Some more sad news this year as I heard about the passing of Peter Tork of the Monkees (1942-2019) today. This sitcom poke at The Beatles, The Monkees ended up as a pretty good and popular band, and they also became part of my Saturday lunchtime routine since their show usually showed up on one of the network affiliates around noon. While Davy Jones was the cuddly adorable one...the Monkee equivalent of Paul McCartney, Peter was perhaps the Ringo Starr in terms of personality as well as position in the band. He was the affably goofy one who I would also equate with SMAP's Shingo Katori（香取慎吾）.
I will therefore dedicate this song to the memory of Peter Tork. Coming out in the same year, 1968, as the episode of "The Monkees" above, The Tempters' "Kyo wo Ikiyou" (Let's Live for Today) sounded quite familiar to me when I first heard it. And the reason for that it is a cover of "Let's Live For Today" popularized by the American rock band The Grass Roots and originally recorded in 1966 by The Rokes based in Italy under the title "Piangi Con Me".
Although the original songwriters were David Shapiro and Mogol, I couldn't find out who provided the translated Japanese lyrics unfortunately. The Tempters' version can apparently be found in "The Tempters First Album" from June 1968. If I'm not mistaken, either The Grass Roots' take or perhaps even The Tempters' cover was used in some commercial back in Japan. In any case, that chorus "Sha-la-la-la-la-la" works as a good memory cue. Incidentally, the video below shows The Grass Roots' performance.
March 28 2019: It's sadly ironic to report this in an article that started out mourning the loss of Peter Tork of The Monkees, but I just read that the vocalist for The Tempters and actor Kenichi Hagiwara（萩原健一）passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 68.