The Tempters


The Tempters, Saitama’s Band founded by guitarist Toshio Tanaka and bassist Takaku Noburo. The two started playing together in 1965, and soon drafted lead guitarist Yoshiharu Matsuzaki from a nearby school. By early 1966 they were playing Ventures covers at local clubs. They met singer Keizo Hagiwara, who later adopted the stage name Kennichi Hagiwara, on the club circuit, and drafted him after hearing his spirited version of “Money”. In 1967 they were signed by the management company Spiduction (now Tanabe Agency), who handled the already hot group sounds band The Spiders, of whom they were fans. About this time the Tempters lineup became complete, with sixteen year old Hiroshi Oguchi joining on drums. In October 1967 the Tempters released their first single, the Double A sided “Wasureenu Kimi”/ “Kyo wo Ikiyo ( Let’s Live For Today)”, the latter a hit in the States by The Grass Roots. Their second single was another Double A side, “Kamisama Onegai”/ “Namida o Egaoni”, which went to #2 in the charts. Both of these songs were written by guitarist Matsuzaki. For their third single, a ballad was written by an outside writer of management’s choice, Rei Nakanishi, which the members did not immediately take to, but “Emerald no Densetsu” went to #1. In June 1968 they released their first album, which was also a hit. Around this time was the era in which “group sounds” bands and their concerts were deemed dangerous, especially after some fans were injured at a Tigers show. The Tempters fourth album, The Tempters in Memphis, was recorded, naturally, in Memphis, Tennessee and released in December 1969. It was however actually more a solo album for singer Hagiwara, as the playing was done mostly with studio musicians. The album was not well received, and in December 1970 the Tempters packed it in. Hagiwara and Oguchi both joined the short lived supergroup PYG, along with former members of The Spiders, The Tigers and The Tempters. In 1972 Oguchi formed the glam-leaning Vodka Collins with American alan Sachs, who took the family name of his mother, famed jazz singer Helen Merrill, and created the stage name alan Merrill. Merrill would go on to form The Arrows in England, and write prolifically, most notably the song “I Love Rock’n'Roll”. Hagiwara had moderate success after The Tempters as an actor and solo singer



Emerald No Densetsu – The Tempters (1968)

The tempters - emerald no Densetsu