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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, September 7, 2021

Tokiko Kato -- Akogare no Sora(あこがれの空)

 

Of course, Bing Crosby's discography is bigger than "White Christmas" although whenever his name is mentioned, that particular song will be the first to come to mind to many. I've known that he was quite the crooner many years before he and Irving Berlin's legendary Xmas song for the ages were put together, and a few of his songs managed to get onto the old LP compilation of standards that our family had (or perhaps has...just misplaced).

But his "The Day You Came Along" is a new one for me. Created by the songwriting duo of Sam Coslow and Arthur Johnson, Der Bingle introduced it in his 1933 movie "Too Much Harmony" as a song of woo for that special someone.

The reason that I'm even introducing "The Day You Came Along" here in a non-ROY capacity is that I first encountered it as a cover by singer Tokiko Kato(加藤登紀子)under the title of "Akogare no Sora" (The Sky I've Wanted). It's a track on Kato's 1983 album, "Yume no Ningyo"(夢の人魚...A Siren Dream) whose concept is all about the music that was heard between 1914 and 1939, through the Taisho and early Showa eras. The singer produced the album alongside Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一), and he was also the arranger for this particular playful track, according to Tower Records.

I've known Kato as the tenderhearted folk singer behind "Shiretoko Ryojou" (知床旅情)but over the years and especially listening to some of her other songs through my old radio program "Sounds of Japan", I also know that she's more than game with other genres. Listening to her husky voice tackle Bing's old song, she sounds as if she is a natural for old-style nightclub torch singing in the European establishments. Takao Saeki(佐伯孝夫)was responsible for providing Kato with the Japanese lyrics for "The Day You Came Along". I really enjoy the classy but, as I said before, playful nature of this cover version.

Come to think of it, I'm going to have to do a Reminiscings of Youth for "White Christmas" although that song was more than 20 years before my appearance on Earth.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this reminder! I, too tend not to think of Bing Crosby's other works. And, I had no idea that Tokiko Kato covered any of Bing Crosby's songs. I am glad she did as I like her cover more than the original for whatever reason.

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    1. I have to admit that I do enjoy Kato's nightclub take even more than Bing's original version.

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  2. My White Christmas / Japan connection: My wedding reception was held at the Town Hall in Gushikawa, Okinawa, and from my perspective it seemed as if the whole town had shown up. (Okinawan's tended to have large families in the post-war era). Unfortunately, the only music they had was a 45 rpm record of ol' Bing's White Christmas. I became aware of this about 15 minutes before our grand entrance and candle lighting ceremony. Long story short, someone hightailed it to the nearest record store and found a copy of The Wedding March. Whew! White Christmas would have been a tough sell in Okinawa. Sorry, Bing.

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    1. Hello, James.

      I'm sure that Bing and Irving would certainly understand not having "White Christmas" to commemorate the most important day of your lives. Glad that the person was able to track "The Wedding March".

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