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.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Pee Wee Hunt -- Somebody Stole My Gal

One small riddle that I've had for many years dealt with Yoshimoto Kogyo(吉本興業), the Japanese comedy conglomerate based in Osaka. Who came up with that theme song for their comedy skits on stage? Folks who have lived in Japan ought to know. It's that appropriately comical muted trumpet tune, at least in the beginning.

Well, it wasn't that hard to track down the answer although I had assumed that it was some jazz orchestra based in Japan which was commissioned to come up with a theme song for the comedy troupe. Actually, though, the song's title is "Somebody Stole My Gal" as recorded by American jazz trombonist Pee Wee Hunt and his orchestra in 1954. I still don't know how the song became part of Yoshimoto legend but from the title alone, it was a good choice since losing that gal is pretty tragicomic.

Hunt was just one of many musicians who came up with their own version of "Somebody Stole My Gal", but the original was created back in 1918 by Leo Wood with Ted Weems and his orchestra getting that first big hit out of it in 1924, when, according to Wikipedia, it became a million-seller and was a No. 1 success for 5 weeks straight, although I couldn't find out what that particular chart was.

Another question has been answered.

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