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, October 19, 2021

Junko Ohashi -- Sugitekita Kawa(過ぎてきた河)


Over the past month or so since NHK's "Uta Con"(うたコン)came back from summer hiatus, it's been running a week behind so tonight we got to see the October 12th telecast. For a kayo kyoku loving guy like me, it definitely struck me as one of the more memorable episodes since it was a wonderful tribute to the Showa music. Tatsuya Ishii(石井竜也)of Kome Kome Club(米米CLUB)covered Machiko Watanabe's(渡辺真知子)"Kamome ga Tonda Hi"(かもめが翔んだ日), a new talent that I definitely have to cover, Little Black Dress, covered Junko Yagami's(八神純子)"Mizuiro no Ame" (みずいろの雨), rock guitarist superstar Char actually appeared for the first time on the show, and it all began with a touching duet between actor/singer Kanji Ishimaru(石丸幹二)and 88-year-old legend Yoichi Sugawara(菅原洋一)on the latter's "Shiritakunaino" (知りたくないの).

In fact, I would put it as a double Junko night. Along with the cover of the Yagami song, I was delighted to actually see singer Junko Ohashi(大橋純子)appear on "Uta Con" tonight. Back in 2018, I mentioned in one of her articles that Ohashi had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and although it was at an early stage, that didn't mean I didn't worry. But there she was on the NHK stage for the first time alongside singer-songwriter Okayu(おかゆ)to sing one of her biggest hits and the first song that I had ever heard from her, the atmospheric "Silhouette Romance"(シルエット・ロマンス), and she was in fine voice and form. One question that had been lingering in my mind for three years was happily answered.

Now obviously since I've already covered "Silhouette Romance", I've decided to take a look at the B-side for her November 1981 single. "Sugitekita Kawa" (Passing River) isn't anything like the A-side and that's nothing new, but it also doesn't follow the City Pop or funky tunes that I've discovered over the years since hearing "Silhouette Romance". It's a light, footloose and fancy-free ditty which feels like an old standard from decades ago with a touch of jazz propelled by Ohashi's wonderful boomer of a voice. I will always appreciate a good harmonica.

"Sugitekita Kawa" was written by Akira Ito(伊藤アキラ)and composed by Yasuo Higuchi(樋口康雄). Although it wasn't on the original version of this album, it did get onto an expanded re-release of Ohashi's August 1981 album "Tea For Tears". Incidentally, City Pop's favourite communication number shares track space with this one. Additionally, I also have to add that "Kayo Kyoku Plus" has just passed 8000 articles as of now.

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