To me, Akira Nishikino（錦野旦）has been one of those middle-aged tarento that often pops up on variety shows to take part in hilarious obstacle courses along with manzai comedians or to sample dishes at restaurants all over Japan with other TV personalities. He cut a somewhat goofily cool figure, often wearing garb from his heyday in the early 70s and sporting an old-style bouffant hairstyle. And occasionally, I heard a few words from a song that seemed to follow him whenever he appeared on those shows:
Aishiteru, totemo (愛してる、とても....I love you so much)
This was Nishikino's big hit, "Sora ni Taiyo ga Aru Kagiri"(As Long As The Sun Is In The Sky), and over 40 years ago, he was an aidoru singer who had female fans ranging from their teens to their thirties (not surprising due to his good looks and his height of 177 cm). His 3rd single, released in March 1971, reached No. 3 on the Oricon weeklies and has since become a theme song of his.
Nishikino originally hailed from Oita Prefecture in Kyushu. Through his dance teacher father, he was able to get a job working at a cabaret club, Napoli, in Beppu City in the same prefecture where he sang and played the trumpet and the bass. And after a couple of more introductions, he ended up working for songwriter Kuranosuke Hamaguchi（浜口庫之助） (who wrote hits for the Group Sounds band The Spiders and Mike Maki's "Bara ga Saita") in Tokyo as his driver while taking intensive singing lessons. Eventually, through Hamaguchi's representing agency, Nishikino got his debut in 1970.