By Michael Diana
IT’S ALMOST SPRING BREAK Y’ALL, YOU CAN DO IT!!!
That was abrupt . . . anyway, really glad we got a new head editor, because I don’t want GMA to disappear for several months to forever!
Next I just need someone to take over for me, but . . . in due time I suppose
Today I’m taking you back, way back. To the 70s mostly, to one of my favorite singers.
Debut: 1969/6/10 “Ame ni Nureta Bojou”
Chiaki Naomi is, simply put, a legend. One of the greats of a golden era, her low, husky voice is controlled beautifully and dynamically. She’s the vocal version of Clara Rockmore, the theremin virtuoso. She’s in the top three of vocalists I respect for both her singing technique and her emotional range as a singer. Her singing technique is impeccable, especially her brilliant use of dynamics, which allow her to effectively sing with both softness and power. A unique and flexible voice like no other.
In her teens, she had already started singing, and she performed at American military bases, jazz clubs and cabarets, and she even travelled around the country opening for bigger acts. She was recognized early on as a talented singer. She also underwent training to be an enka singer in her teens, which is one reason for her technical ability as a singer. Finally, she auditioned for Columbia records and was accepted, training with a composer for a little over a year in preparation for her debut. She debuted at 21, and there was no looking back. In 1970 she released her song, “Yotsu no Onegai” and “X+Y=LOVE,” both huge hits that brought her to the forefront of the music scene. The same year, she sang “Yotsu no Onegai” at the Kohaku Utagassen. In 1972, she released her most famous song, which even now gets covered by various singers from time to time (most recently, JUJU). “Kassai” won her the 14th annual Japan Record Award. Throughout her time as a singer, she had many hits in both Pop and Enka. Alas, in 1992 she retired from the music industry because her husband died, which I can forgive I suppose, but up until the last her voice remained absolutely beautiful.
Ame ni Nureta Bojou
Yoru e Isogu Hito (there’s also a disco version of this song which is great, they’re both great; also every performance of this song was amazing)
Yotsu no Ongai