The Jaguars

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The Jaguars
Also known asザ・ジャガーズ
OriginYokohama, Japan
GenresGroup Sounds
Years active1964 (1964)–1971 (1971) 1981 (1981)– 2009 (2009)
LabelsPhilips Records
Past member(s)Yukio Miya (drums)
Shin Okamoto (vocal)
Koichi Miyazaki (rhythm guitar)
Mikio Morita (bass guitar)
Hisayuki Okitsu (lead guitar)
Yasuji Sato (keyboard)
Takeshi Hamano (drums)
Akira Hashi (vocal)
Maki Tsutomu (drums)
Yoshio Ishii (vocal)

The Jaguars (ザ・ジャガーズ, Za jagāzu) is a Japanese group sound band that was created in 1964 until 1971. The band sung many both Japanese and English music covers, manly The Rolling Stones, The Nashville Teens, Paul Revere And The Raiders, and other American and British band groups.

Overview[change | change source]

The predecessor of The Jaguars was active as an electric group at jazz cafes under the name of "Yukio Miya and The Play Five" in April 1964. In 1965, they began to appear regularly on electric programs such as the TV programs "Beat No. 1" and "Young Pops Excite", and the band's name recognition gradually increased. In May of the following year, Shin Okamoto, who was a 16 year old vocalist from Kanagawa at that time, reluctantly joined the group and they became popular in the magazines and songs. The Play Five was renamed to The Jaguars in June 1967 and made their record debut with "Kimi Niaitai" (Want To See You Again).

This debut songs was a big hit, and popular songs such as "Dancing Lonely Night" and "Mademoiselle Bruce" were skipped one after another. In March 1968, The Jaguars first and only appeared in many televisions shows and of course there was a movie called "Make Way For The Jaguars" (directed by Yôichi Maeda and produced by Shochiku), but at the end of the same month, the band leader Yukio Miya withdrew due to internal conflict with the music directors. After Yukio left the group, 19 year old Takeshi Hamano joined the alternative drums in April and Shin became the leader of the group at the age of 20. In June, they released a hit song "The Legend of Xanadu" and in September with "Two People In The Starry Sky", but in January 1969, "Bruce for Lovers" was a remarkably popular song like other GS songs. It has become a song that has been turned into a musical stage play.

Around this time, the GS genre began to fade as disco and funky music became to flourish in Japan, and lead guitarist Hisayuki Okitsu left the group due to illness treatment, and in 1970, keyboardist Yasuji Sato and Takeshi Hamano also leaving, thus repeating member changes. After "Someday Someone" released in April 1970, they became active in nightclubs in Tokyo without a release song in 1971, but did not hold any dissolution concerts, and The Jaguars ended was in July 1971. After appearing in "Goodbye Nikki Western Carnival" in 1981, the band was reunited when "Want To Meet You" song was appointed as a commercial for Asahi Breweries, but in 2009, due to the death of Shin Okamoto, The band dissolved again soon after.

Members[change | change source]

  • Yukio Miya (drums, November 16, 1937 - October 29, 2013), Leader, formed The New Jaguars after leaving the group in March 1968. After the dissolution, he runs a pub restaurant in Yokohama
  • Shin Okamoto (lead vocal, April 20, 1949 - April 19, 2009)
  • Koichi Miyazaki (rhythm guitar, Vocal, October 20, 1942 - September 30, 2014), left the band in June 1971
  • Mikio Morita (bass guitar, vocals, June 16, 1944 - )
  • Hisayuki Okitsu (lead guitar, vocals, January 1, 1945 - ) * Left in 1969 due to illness
  • Yasuji Saito (keyboard, May 13, 1946 - March 10, 2021) * Left the group in September 1970
  • Takeshi Hamano (drums, April 26, 1949 - ) * Joined midway in 1968 and left in 1970
  • Akira Hashi (vocals) * Joined midway through 1970, formerly The Sommers member
  • Maki Tsutomu (drums) * Joined midway in 1970, withdrew in July 1971, former The Sommers member
  • Yoshio Ishii (vocals) * Joined midway in 1970, withdrew in July 1971, former P.S. Venus member

Discography[change | change source]

Albums[change | change source]

  • Want To See You (君に会いたい, Kiminiaitai) / Beat Train (ビート・トレイン, Bīto torein) (1967.6.1)
  • Dancing Lonely Night (ダンシング・ロンリー・ナイト, Danshingu ronrī naito) / Young Tomorrow (若いあした, Wakai ashita) (1967.10.5)
  • Mademoiselle Bruce (マドモアゼル・ブルース, Madomoazeru burūsu) / Poor John (哀れなジョン, Awarena jon) (1968.1.25)
  • The Legend of Xanadu (キサナドーの伝説, Kisanadō no densetsu) / Quarante Maringouins (二人だけの渚, Futaridake no nagisa) (1968.6.15); Cover version of British band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich's "The Legend of Xanadu"
  • Two People In The Starry Sky (星空の二人, Hoshizora no futari) / Koi's Passport (恋のパスポート, Koi no pasupōto) (September 25, 1968)
  • Bruce For Lovers (恋人たちにブルースを, Koibito-tachi ni burūsu o) / Mayumi In Love (恋するまゆみ, Koisuru mayumi) (1969.1.25)
  • Street Corner Of Two People (二人の街角, Futari no machikado) / Dawn Of Love (愛の夜明け, Ai no yoake) (1969.5.25)
  • Someday Someone (いつか誰か, Itsuka dare ka) / Phoenix (フェニックス, Fenikkusu) (Immortal Bird {不死鳥, Fushichō}) (1970.4.25)
  • A Perky 30-Year-Old (はつらつ30才, Hatsuratsu 30-sai) / Drifting Trip (漂泊の旅, Hyōhaku no tabi) (released on 1982.4.2 when reunited)

TV appearance[change | change source]

Movie[change | change source]