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.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Anata no Melody (あなたのメロディー)

I've mentioned this in the past, but my browsings through YouTube have often come up with all things revelatory and wonderful. Just yesterday, I was curious about this one Hitomi Ishikawa(石川ひとみ)song and through that, I discovered this long-gone but long-running NHK show called "Anata no Melody" (Your Melody).

"Anata no Melody", which ran between 1963 and 1985, had a format similar to that of the currently very long-lived "Nodo Jiman"(のど自慢). However, unlike the latter's format in which amateur singers are selected from a certain region to sing their favourite kayo kyoku/J-Pop songs in front of everyone, "Anata no Melody" had amateur songwriters providing their works to the program so that professional singers could perform them on stage. And like "Nodo Jiman", they could win championships for that show, then on a monthly and finally annual level during which the top three songs of the year are selected.

The stunning thing which sparked me to write about this show is that a number of famous tunes have sprung up because of it! For instance, Saburo Kitajima's(北島三郎)classic "Yosaku"(与作)was birthed on "Anata no Melody" from the efforts of religious scholar and critic Kiminori Nanasawa(七澤公典). Back in my original article for the song in 2012, I hadn't yet gotten into the habit of also mentioning the songwriters but I am doing so now. Furthermore, I certainly hadn't known about its connection with "Anata no Melody".

Another song that I have covered also got its start from this program. The technopop earworm "Computer Obaachan"(コンピューターおばあちゃん)was also created here. A number of the songs that gained fame got officially recorded and became part of other NHK programs and specials including "Minna no Uta"(みんなのうた)and even the Kohaku Utagassen.

"Anata no Melody" also had a panel of judges which included some famous songwriters such as Rei Nakanishi(なかにし礼), Yoko Yamaguchi(山口洋子)and Tetsuro Hoshino(星野哲郎). The above video has Hatsumi Shibata(しばたはつみ)performing one of the big winners of 1975, the country swing of "Hyena Dixie Blues"(ハイエナデキシーブルース)by Ichiro Tomita(とみたいちろう). The uploader mentions this as well so I will do the same; the picture kinda deteriorates near the end.

This final video is from a 1983 episode featuring the vocal group Circus(サーカス)performing "Aru Hi Shonen wa"(ある日少年は...One Day, A Boy), a song created by Ei Ohta(太田栄). Hopefully, that is the right pronunciation of the name.

It's kinda too bad that "Anata no Melody" died out over 30 years ago. Perhaps it's a show that can be revived, though. I'm certainly impressed enough with the existence of the original program to put it in as its own category.

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