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.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Katsuya Kobayashi & The No. 1 Band -- Rock'n Roll Saigo no Hi(ロックン・ロール最後の日)

For a certain generation in Japan wondering about what was up in the music business outside of the nation, Katsuya Kobayashi's(小林克也)"Best Hit U.S.A." on TV Asahi was the program to see during the 1980s. Kobayashi is a radio DJ, TV personality and actor who hails from Hiroshima Prefecture and his voice is a distinctive one in Japanese & English. In fact, I remember a product when I was living in Gunma that he had been endorsing called "Kobayashi in a Can", I think, which contained tapes on how to enunciate the English language better. Perhaps if Mr. Kobayashi ever reads this article, he can confirm my old memories for me.

Well, I managed to find the above video. Anyways, if he actually ever responds, I will be extremely happy but I will also inform him that we were also in the same house together many years ago. To explain, I was at my student's Xmas party one year and my student knows a whole lot of famous people including Kobayashi, so though we never conversed, I can say that I did see him around the living room along with tennis player Kimiko Date and former New York Met Tsuyoshi Shinjo (man, that guy really held court in one section with his entourage).

One thing that I didn't know until recently was that Kobayashi also had his time behind the recording mike. According to his J-Wiki biography, he as a teen was enthralled with the early artists of rock n' roll in the 1950s such as Bill Haley & The Comets and Elvis Presley. So, starting from 1982, he released a number of albums and singles.

Included on his May 1986 album, "Bad Songs" was "Rock n' Roll Saigo no Hi" (The Final Day). I couldn't find out who had created the song but as you can see above, Kobayashi put in his all (though, to be honest, I think I prefer him as a TV host and English teacher). The good ol' rock n' roll is in there but I think there is also some New Wave (maybe even some punk energy?) included, thanks to those keyboards.

Since I mentioned a bit about "Best Hit U.S.A." and that era of pop music, I would be remiss if I didn't state the passing of a couple of singers that I used to enjoy often from my high school and university days. Eddie Money died a few days ago at the age of 70 and I will always remember "Take Me Home Tonight" (1986) with Ronnie Spector. And then, just earlier today, I heard that Ric Ocasek of The Cars passed away yesterday at the age of 75. That band's "You Might Think" from 1984 was a heavy-rotation hit on radio and TV...always had fun with the music video. Time, of course, will fly past but it's still hard to imagine Money and Ocasek leaving this mortal coil.

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