May 20, 2007

Help Solve A Mystery: Identify This Album Of Japanese Kids' Songs

Mystery.jpgTaylor Jessen is a man on a mission, and he needs your help. He is trying to track down a copy of an obscure album of exotica-styled Japanese children's songs. He first heard tracks from the album on an archival recording of a free-form radio show by comedy group Firesign Theatre, which was broadcast on Los Angeles station KPFK-FM in the early 1970's. The tracks were just one set of sound sources thrown into the mix that underscored their wild improv, so they were never back-announced. (The album originally belonged to a member of the troupe but it has long since been lost, along with any enduring memory of it.)

After much searching, Taylor has scraped together information about some of the song titles, but still doesn't know the name of the album or who recorded it... Here are mp3s of show snippets on which tracks from the mystery album appear (along with YouTube videos of the mp3s being played on Adobe Audition.)

Clip #1 (mp3) - originally broadcast on Nov 22, 1970. The name of the song we hear is Chugoku-Chiho no Komoriuta, a traditional lullaby from western Honshu.

Clip #2 (mp3) - originally broadcast on Nov 22, 1970. The name of this one is unknown.

Clip #3 (mp3) - originally broadcast on Dec 9, 1971. This one is called Anta-gata-dokosa.

Clip #4 (mp3) - originally broadcast on Nov 22, 1970. This one is called Tawara Wa Gorogoro, or Straw Rice Bags in the Storehouse.

And finally, Clip #5 (mp3) - originally broadcast on Nov 18, 1971. The song is Toryanse, or Let Me Pass, a Japanese nursery rhyme that is now apparently played at Japanese pedestrian crossings.

If you have any information that can help Taylor on his quest, you can contact him at ironybread at earthlink dot net. (via Boing Boing)

Posted by Warren at May 20, 2007 01:12 PM | Mystery