Known as Takeito, the webmaster of Adult Contemporary Music in Japan (ACMJ), which had been started in 1995 and closed in 2019. The ACMJ was one of the earliest websites dedicated to AOR / Westcoast Music.


    1F A: Amy Sky

    A: Amy Sky

    Amy Sky is one of the finest Canadian female singer-songwriters widely known for her excellent compositions covered by Anne Murray, Diana Ross, Heart, Olivia Newton-John and Belinda Carlisle. After graduating from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, Amy sang as back vocals singer for a while. Then Amy moved to Nashville for beginning songwriting in earnest. She was signed with MCA Music, Nashville TN in 1985 and soon became one of well-known songwriters. No sooner relocated to Los Angeles in 1986 than Amy quickly gained a reputation for her fine songsmithing sensibility. In 1987, Amy decided to go with Capitol Records after consideration several offers from major labels as a new recording artist. By that time, she had met and married with Marc Jordan. Her first album had been slated for a 1990 release, but an executive shuffle put an end to this project.
    As her family grew, Amy realized she did not want to bring up her children in Los Angeles (several earthquakes, bush fires and a riot had taken their toll). Amy, Marc and their children returned to Toronto in 1993. With creative atmosphere of Toronto, Amy's multiple talents blossomed. Her debut album "Cool Rain" was finally released in 1996, which earned her two Juno nominations, Songwriter of the year in 1996 and Best New Solo Artist in 1997. Another important event for Amy in 1996 is her leading role in the musical "Blood Brothers" with Michael Burgess and David Cassidy. In 1998, she has released her second solo album "Burnt By The Sun" dedicated to her father, Huck Shiner (1916-1997). In 2000, Amy released a conceptual album "Phenomenal Woman" that explores, inspires and celebrates womanhood. Whilst Amy continues solo releases, Amy released an album “Liv On”, a collaboration with Olivia Newton-John and Beth Nielsen Chapman of songs to support those seeking healing from loss, in October, 2016 The trio toured in 2017 and it was really great show which I attended on 26 January, 2017 at Union Chapel, London UK.

    2F B: Bill Cantos

    B: Bill Cantos

    Bill Cantos, born in San Diego on 19 September, 1963, grew up listening to Pop, Broadway, Jazz, Latin and Gospel music. Bill studied at San Diego University and later received a Master's degree from New England Conservatory of Music. Bill got a chance to record with El DeBarge in 1988. Then, he moved to Los Angeles in order to start the professional musician career, where Bill has performed and recorded with David Foster, Freddy Hubbard and Diane Schuur.

    Bill released the album "Sibling Revelry" in 1988 and "Stronger" in 1991 under the name of the group "Sibling Revelry", a vocal and instrumental ensemble with his two sisters Rita and Roxanne. Bill also released his own first solo album titled "Brentwood Jazz - Bill Cantos Project" in 1992 for Brentwood Music. In 1993, Bill recorded several tunes with Jay Graydon on Jay's incredible project album "Airplay For The Planet" and toured as a member of Jay's All Star Band in Japan and Scandinavia. He shown his excellent talent as a vocalist as well as a keyboard player at the performance with Jay Graydon to us.

    3F B: Bill Champlin

    B:  Bill Champlin

    The extraordinary, one and only, GOAT singer / songwriter of AOR / Westcoast must be Bill Champlin.
    The voice of the Sons of Champlin, solo artist, the voice of the golden age Chicago, many collaboration with big names and guest appearances for them, Bill never stops his musical journey. Almost impossible to show all of Bill Champlin’s works here, so mainly focusing his solo works here.

    4F B: Bill LaBounty

    B: Bill LaBounty

    Bill LaBounty's first recording work was "Country Morning / Hello Misery" as the member of "Fat Chance" and also released the self-titled album in 1972. Then, LaBounty’s first album "Promised Love" was released in 1975 on 20th Century Records, but no big success. It is interesting that "This Night Won't Last Forever" (b/w "Corporate Rock& Roll) was released as the last single records under 20th Century Records before being released his second album "This Night Won't Last Forever" in 1978 on Curb Records. The title track "This Night Won't Last Forever" was just ranked number 65 on Billboard Pop Chart for 2 weeks, but Michael Johnson also covers the same and Johnson’s version ranked number 19 in 1979.

