The Tokyo Happy Coats racked up a string of albums and singles on the King Record label in Japan throughout the 1960s. I’m not sure how many albums they released, but the one in my collection is named for one of their hits, “Forevermore.” The Coats toured the U.S. and even appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The publicity photo up top was apparently not just a stunt. According to one source, the members actually played 26 different instruments!

The first song posted here, “Uptight,” is of course a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1963 hit, and it’s surprisingly well done. My friend Peter Stenshoel used the other track (“Tea-A-Wanna-Whistle”) as intro music on Little City In Space, his syndicated radio show from the mid-1980s. It’s just a real peppy tune featuring the girls whistling.

Helpful note: Happi (法被, 半被) is a traditional Japanese straight-sleeved coat made of cotton and imprinted with a distinctive crest. Originally, these represented the crest of a family, as happi were worn by house servants. In English, “happi” is most often translated as “happi coat” or “happy coat.”

Tokyo Happy Coats – Uptight

Tokyo Happy Coats – Tea-A-Wanna Whistle



Filed under 1960s, J-Pop

2 responses to “HAPPI NEW YEAR!

  1. Paul Bunny

    Ah, makes me want to hear a news broadcast from 1964.

  2. spacebrother


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