The Tigers ザ・タイガース

From the “jazz kissa” (jazz coffee shops) local music scene in Kyoto, Sally & The Playboys (Osami Kishibe – bass guitar, Taro Morimoto – rhythm guitar, Katsumi Takahashi – lead guitar and vocal, and Minoru Hitomi – drums) recruited the enigmatic vocalist, Kenji Sawada, from The Thunders to form The Funnies in 1966. For their professional debut, they renamed as The Tigers and released the first SP in early 1967 (My Mary/Let me see you baby) but it was the follow-up SP (Seaside Bound) which charted. Before they disbanded in 1971, they had recorded fifteen SP’s and six LP’s for Polydor Japan. Many of their songs were the biggest hits in the GS era, like Mona Lisa’s smile (Lisa no Hohoemi), Love only for you (Kimidake ni Aiwo), C-C-C and Smile for me (penned by Maurice and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees), and Flower necklace (Hana no Kubikazari) and A white dove (Haikyo no Hato) sang by Katsumi. Shiro Kishibe (Osami’s younger brother) replaced Katsumi in 1969. The Tigers reunited in 1981 to record Tigers 1982.

The core members of The Tigers were nicknamed affectionately by their fans: Osami Kishibe (Sally), Kenji Sawada (Julie), Katsumi Takahashi (Toppo), Minoru Hitomi (Pea) and Taro Morimoto (simply Taro).

(SMILE FOR ME)
Smile for me
Don’t let me see you crying
For you must keep on trying
To pretend that you don’t care

Smile for me
If only for a moment
And even though I’m far away
My heart will stay with you

One moment of sadness
Brings you gladness
And you will learn
While I’m away
You must pray for my return

Smile for me
If only for a moment
And even though I’m far away
My heart will stay with you

One moment of sadness
Brings you gladness
And you will learn
While I’m away
You must pray for my return

Smile for me
Though there’s no need for sorrow
Just wait until tomorrow
I’m home again
So, smile for me
For me
For me…

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