Kyu Sakamoto, “Sukiyaki”

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sukiyaki (Toshiba-EMI, 1961)

Sukiyaki (Ue o Muite Aruko = I Look Up As I Walk) is a song by Japanese crooner Kyu Sakamoto, first released in Japan in 1961. The song ended up topping the charts worldwide and has been become one of the world’s best selling singles having sold over 13 million copies worldwide.

Lyricist Rokusuke Ei wrote the lyrics while walking home from a Japanese student demonstration protesting against a continued US Army presence, expressing his frustration at the failed efforts. The lyrics tell of a man who looks up and whistles while walking so that his tears will not fall. The lyrics were rendered purposefully generic so that they may apply to any lost love. The English lyrics recorded by A Taste of Honey in 1981 are not a translation of the Japanese lyrics but a completely new set of lyrics arranged to fit the same basic melody. The title “Sukiyaki” refers to the Japanese hot-pot dish and does not appear in the lyrics of the song nor does it have any connection to the song. The song was dubbed “Sukiyaki” because it was short, catchy and recognizably Japanese to pay tribute to its origin from Japan.

Advertisements

Aaren Simpson

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Aaren Simpson (September 24, 1977 – August 26, 1979)

Aaren Simpson was the daughter of O.J. Simpson and his first wife Marguerite Whitley. Simpson and Whitley married on June 24, 1967 and had three children: Arnelle (1968), Jason (1970) and Aaren (1977). She fell into the family pool on August 18, 1979 and drowned a month before her second birthday. Paramedics were able to revive Aaren using CPR and rushed her to the hospital. She was placed on life support but remained in a coma until her death on August 26, 1979.

“The Bluest Eye”

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

The Bluest Eye (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970)

In The Bluest Eye Pecola Breedlove is an African-American girl living in Ohio who is growing up in the years following the Great Depression who wishes for blue eyes. The Bluest Eye contains much profanity, sexual references and materials deemed unsuitable for students (including topics of racism, incest and child molestation) and has ended up on many banned book lists. It was author Toni Morrison’s first novel and initially did not sell very well.

Waffle Taco

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Waffle Taco (Taco Bell, 2014-2015)

In 2014, Taco Bell offered you up a breakfast item with their Waffle Taco. It was essentially an egg and sausage breakfast sandwich atop a waffle novelty biscuit that you could curl up like a taco. The item was nixed in 2015 when Taco Bell introduced their Biscuit Taco.

“The Herculoids”

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

The Herculoids (CBS, 1967-1969)

The Herculoids was a Saturday morning animated cartoon TV series that aired on CBS for 18 episodes beginning September 9, 1967. These episodes were rerun during the 1968-1969 television season, with The Herculoids ending their run on September 6. 1969. The Herculoids were created and designed by Alex Toth and produced by Hanna-Barbera. The series was set on the distant planet Amzot and featured science fiction plotlines akin to the series Space Ghost and the recent Jonny Quest.

Mikaila, “So In Love With Two”

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So in Love with Two (Island, 2000)

During the year 2000, teen pop was where it was at. Perhaps Mikaila was a victim of oversaturation and wasn’t able to make a standout image for herself. At age 14, she released her debut self-titled album. Her debut single So in Love with Two peaked at #25. She did release a follow up single It’s All Up to You. It failed to gain any traction. Mikaila retired from the music industry in 2001. She also appeared on the PBS children’s series Wishbone as Melina Finch from 1996 to 1998, but hasn’t acted in anything since either.

“Once”

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Once (RTE, 2007)

Once is an Irish romantic musical drama written and directed by John Carney. It stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova as two struggling Dublin musicians who both composed and performed the film’s original songs. It took years in development with the Irish Film Board and was made on a budget on 112,000 Euros ($150,000 U.S.) It paid off. The soundtrack received a Grammy Award nomination. Falling Slowly won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Original Song. Once’s worldwide box office total was over $23 million.

“For Your Pleasure”

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

For Your Pleasure (Island, 1973)

For Your Pleasure was the second album by English rock band Roxy Music. It was the band’s last album to feature Brian Eno. Roxy Music spent more studio time on this album than they did on their debut a year earlier, meaning that the songs on For Your Pleasure had more elaborate production treatments. For Your Pleasure peaked at #4 in the UK and frequently appears in “Greatest Albums Lists.” The only single release was Do the Strand. It starts very suddenly without any instrumental fanfare. Interestingly, it was released as a single in most countries except in the UK. It was released as a single in the UK in 1978 to promote their Greatest Hits album and failed to chart. Nonetheless, it remains one of their most popular from fan perspective, especially at live shows.

Sophie la Girafe

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Sophie la Girafe (France)

Sophie la girafe is a rubber giraffe toy that babies chew on. Sophie first appeared in 1961 and was named after the day it was launched (May 25, which in France is the feast day of Saint Madeline Sophie Barat). More Sophies are sold in France than there are babies born. Sophie has gone international and is now quite a popular toy in the U.S.

Did Mama Cass Died From Choking on a Ham Sandwich?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,


(Photo courtesy of http://www.theredshtick.com)

Urban Legend: Mama Cass died from choking on a ham sandwich

Let’s examine another music urban legend. “Mama” Cass Elliot died from choking on a ham sandwich. Why does this persist? A half-eaten ham sandwich was found on the stand next to her bed and initially the police suspected that she may have choked to death. The truth is the former Mamas and the Papas singer was quite overweight for her height and had been her entire life. Elliot died from a weak heart caused by her excessive weight, all the various years of crash diets that she tried to lose weight and (some claim) cocaine. An official coroner’s report found no food in her trachea, nor were there any drugs in her system either. Elliot is theorized to have had a substance abuse problem as she had tried heroin and gotten caught out by it. Elliot was only 32 at the time of her death and had been staying in a flat at Curzon Place (later renamed Curzon Square), an apartment that was loaned to her by singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Four years later, The Who’s drummer Keith Moon died in the same room also at age 32. (Moon died of an overdose of Heminevrin, a drug intended to treat and/or prevent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.) Elliot was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her work with the Mamas and the Papas.