Sukiyaki – Kyu Sakamoto

The Music Of Our Heart Jukebox recalls noteworthy 45 r.p.m. hits. Today’s selection C5 on Throwback Thursday is “Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto.

The song reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the United States in June of 1963, and remains to date the only Japanese-language song ever to have done so. It is one of the best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 13 million copies worldwide.

English: Private photograph from my own collec...
English: Private photograph from my own collection. Photograph taken in 1961-62 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



The Amboy Dukes

The year was 1968. I was a junior in high school. It was a tumultuous year. We lost Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the assassin’s bullet. Detroit had major riots protesting Dr. King’s untimely and senseless death.

Detroit has also been the home of several popular music genres, rhythm and blues, soul music,  high-energy rock music which begat punk rock in England and the US) . Detroit also made a significant contribution to rock music with Bob Seger and hip-hop with Eminem (Marshall Mathers).

A band from Detroit, The Amboy Dukes released a song and an album in April, 1968, entitled “Journey To The Center of the Mind”, which peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song and album became known as the progenitor of U.S. acid rock.

It was unique rock song with its center piece rock guitar runs byTed Nugent. His unique talent for multiple guitar sounds sets this recording apart from much of what was popular. Granted Jimi Hendrix was also redefining acid rock in 1968 with his compelling, “not from this planet” guitar crescendos.

The album cover and the sub-genre promoted drug use. It was ironic that Ted Nugent one of the founding principles of The Amboy Dukes was very public about his sentiments against drug use. Ted Nugent has performed more than 6,000 concerts and sold more than 30 million records.

Eddie Money’s Comeback in 2011

Eddie Money (album)
Image via Wikipedia

The year was 1977. I was the record department manager at Caldor’s Inc. a discount department store chain. My CBS Records account rep, Paul Hughes laid a “promo” copy of Eddie Money on me. Paul said to me, “Our A&R people are giving this record high marks. Give it a spin and let me know what you think when I see you next week.”

I took the record home and dropped it on my turntable. I liked what I heard immediately. I started hearing “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Baby Hold On” on WNEW-FM radio from various disk jockeys.  I told Paul the following week, Eddie Money sounds strong. He of course said, how many copies do you think you might order for your department? I told him 50. They sold mildly at first. But I sold Eddie Money stronger the next year when he broke as a Top 40 artist.

Eddie Money has recorded some of my favorite songs.  I was pleased to learn from photographer and intense music fan Jay Blakesberg that Eddie Money was planning a comeback in 2011 with a new recording. Here is one of the photographs that Jay took of Eddie Money in San Francisco for possible promotional use. You can see Jay’s memories of the day he spent with Eddie Money here and more photos of Eddie Money here 🙂

Copyright Jay Blakesberg

It’s important to also note that Eddie Money was discovered in  San Francisco by Bill Graham’s organization. Bill Graham played an instrumental role in Eddie Money’s career. The following video, “I’ll Get By” is a moving tribute to the memory of rock impresario Bill Graham who we lost tragically in 1991. Love the youthful picture of Bill Graham that starts/ends Eddie’s video 🙂

It’s very difficult to single out what Eddie Money track is my favorite but if push comes to shove its Eddie Money with Ronnie Spector signing as a duet on  “Take Me Home Tonight”. I base that decision on the dynamics of the recording and the MTV video that pushed the track to Eddie’s highest chart positions at #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The tribute to the Phil Spector sound, Eddie on Sax, Ronnie Spector’s unique vocals and strut 😉 all combine to make a masterpiece of rock and roll. I grew up with The Ronettes on AM radio. The Ronettes are one of my two most favorite 60’s girl groups, The Shangri-Las being my most favorite :).

Just Like Ronnie Sang…Be My Little Baby

Take Me Home tonight will also be a new movie in March 2011.

Take Me Home Tonight Movie Trailer

Eddie Money’s bringing it in 2011 and I couldn’t be happier for him and his music career!

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