SINGAPORE 60's: ANDY'S POP MUSIC INFLUENCE: ON THE MUSIC N MEMORY TRAIL IS MY OWN BLOG N ROLL PROJECT. NOSTALGIA IS PERSONAL HISTORY N PICTURES TELL STORIES. (I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO YOU-TUBE VIDEOS, AUDIO TRACKS OR IMAGES. THEY ARE UPLOADED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY. MOST ARTICLES AND SOME IMAGES ARE ORIGINAL, COPYRIGHTED AND LABELLED SUCH. KNOWLEDGE IS FREE. COPYRIGHTS ARE NOT. ANDY YOUNG. November, 2008).





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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Sukiyaki Kyu Sakamoto US/Japanese 60s Music




                                                             Video from: rwells47

Singaporeans still remember the song today but some do not know the history behind this international 60s hit. It was number one in 1963 for Kyu Sakamoto and 6 weeks on the US Chart.

The song was initially released in Japan in 1961, and after a British record company heard the Japanese version, had one of their artistes record it under the title Sukiyaki, a title which had absolutely nothing to do with the song. Again, the yearning for anything Eastern struck a chord with the West because Sukiyaki is actually a Japanese beef meal, popular in the west.

The actual title is Ueo Muite Arukou which means, "I Look Up When I Walk". It tipped the US chart because a disc jockey, Rich Osborne (KORD radio) in Washington State, who heard the British version, had started playing the original record by Sakamoto.Sakamoto, born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1941, died in a crash on Japan Airlines 747, flight 123 near Tokyo on August 12, 1985. He called his wife two minutes before the crash to say goodbye. 43 years old at the time of his death, he made his debut in show business in 1960.

Sakamoto was also known as Kyu Chan for his charming smile and sincere nature. He recorded many other songs which became just as popular at home and internationally but Sukiyaki remains the biggest international hit by a Japanese singer to this day.

Many artistes have covered it in Japanese, English, French, Dutch and the artistes include, The Blue Diamonds, The Fabulous Echoes and others. Lyricist is Rokusuke Ei and music by Hachidai Nakamura.

Latest News: 12th July 2016:

Prominent Japanese lyricist Rokusuke Ei has died at 83 years.  Of Chinese descent he was best known for his work on the worldwide hit Sukiyaki (1963), which protested against US military presence.  The song was released in 1961 and topped US Billboard charts with 13 million copies sold around the world.  An established author and radio broadcaster, Mr Ei published several books, including a novel about death and illness which sold more than 20 million copies.


Additional from Michael Bangar (experienced rhythm guitarist):
12th July, 2016.
Hi Andy,
As a school kid in 1961, it was the pre-Beatles era. I was in Primary 6. The kampong days was a time of poverty. Our neighbour had their Rediffusion set switched on the English station all day. That's how I got to know the song SUKIYAKI and loads of other songs. It's a great favourite till today, on Brian Richmond's show Sunday mornings.
Then in 1963, the year The Beatles and The British Invasion bands came along. They invaded the US and changed popular music from then up till now.

I won't be surprised when they were paying their dues, the above bands played the song. They had SUKIYAKI in their sets. I am sure The Beatles did, cause they played a wide genre of music. That's why they earned the title, THE BEST BAND EVER.

I listened to my neighbour's Rediffusion set through a 'lobang' (hole) that the wooden wall had that separated our two homes. Come to think of it I never got the chance to thank them all for the music I picked up through their Rediffusion set. Ha, ha, ha.

References:

(1) Info: Kazuyo Yoshida/Yumiko Hosokawa Website - 1995.
(2) Image: http://www.loti.com/
(3) http://www.peterfrancis.com/trivia/archive
(4) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36761497

Original article: Andy Lim Collection.

27 comments:

Gui Gontijo said...

Hey there!
Yeah, I guess I'll have to create my own website in the future (english and portuguese). But believe me when I say, NEVER someone out of Brazil had entered my blog. You the firsts, fellows. Thank you for the great words about my blog.It means a lot for me. I'm embarased that you just understand the pictures, but there's no much I can do. In Brazil we speak portuguese, not spanish. So when we wanna say "Thanks", we don't say Gracias. Hehehe! We say Obrigado.