    LaBounty released two more albums, "Rain In My Life" in 1979 and "Bill LaBounty" in 1982 on Curb Records. The highest chart position of the track "Never Gonna Look Back" from the album "Bill LaBounty" was number 110 on Billboard Hot 200 Chart (number 22 on Adult Contemporary Chart). The unsuccessful result in the industry made him behind the music scene, and thus Bill has been known as a songwriter rather than a singer since 1983. His composition works are "Holding Out" by Peter Cetera including the album titled "One More Story"(1988), "No Explanation" by Peter Cetera from the movie soundtrack "Pretty Woman"(1990).

    Bill restarted as a singer by releasing the album "The Right Direction" for Japanese AOR/Westcoast market in 1991, and afterwards this album was released also in the United States under Noteworthy Records with 2 bonus tracks which are live recording tracks in Japan. His Curb Records days albums are still very popular among Japanese and European AOR/Westcoast lovers and you can listen to many cover versions of LaBounty's melodies such as "Livin' It Up" by Ricky Peterson.

    5F B: Bobby Caldwell

    B: Bobby Caldwell

    Bobby Caldwell was born in Manhattan, New York on 15 August, 1951. It was generally said to be that his music career was started in 1978 by releasing his self-titled first album featuring his first worldwide hit "What You Won't Do For Love" ranked No.9 on Billboard Pop Chart. However, it should be duly noted that Bobby had released his single record "The House Is Rockin' / When You Awake" in 1976, two years earlier, under the minor label PBR International.
    Bobby constantly released his albums; "Cat In The Hat" in 1980 and "Carry on" followed in 1982. His fourth album "August Moon" was released in 1983 only for Japan, later became also available in USA by Sin-Drome Records.
    Breaking long absence in mid 80’s, Bobby came back to the music scene in 1989 with the fifth album "Heart of Mine" featuring the his self-cover version of "Heart of Mine" originally performed by Boz Scaggs in 1988 and "Next Time (I Fall)" originally performed by Peter Cetera and Amy Grant ranked No.1 on Billboard Pop Chart in 1986. Since then, Bobby restarted to release his original albums constantly. Bobby gradually changed his musical style into more jazzy one in mid 90's from his unique and sophisticated Adult Contemporary, about which we say it represents AOR music here in Japan. When you listen to the album "Soul Survivor" (1995), you must be upset if you would expect pure AOR/Adult Contemporary Bobby Caldwell because this album had a little standard jazz flavours. Further, Bobby pursued his standard jazz style by the following albums "Blue Condition" (1996) and "Come Rain, Come Shine" (1999). I would mainly show you Bobby Caldwell's Japanese CDs which are either having different tracklisting or including bonus tracks when I compare with its U.S. original versions here.

    6F B: Bobby Kimball

    B: Bobby Kimball

    Robert Troy Kimball, aka. Bobby Kimball, the original singer of Toto from 1977 to 1984 and again from 1998 to 2008 was born and raised in Louisiana. Kimball started to sing with local bands in Louisiana and Texas, ending up in a band called "The Levee Band", which became LeRoux after Kimball left. In 1974, Kimball moved to Los Angeles to pursue a full-time music career, responding to the request from his long time friend, Jon Smith and Kimball joined
    three members of Three Dog Night to form a band called S.S. Fools that signed a contract with CBS Records and released an album. During the rehearsal stages of "S.S. Fools", Bobby first met, and became friends with Jeff Porcaro and David. A few months after leaving S.S. Fools, Kimball became the lead singer of Toto. Kimball was fired in the middle of the recording of the fifth Toto album “Isolation. Then, Kimball moved to Germany for 6 years, and recorded his first CD there with Frank Farian called “The Far Corporation”.
    In 1998, Bobby rejoined Toto and he remained the lead vocalist till 2008.

