The 24th installment of the series “Singing Good”, which introduces the secret stories of famous songs and hit songs, is Miyuki Nakajima’s famous song “Era”. At the time of his debut, the performance he showed on stage was criticized, but there was a certain feeling in his heart.
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It is unthinkable now, but Miyuki Nakajima at the time of her debut was preceded by images such as “cheeky” and “tappari”.
Nakajima, who was born in Hokkaido, jumped into the national district at the 6th World Popular Song Festival held at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo in November 1975 (Showa 50). Nakajima won the Grand Prix in the “era”, but the “incident” that occurred on that stage created the image of “cheeky”.
A new singer who won the popular song contest (Popcon) of the year automatically participated in the World Popular Song Festival. Nakajima was one of those newcomers. In the encore after winning the Grand Prix, Nakajima heard something from the orchestra conductor. Suddenly, he started singing “the era” with a single guitar without accompaniment. In the introduction of the entry songs in the first half of the song festival, he sang the “era” powerfully with the full orchestra in the background. However, in Angkor, he stopped playing the orchestra himself and sang with a single guitar.
It was an unprecedented newcomer. The orchestra members and field staff were furious. Newspapers and magazines were filled with bashing articles. However, it was not Nakajima’s selfishness to sing “the times” with a single guitar. I intended to thank the “beneficiary” who discovered himself.
The benefactor was Genichi Kawakami, who was the chairman of the Yamaha Music Foundation and was known as Yamaha’s one-man president at the time. Mr. Kawakami, who founded Popcon in 1969, listened to all the submitted songs from all over the country every year. In 1974, when Nakajima applied for the “era,” Popcon’s popularity peaked, and the number of songs submitted lightly exceeded 10,000. Mr. Kawakami heard the “era” in it. He called Nakajima, who was anonymous, to his home in Hamamatsu and encouraged him. “You write great lyrics. In the future, I want you to grow up to be an artist who can compete with lyrics. If possible, singing with a single guitar will convey your lyrics to people rather than loud music think”.
Nakajima engraved that word in his heart and sang the “era” with a single guitar at the end of the World Popular Song Festival. Masanori Yamaguchi, who was in charge of the World Popular Song Festival at the promotion association, said, “At that time, the people in charge of Popcon were paying attention only to the sound, and to be clear, the lyrics were blind spots. I paid attention to the possibility of Mr. Nakajima’s lyrics. Kawakami-san is the only one. I still feel like I’m going down. “
Popcon ended in 1986, and Mr. Kawakami also left Yamaha after being criticized for his family business.
And the times have passed, and the time has passed. In 1995, when Nakajima gave a concert in Hamamatsu, Mr. Kawakami visited the venue in a wheelchair. After seeing Mr. Kawakami, Nakajima shed tears on the stage that he did not show at the World Popular Song Festival.[Special coverage group]
* This article was published in Nikkan Sports on December 10, 1997. Some parts have been revised. The series “Singing is good” is delivered every Sunday.