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.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Johnnys -- Wakai Namida(若い涙)/Boku no Tebukuro Yabureteru(僕の手袋破れてる)

Just caught the annual summer "Omoide no Melody"(思い出のメロディー)on NHK and it was a tight show presenting some of those old chestnuts from decades past. I thought co-host Noriyuki Higashiyama(東山紀之), actor and one-third of 80s Johnny's group Shonentai(少年隊)was a pretty good emcee for the proceedings, and at the end of the show, he showed that he still had moves in him when he performed a couple of the old tunes from his aidoru days.

Speaking of the Johnny's bands, Higashiyama did a small tribute to the various groups that were born and nurtured under the Johnny's banner since the 1960s in consideration of the recent passing of founder Johnny Kitagawa(ジャニー喜多川). So, of course, the time machine went all the way back to the very first Johnny's group, Johnnys(ジャニーズ), with Teruhiko Aoi(あおい輝彦), Osami Iino(飯野おさみ), Ryo Nakatani(中谷良)and Hiromi Maie(真家ひろみ).

My very first article on Johnnys entailed their cover of "Mack the Knife", but this time I was able to find the quartet's debut single from December 1964, "Wakai Namida" (Young Tears) and its B-side "Boku no Tebukuro Yabureteru" (My Gloves are Ripped); both songs are in the video above. Starting off with a rat-a-tat drums and what sounds like a cheerful American battle march, the guys sing a happy tune of encouragement for the youth who may be going through some blues. Johnnys is your best buddy! I actually had to look it up in JASRAC, but the veteran kayo tandem of lyricist Rokusuke Ei(永六輔)and composer Hachidai Nakamura(中村八大)took care of the creation of the first single for a Johnny's outfit.

I actually had to tweak how I typed in "Boku no Tebukuro Yabureteru" into the JASRAC database to find out that although it was Nakamura again who took care of the music, this time the lyrics were provided by Tetsuya Ohkura(大倉徹也). There's some more doo-wop and harmonizing with this B-side, and though I couldn't quite catch onto the entire meaning of Ohkura's lyrics, I think it's possibly about some target of a boy's ardor maybe accidentally putting a hole into his gloves...much to his quiet surprise and joy. Ahh...the innocence of youth.

Wow! To think that this 45" single from the end of 1964 is the record that started it all for the Johnny's brand and its songs by folks like Masahiko Kondo(近藤真彦), SMAP and Arashi(嵐).

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