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.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Mieko Hirota/Kaori Tsuchiya -- Koi to Namida no Juu-Nana Sai(恋と涙の17才)

I'm risking sounding like a K-Tel TV announcer but for some of us older folks, do you remember Lesley Gore's classic "It's My Party"? A couple of nights ago, I heard a Japanese cover of it on Van Paugam's YouTube City Pop radio by actress/singer Mao Daichi(大地真央), and it was pretty darn snazzy. It's just too bad that I can't find a version of it on its own on the platform.

Then there is Gore's song of defiance, "You Don't Own Me" from December 1963 which was created by David White and John Madara. It wasn't ever part of my collection or my father's collection of 45"s but somehow I have been able to hear it a number of times over the decades.

Of course, back in the early 1960s, kayo kyoku included cover versions of American and British pop songs sung by the teen aidoru of the day including Mieko Hirota(弘田三枝子). And in 1964, Hirota recorded a Japanese language version of "You Don't Own Me" titled "Koi to Namida no Juu-Nana Sai" (Love and a Tearful 17) which seemed to have had a slightly more brassy and orchestral arrangement. You might say that it was perhaps more kayo-esque. However, Hirota's voice sounded quite similar to Gore's.

Several days ago, I got the usual Tower Records advertisement in my inbox touting a number of old albums which included an album by Kaori Tsuchiya(つちやかおり). At first, I went "Who the heck is that?", and then I remembered that I actually had mentioned her in the blog. Specifically, the song was the technopop "Aishuu no Orient Express"(哀愁のオリエント急行), her 2nd single from September 1982.

However, her debut single from June 1982 was another cover version of "Koi to Namida no Juu-Nana Sai" whose arrangement was closer to Gore's original although Tsuchiya's voice didn't have quite the heft that Gore's had. The Japanese lyrics for Tsuchiya's version were provided by Reiko Yukawa(湯川れい子); for some reason, I couldn't find out who the lyricist was for the Hirota cover back in 1964. For that matter, I don't know how the song did on Oricon.

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