Decades after the Bubble burst on Japan's economy, Tokyo's Ginza still remains a vibrant area. I can only imagine what it must have been like in the late 1980s. The vast majority of its establishments would be off-limits to me but there was that one time in 2017 when, thanks to my former student/friend, I did get my chance to witness what it was like in a Ginza nightclub. I only wish that I had been attired more appropriately since I did feel acutely under-dressed in a Polo shirt and jeans. Still, true to their reputation, our hostesses and the bartender were nothing but truly professional and courteous. Of course, I wasn't the one who paid for our evening.
I was having a conversation with my friend, Jerry, earlier this afternoon on the point that the both of us have been listening to Japanese music for so long that we're beginning to recognize the songwriter for particular tunes simply from the arrangement of the melody. He could do that with Tatsuro Yamashita（山下達郎）. But the song of this article is not in Tats' wheelhouse. It's actually in the Mood Kayo sector, and as soon as I heard the opening notes for "Hoshi no Night Club" (Night Club of the Stars), I could pick it out as a late 1960s Kyohei Tsutsumi（筒美京平）.
This was Sachiko Nishida's（西田佐知子）title tune from the 1969 album "Ai no Sasayaki ~ Hoshi no Night Club"（愛のささやき 星のナイト・クラブ...Whisperings of Love）. It was also released as a single in August of that year. As I was saying, I could pick it out as a Tsutsumi tune right from the get-go due to the fairly quicksilver strings and the calm and assured nightclub guitar. Basically, the arrangement is very similar to the veteran composer's big hit for Ayumi Nishida（いしだあゆみ）, "Blue Light Yokohama"（ブルーライト・ヨコハマ）that had come out the year before. As was the case for that song, Jun Hashimoto（橋本淳）also provided the lyrics for "Hoshi no Night Club".
And even Nishida sounds like Ishida here with some of that nasality in her delivery. It's quite a soothing delivery...almost on the level of getting that tumbler of whiskey-on-the-rocks and good conversation at the Ginza nightclub. It does have that feeling of Tokyo back in those days and nights. As for the album itself, unfortunately it's never been put onto CD format, according to the J-Wiki article, so tracking down that rare LP on the auction sites or watching it on YouTube might be our only hope. Hopefully, it won't be nearly as expensive as a night on the Ginza.