I am researching a band called the Tokyo Happy Coats (THCs), and I need
help in contacting someone at Columbia Records who could assist in locating
information on possible recording session(s) made by the THCs for Columbia
To begin, the Tokyo Happy Coats was a band comprised of five sisters,
originally from Japan, the Hakomori sisters. They first started as the "Gay
Little Hearts" in the mid-1950s, and they played the entertainment circuit
of U.S. military bases in Japan up to 1964. It was in 1964 that the band
eventually changed their name to the "Tokyo Happy Coats", and they came to
the U.S. They played the casino/lounge circuit in the U.S. until early
1971, when they decided to stop performing.
Around 1965, the THCs had some interaction with Columbia Records that I am
trying to learn more about.
In the September 22, 1965 issue of Variety magazine, page 60, there is the
column “Tin Pan Alley”, written by Red O’Donnell, dateline Nashville,
September 21. O’Donnell writes in last paragraph of the column:
"Bob Johnston a&r’d sesh for Columbia by the Tokyo Happy Coats (5 Japanese
gals) who did country tunes in rock ‘n’ roll style."
I am guessing that if the THCs did record for Columbia, it might have been
the studio in Nashville, since the article’s dateline is Nashville.
In the January 5, 1966 issue of Variety magazine, page 231, there is a
full-page advertisement for Columbia Records. The headline for the ad is “A
Grand Cavalcade of Sound…”, and underneath there is listing of various
Columbia Records artists. The text at the bottom of the ad reads: “The
Greatest Stage In The World. Columbia Records.” The Tokyo Happy Coats are
listed among the artists in the ad.
I have not found any releases by the THCs on Columbia Records so far. It
could be the case where the THCs did record some material for Columbia, but
ultimately Columbia decided the “shelve” the group, and nothing was ever
The band did release a few 45s and two LPs on King Records, circa 1970.
I would like to see if there is a person affiliated with Columbia Records I
can contact who could assist me in finding out what the relationship was
between the Tokyo Happy Coats and Columbia Records.
Was there some sort of contract between the THCs and Columbia Records
around this time?
Does Columbia Records have any documentation related to the THCs, for
example papers, promotional material, photographs, etc.?
Did the THCs actually perform recording sessions for Columbia Records in
1965 or later?
Do any recordings or other material exist from these recording sessions,
i.e. audio tapes, papers, etc.?
Thanks for your help...