Obrigado,

William.

Andy Young* said...

Hey William, Obrigado! Will read your blog more often because I like books too.

Anonymous said...

Sukiyaki is a dish but the song is one delectable cuisine.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

This post has been rejuvenated. Composer of this great pop has gone. Thank you both for contributing to a fantastic world where East meets West with songs and music.

Thanks to Henri Gann from Trekkers Singapore, for passing the news.

MAYO MARTIN (CNA JOURNALIST) said...

No memories sir, I just know it was a famous song.

GABRIEL TAN (AUDIO MEDIC, BEDOK, SINGAPORE) said...

One of my favourite songs. Don't believe I have it in my collection.

Henri Gann said...

the beautiful lyrics of Sukiyaki...
"Ue a muite arukoo
( I look up when I walk )
namida ga kabore nai yoo ni
( so the tears won't fall )
omoidasu haru no hi
( remembering those happy spring days )
hitoribotchi no yaru
( but tonight I am all alone )
ue o muite arukoo
( I look up when I walk )
nijinda hoshi o kazoete
( counting the stars with tearful eyes )
omoidasu natsu no hi
( remembering those happy summer days )
hotoribotchi no yoru
( but tonight i am all alone )
Shiawase wa kumo no ue ni
( happiness lies beyond the clouds )
Shiawase wa sora no ue ni
( happiness lies above the sky )
ue o muite arukoo
( I look up when I walk )
namida ga kobore nai yoo ni
( so the tears wont fall )
nakinagara aruku
( though my heart is filled with sorrow )
hitoribotchi no yoru
( for tonight I am all alone )
omoidasu aki no hi
( remembering those happy autumn days )
hitoribotchi no yoru
( but tonight I am all alone )
kanashimi wa hoshi no kage ni
( sadness hides in the shadow of the stars )
kanashimi wa tsuki no kage ni
( sadness lurks in the shadows of the moon )
ue o muite arukoo
( I look up when I walk )
namida go kobore nai yoo ni
( so the tears won't fall )
nakinagara aruku
( though my heart is filled with sorrow )
hitoribotchi no yaru
( for tonight I al all alone )
hitoribotchi no yaru
( for tonight I am all alone )



HAPPY TAY (VANCOUVER, CANADA) said...

Nice to relax with some great music.

SPYeo (a frequent contributor) said...

Ya, SUKIYAKI... my favourite evergreen song... Very nostalgic. My memory is always transported back to the 60's and 70's era whenever I listen to it... SAYONARA??

MRS HELEN POK said...

Oh I not only heard SUKIYAKI but went on to hear the EVERLY BROTHERS and TERESA TENG. Thanks for the connection to your posts.

IRENE YAP (1970's RECORDING ARTISTE) said...

SUKIYAKI was a big hit. The first Japanese song I learned to sing.

Back then we learned songs that are popular. Till today this is the only song I can still sing the whole song by heart compared to the other Japanese-song repertoire. Lyrics are easy to remember and sing.

MICHAEL BANGAR (RHYTHMIST SILVER STRINGS said...

Hi Andy,
As a school kid in 1961, it was the pre-Beatles era. I was in Primary 6. The kampong days was a time of poverty. Our neighbour had their Rediffusion set switched on the English station all day. That's how I got to know the song SUKIYAKI and loads of other songs. It's a great favourite till today, on Brian Richmond's show Sunday mornings.

Then in 1963, the year The Beatles and The British Invasion bands came along. They invaded the US and changed popular music from then up till now.

I won't be surprised when they were paying their dues, the above bands played the song. They had SUKIYAKI in their sets. I am sure The Beatles did, cause they played a wide genre of music. That's why they earned the title, THE BEST BAND EVER.

I listened to my neighbour's Rediffusion set through a 'lobang' (hole) that the wooden wall had that separated our two homes. Come to think of it I never got the chance to thank them all for the music I picked up through their Rediffusion set. Ha, ha, ha.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to

1) Henri Gann for the song interpretation, especially
2) Mike Bangar for his memories, and to
3) Wilfred Wong and Jenny Yeo for sharing the post on FACEBOOK. And
4) all who replied to this posting.
Lots of SUKIYAKI fans.

