalists as GS groups. My impression is that they didn't, although according to J-Wiki, there were female Group Sounds bands which included Pinky Chicks and Angel Sisters. I will have to search for them then.

*For a couple of the band members, the kanji for the names can be read a number of ways, so it is indeed possible that I have written them down incorrectly. If anyone out there knows the proper reading, please let me know.

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