    7F B: Boy Meets Girl

    B: Boy Meets Girl

    Boy Meets Girl is the pop duo comprising George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam. They released their first album featuring a hit song "Oh Girl" in 1985 by A&M Records,which was typical West Coast Pop album.
    They are also well-known songwriter team who wrote "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" for Whitney Houston in 1987.
    In 1988, the second album titled "Reel Life" which featured American Top 40 Hit "Waiting For A Star To Fall".
    The 3rd album "New Dream" should have followed in 1991.However, this was never officially released anywhere in the world. Only very limited number of promotinal CD's seemed to be distributed in the music industry. (Later, this hidden gem was released by the artist.)
    Thus, we had to wait for Boy Meets Girl music over the decade before they re-embarked their musical journey with 4th album "The Wonderground" in 2003, which was released under the name of "Boy Meets Girl Music".

    8F B: Boz Scaggs

    B: Boz Scaggs

    Boz Scaggs must be one of the guys who established AOR / Westcoast music style in late 70’s, many of us agrees, I believe. The 1976’s masterpiece record “Silk Degrees” was definitely the game changer of the music trend, using session musicians who later formed Toto.
    In early 60’s Ohio born Boz was in London then travelled to Sweden as a solo R&B performer and recorded his solo debut album “Boz” in 1965. In late 60’s, Boz worked with Steve Miller and the results were first two albums of Steve Miller Band. Boz restarted his solo career with the sel-titled second solo album featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and session guitarist Duane Allman in 1969. The 1974’s album “Slow Dancer” was remarkable. Following the big commercial success of “Silk Degrees”, we could have another two well-produced albums by 1980; “Down Two Then Left” (1977) and my personal all time favourite “Middle Man” (1980). Despite that we could attend Boz Scaggs live concerts in mid 80’s, we were obliged to wait for 8 years to have Boz’s album. In 1988, “Other Roads” was finally released.
    In 1990’s Boz moved back to his roots music style and released R&B oriented albums or more jazzy ones since then.

    9F B: Bruce Gaitsch

    B: Bruce Gaitsch

    Bruce R. Gaitsch was born in Chicago on 7 February, 1953. He did through 1980's and 1990's and has been contributing his skills as a guitarist, songwriter and producer to many big names including Madonna, Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, Kenny G., Chaka Kahn, Glenn Frey, Lionel Ritchie, Celine Dion, Sheena Easton, Michael McDonald, Barbara Striesand and many others almost over four decades.
    As a matter of fact, Bruce is not only an excellent guitarist but also a well-known songwriter who composed the debut song of Richard Marx "Don't Mean Nothing" with Richard Marx and "La Isla Bonita" performed by Madonna with Patrick Leonard. Needless to say, his songs were recorded by many others like Chicago, Celine Dion, Timothy B. Schmit, Agnetha (ex ABBA), Peter Cetera, Philip Bailey, Fee Waybill, Robert Lamm, Bill Champlin, Venice, Amy Sky, Marc Jordan, Evelyn King, Poco, Donna Delory, The Fixx, Wendy Moton, Hanne Boelle, Patrick Fiori and Lara Fabian. You should pay your attention to the producing works by Bruce for the above-listed artists at the same time.

    Turning to his own project activities, Bruce started his own band "King Of Hearts" with Tommy Funderburk and other surprising members in late 1980's and completed their debut albums for a U,S major label in 1989, but this album was never released before 1994 Pioneer LDC, the Japanese label, released the re-recorded album of this project. Looking at his solo activities, Bruce started to release his guitar-oriented albums since 1995 with the first solo album "A Lyre In A Windstorm".

    10F C: Chicago

    C: Chicago

    It was 1967 when Walter Parazaider, Terry Kath, Danny Seraphine, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Robert Lamm, and Peter Cetera formed a group Chicago Transit Authority, subsequently the group shortened its name simply to Chicago. Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups. After early and mid 1970’s golden age of the band, the disaster happened on 23 January of 1978. Kath died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound from a gun he thought was unloaded. The band released their fourteenth album “Hot Streets” with the new guitarist Donnie Dacus, the first album with a title instead of a number that failed to make the Top 10 on the chart. The next big thing of the band history must be In late 1981 when the band had
    David Foster as the producer and the man, Bill Champlin. Foster brought big commercial success. Peter Cetera left the band to peruse his solo career in the summer of 1985.
    Chicago continued their commercial success with the new singer and bassist Jason Scheff who perfectly filled the gap of Cetera’s absence.
    In 1993, the incident totally changed the band’s fate and their direction. Chicago finished their 22nd album “Stone of Sisyphus” that should have been marked their return to their creative composition, emphasizing major horn accompaniment. However, the executives at Reprise Records stupidly rejected the completed album.