DICK YIP (UKELELE PERFORMER) said...

I have done this song..in original Japanese version in public performances, many times.

MARTY THE MARTIAN said...

Some of my friends wonder why I listen to so much Japanese music. Same reason I listen to French, Italian, Spanish and many others; it's the music and the voice that matter (lyrics only a little).

JOHN HALL (YOU TUBE) said...

I was only 6 years old when this came out and instantly loved it. He seemed such a happy and smiling guy and that added to the charm and just showed that the Japanese had more going for them than just stories of the horrible war times, cheap cars and raw fish that everyone associated them with.

Poor bugger died along with 519 other people in a Japanese domestic air plane disaster in 1985. Much loved song and thanks to rwells47 (You Tube contributor) for the first time that I have seen the English translation. Instant memory arousal!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

THE BLUE DIAMONDS (ENGLISH VERSON)

The charms of Sukiyaki
The arms of Sukiyaki
Are all I long for since I left old Nagasaki
Why did I roam
Far away from home
I hope that she will wait for me

Her smile can not deceive me
Sweet almond eyes don't leave me
My whole life through I'll be true, darling please believe me
That if I say
I'll be back someday
Promise that you will wait for me

When orange blossoms are starting to bloom
We'll be united at bride and the groom

I'll take my Sukiyaki
And make my Sukiyaki
The only queen to be seen in old Nagasaki
And from our home
We will never roam
When I make Sukiyaki mine

Why did I roam
Far away from home
I hope that she will wait for me

When orange blossoms are starting to bloom
We'll be united at bride and the groom

I'll take my Sukiyaki
And make my Sukiyaki
The only queen to be seen in old Nagasaki
And from our home
We will never roam
When I make Sukiyaki mine

And from our home
We will never roam
When I make Sukiyaki mine
When I make Sukiyaki mine
All mine

(C) H. Nakamura.

RANDY LEE KENG (THE STYLERS) said...

Sad to hear that...RIP

FACEBOOK said...

Thanks for LIKE on this post.

Jalani Mohamed
Yip Dick*
Jenny Yeo*
John Cher
Foo Jong Fook
Albert Wong Ong Cheng
Foo Chee Meng
Maureen Tan
Wilfred Wong*
MeeLee Chan*

*for sharing on your posts.

MyLinh Jazlan
Elizabeth Cornelius Boyd
Mel Joseph
Rendy Wong
Victor Ngui
Burt Young

ELIZABETH CORNELIUS BOYD said...

So sad, now he has gone😭

MOLLY WEE said...

Tks For Sharing Love Oldies

Victor said...

I just enjoy listening to this song. Didn't know that there is so much story and history behind it. Thanks for enlightening people like me, Andy.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Again thanks to all who provided comments. This posting has seen bee-hive activities these two days since the passing of the composer.

He must be happy in his own special abode.

FACEBOOK said...

Haven't heard this for quite a while.

Yip Dick Ha ha.. I hear it often as I sing it !

Foo Chee Meng True. The Dick Yip version. Ha ha.

Yip Dick Yes but still in Japanese...i've learnt by heart. Ue o muite, aruko...Namida-ga kobore..nai yo..ni, Omoida-su, hari no hi....etc..
Like · Reply · 2 · 21 hrs

Geoffrey Ng Classic. First heard this classic as a very young child. Haunting.
Like · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs · Edited

Edward Tan RIP

Yip Dick Ok... promise you all, tonight at my Wed uke jam session...I will do this song..SOLO in original version. In memory of both K Sakamoto and his late composer. Serangoon CC Theatrette at 7.30 pm.

Henri Gann said...

going back in time. can't imagine we played this 53 yrs ago. Simply Incredible !

https://youtu.be/fJB7lwGawH4

FACEBOOK said...

Thank you for liking this post

Maldita Margarita Ricarte
Daisie Yip
Thomas Gwee
Koo Victor
Yen Chow
Philip Chew
Lim Kuan Min

Angela Falsetta (You Tube) said...

Thank You for bringing me back to those innocent and secure days... Bittersweet as they were.

Where are you now, Kyu? OMG! Just read the post prior to mine! Kyu died! And in such a way. TOO SAD. I mourn!