Monday, March 30, 2020

Discussing Korean and Japanese 1960s and '70s rock on 'Idolcast'

I was contacted by the blogger Filmi Girl late last year and during the ensuing email conversation I found out she knew a lot about 1960s Japanese 'Group Sounds' bands and was interested in Korean bands from that time as well. She asked me if I'd be interested in appearing on her podcast, 'Idolcast,' and our resulting conversation, interspersed with lots of music, can be listened to here.

A list of the songs included can be found here.

Part of our conversation in which she explained the history of the mid-to-late 1960s Japanese band the Tigers was cut from the conversation because she's already done two podcasts about them (with a third to come). They can be found here and here.

Korean rock bands in the late 1960s (well, 1969) and early 1970s were also referred to as 'group sound,' which clearly was influenced by the Japanese term. Just what other influences may have came from Japan I'm not sure. While some Korean singers like Patti Kim did concerts and recorded in Japan, the ban on Japanese cultural products (only partly lifted in 1997) would have made it difficult for Japanese performers to come to Korea. One exception to this was the 'Asia Vocal Team Competition' mentioned here in July 1969. Sunday Seoul referred to it as the 'Asia Group Sound Competition' and stated that it took place from July 16 to 20 at Citizens' Hall (where Sejong Cultural Center now stands, and where Cliff Richard would play to screaming fans three months later). Groups from the US, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia competed, including the Astrojets from Japan and Spookies from Indonesia.

Below left is ' Miss Morita,' a member of Japan's go-go dancing team.

The top photo below is of Japan's Astrojets under 'psychedelic lights,' and below them are the Key Boys.

The question of cultural links between Korea and Japan at that time would be interesting to explore. Many thanks to Filmi Girl for an interesting conversation!

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