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, June 30, 2012

Yukio Hashi and Sayuri Yoshinaga -- Itsudemo Yume wo (いつでも夢を)

One of the most evergreen of evergreen kayo kyoku, "Itsudemo Yume wo"(Always a Dream) probably still gets requests at even the most modern of karaoke boxes. And it's guaranteed that it will pop up on a music retrospective of the Showa Era. I've been hearing this song since I was in diapers. I can name that tune within the first three notes.

Composed by the late Tadashi Yoshida(吉田正)and written by Takao Saeki(佐伯孝夫) in 1962, it's a cheerful song of longing for a young girl who sings "....more secretly than the stars, more softly than the rain." It's been covered by duos of singers over the decades but the very first pairing was singer Yukio Hashi(橋幸夫) and actress Sayuri Yoshinaga(吉永小百合). Although the song did a lot of the heavy lifting to reach its fame, the pairing of the most popular actress of that time and one-third of the Gosanke (御三家....The Big Three.....the two other big singers in the 60s being Kazuo Funaki and Teruhiko Saigo) certainly didn't hurt things. The Oricon rankings hadn't been invented at that time, but it won a Japan Record Award and sold over 300,000 records.

This is a well-preserved video of Hashi and Yoshinaga performing the song on stage. Watching this for the first time, it reminded me of how an RKO music program must've gone back in the 30s and 40s. And the arrangements for the song also hinted at some of the sweet dance music that had been popular during America's Jazz Age.

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