Monday, August 27, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kyu Sakamoto

Artist:Kyu Sakamoto
Album:Hard To Find 45's On CD Vol. 7: More Sixties Classics

Sukiyaki was a number one pop hit in 1963. It is the only Japanese language song to do that. And BTW, the song is not about food. Kyu Sakamoto went on to a long career in Japan until his 1985 death. He was born Hisashi Oshima Nov. 10, 1941 in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. He was the youngest of nine children and his nickname Kyu means nine. When his parents divorced in 1956, he kept his father's surname Sakamoto. In 1958, Sakamoto joined the Japanese pop group The Drifters. Things didn't go well there and he left and joined Danny Iida & Paradise King. They got a record deal with JVC Records and in 1960 had a hit with Kanashiki Rokujyussai. Sakamoto left to go solo and signed with Toshiba Records. In 1961 he had a big hit with Ue O Muite Aruko. This is the song that would become Sukiyaki. The real English translation of the title is I Will Walk Looking Up. In 1963, Pye Records president Louis Benjamin was in Japan on business and he heard Ue O Muite Aruko several times. He like it so much that he decided to release it in England but he changed the title to his favourite Japanese food Sukiyaki because he didn't think anyone could pronounce the real title. At first Pye released Sukiyaki as an instrumental by Kenny Ball. It did so well they decided to release the original recording by Sakamoto. Then DJ Richard Osborne of Pasco, WA radio station KORD started playing it and it took off in the US and was picked up by Capitol Records. Sukiyaki was a worldwide hit and sold 13 million copies. You can get it on this various artists comp from Eric Records. In 1966, Jewel Akens recorded an English translation of Sukiyaki called My First Lonely Night. The lyrics were written by producer Buzz Cason. A Taste Of Honey's cover of Sukiyaki was a top five hit in 1981. Group leader Janice Marie Johnson wrote the English lyrics. 4P.M.'s cover of A Taste Of Honey's version was a top ten hit in 1994. Kyu Sakamoto appeared in films and on TV in Japan. He died in the crash of Japan Airlines flight 123 on Aug. 12, 1985 at age 43. Here's Kyu Sakamoto performing Sukiyaki on a Japanese TV show 1963.
Kyu Sakamoto - Sukiyaki by Knightrdr

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