The next song to hit the top of the record charts in 1963 was “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto. The original title of the song was ”Ue o Muite Aruko” (I Shall Walk Looking Up) but was changed for English speaking countries. The song tells the story of a man who looks up and whistles while he is walking so that his tears will not fall. The verses of the song describe his memories and feelings. It is the only song in Japanese that has ever reached the top spot on the U.S. records charts.
Kyu was born in 1941. He had some hits with groups in Japanese before “Sukiyaki” became a world wide hit. In 1963 he made a world tour that include a spot on “The Steve Allen Show” in the U.S. He would only have the one big hit song. Kyu would marry in 1971 and have 2 children. He would died too young in 1985.
“Sukiyaki” would be on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 3 weeks (June 9 – 29). It stayed on the top of the Cash Box record chart from June 9 – July 6 (4 weeks).