Yūzō Kayama (加山 雄三, Kayama Yūzō?) was one of Japan’s biggest male stars in the 60’s. He was a popular TV personality and movie actor as well as a gifted musician. A big star of Eleki (the instrumental electric guitar boom) and inspired by The Ventures’ tour in 1965, Yuzo Kayama formed The Launchers and began to play full-on surf music. They were so successful that The Ventures even recorded two of their songs, Black Sand Beach and Yozora No Hoshi. The Launchers were signed to Toshiba Records with a caveat in the contract that Yuzo Kayama would sing to widen the band’s appeal. Yuzo Kayama did sing, and his songs such as Boomerang Baby and Mafuya No Kaerimichi were huge hits. When Kimi To Itsumademo (君といつまでも, Forever With You?) was released in 1965, it sold an estimate 3 million copies.
Note: Yuzo Kayma was also credited with coining the term Group Sounds (GS) on his own live TV chat show in 1964.
The Launchers: Yuzo Kayama (guitar), Osamu Kitajima (guitar), Yuzo Watanabe (bass), Ei Kitajima (drums).
Yuzo Kayama with The Ventures
(君といつまでも KIMI TO ITSUMADEMO)
Futari no yuuyami ga Tsutsumu kono madobe ni
Ashita mo subarashii Shiawase ga kuru darou
Kimi wo hanasanaizo
Koisuru kono mune wa Honoo to moete iru
Oozora somete yuku Yuuhi iro asetemo
Futari no kokoro wa Kawaranai itsumademo
Shiawase da na
Boku wa kimi to iru toki ga
Boku wa shinu made ichiban shiawase nanda
僕は死ぬまで Boku wa shinu made
君を離さないぞ Kimi wo hanasanaizo
いいだろう？」 II darou?”
Kimi wa soyokaze ni Kami to tokasete
Yasashiku kono boku no Shitono ni okure
Koyoi mo hi ga kurete Toki wa sariyuku to mo
Futari no omoi wa Lawaranai itsumademo