Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cool & Strange Music Vol. 1: Japanese Sixties & Seventies TV Shows & Theme Music

(Secret surprise at very bottom of this post!)

Wow! Way cool! Japanese sixties and seventies TV and cool music! Retro world, here I come!

I stumbled on this a minute ago and my wife went crazy. She said that, "Oh! I love these shows! They would come on at night and those were shows for adults and not kids, so it was our bedtime. But we'd watch by peaking through the sliding doors as our parents watched in the living room!"

Funny, eh? Some things are the same all over the world.

Here's some that I found that look and sound really cool (or at least really sixties kitsch or campy). 

This looks like a classic... I can tell just by looking at this that it has superb script writing and acting....Anyone know what show this is?

Here's some that I found that look and sound really cool. I'll ask my wife for comments:

The first one makes me laugh. It's called "G-Men '75":

"G-Men '75" was a drama about, well, G-men. It ran from 1975 ~ 1982. The announcer says these folks were "Hard-boiled" (whatever that means!) My wife says that this drama made her heart "Doki-doki" (heart pound) because these guys were "so cool!"

Next up is the theme from Key Hunter (performed by the Tokyo Panorama Boys). This is definitely very cool and strange music:

What did I tell you? Is that a cool tune, or what? I love that! "Key Hunter" was a drama about international police and it ran from 1968 ~ 1973. 

Then, my wife tells me that the next really famous one was "Taiyo ni Hoero" (Howling at the Sun):

Wow! Taiyo ni Hoero ran for 14 years from 1972 to 1986. It was your typical police show... Well, I guess it can't be that typical, running for 14 years is amazing. 

OK, so let's really go down the rabbit hole. Remember The Guardman? No? Neither do I. But this looks pretty cool. Listen to the end because there are two tunes here:

God! I guess Tokyo traffic was bad even in the sixties! I like how all these police shows always have shot of all these cops walking along in a line. The Guardman ran from 1965 ~ 1971. It was a show about guys working for a private security company.

Sure seemed like the Japanese liked police shows!

Here's one with a really cool theme song. It's called "Hijyono License" (Rough translation: "License to Show No Mercy" or maybe "Cut-throat License"):

Hijyono License ran for seven years from 1973 ~ 1980 and was a spin-off from Key Hunter.

Finally, this last one is hilarious. It is called "Shonen Jet" (Young Jet). The music isn't all that cool but you can see what a creative director with little money but lots of ideas - mostly, er, "borrowed" - from American TV can do.

Cool (50cc) motorcycle, eh? Like the Zorro looking guy who is hanging out in the young girl-in-her-pajamas house!? Shonen Jet ran for 1.5 years from 1959 to 1960.

Hey! This stuff cracks me up! I like it a lot! This is going to become a regular series on this blog. I'm going to run this regularly until I find all the coolest sixties guitar themed songs I can.

Finally, may I brag? I think I am good to write this sort of thing as I used to be in some cheesy kid's dramas too in the eighties. No! Really! I was. This is me as Napoleon and Dracula in the popular eighties kid's program "Bishojokamen Poatorin." This particular episode was from 1989.

I also used to be in a bunch of other VERY embarrassing programs (much more embarrassing than even this one!) that, hopefully, will never ever see the light of day again!  

Have a great weekend!


norasu79 said...

Thanks for remembering Taiyo Ni Hoero! I watched this every Friday night for years! Most of my learning Japanese must have come from that show. Each time they got a new young detective, you knew he would be killed and another one would join the gang. How I miss those shows...

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Dear Norasu79,
Thank you so much for visiting and your kind comments! (My wife loved that show too!)

norasu79 said...

I was born in Tachikawa, the daughter of a school teacher who taught military kids through department of defense. I lived there until I graduated from high school in 1979 and miss it so much, Japan will always be home.

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