    11F C: Christopher Cross

    C: Christopher Cross

    Christopher Geppert Cross was born in Texas on May 3, 1951. He Lived in Japan for five years when his father was working as a US Army doctor and then grown up in Texas. In the 1970s Cross played in a band called Flash, in Austin, Texas, before signing a solo contract with Warner Brothers in 1978. As widely known, Cross' first album won four Grammy Awards--Best Album, Best Single, Best Song, and Best New Artist in 1981.
    He had released four albums in total from Warner Bros. USA before 1988 when his contract ended with the label. In 1991, he made a new contract with Polystar of Japan to release his solo albums and then released “Rendezvous” in 1991 and “Window” in 1994.

    12F C: Clif Magness

    C: Clif Magness

    Clif Magness was born in Texas on April 24, 1957 and started his professional music carrier in 1980 by 2 solo singles release titled "The Rest Of The Night" and "There's Nothing So Expensive As Woman Who's Free For The Night" under Scotti Bros., USA. In 1983, Clif came across Glen Ballard, his fatal songwriting partner, and they wrote the song titled "It's Gonna Be Special" performed by Patti Austin for the motion picture "Two Of A Kind". The songwriting duo started to produce many albums from 1984 such as Jack Wagner’s solo debut album "All I Need". In 1991, the two talented songwriters released their own album with Jay Graydon as the super group Planet 3. Following this success as a singer, Clif released his first solo album in 1994 in response to the request by Empire Records, Sweden. Throughout the 1990’s and in to 2000, Clif continued to work with outstanding artists such as Celine Dion and Amy Grant. In 2003, Clif produced the biggest breakout artist of the year, Avril Lavigne.With the success of Avril Lavigne, Clif has continued to break new ground writing and producing a whole new group of young superstars including Cherie Amore, Jessica Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, O-Town and many others.
    In 2009, Clif re-released his solo album"Solo" available on iTunes. Physical CD has followed by YESTERROCK, a newly founded Classic- and Hard Rock label based in Munich, Germany, which is specializing in re-issuing records that either havenft been available for years or previously only released on vinyl but not on CD yet. All tracks of the original album are digitally re-mastered. This re-issue version contains two unreleased bonus tracks.

    13F D: David Foster

    D: David Foster

    David Foster, one of the most successful talented producers, greatest songwriters, keyboard players, was born on 1 November, 1949 in in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The multi Grammy awarded music creator David Foster is widely known as the most commercially successful and influential pop music producers of all time among people in general, particularly for AOR / Westcoast music lovers Foster must be the icon who established the music style with Jay Graydon from late 1970’s to early 1980’s. David Foster released the most important legendary album "Airplay" in the histroy of AOR / West Coast Pop Music as the group "Airplay" with Tommy Funderburk and Jay Graydon in 1980. It is said to be the bible.
    As described by Forbes, a global media focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle, in 2016, “Almost anyone young or old recognizes who Barbara Streisand, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Whitney Houston or Frank Sinatra is. Many don’t know however who wrote or produced the music and lyrics that made their performances come to life...... we really only remember the composers from music history. Most everyone with a little bit of music education knows who Bach, Beethoven or Chopin is. One would however need to be a devotee to know the celebrity performers who actually played or sang their music during their lifetimes..... “. David Foster should be remembered beyond generations.

    14F D: David Roberts

    D: David Roberts

    David Scott Roberts was born in Boston on September 13, 1958 and raised in Toronto, Canada. As a songwriter for Warner/Chappell Music over 15 years, David had many of his songs recorded by such artists as Diana Ross, Starship, Bad English, Jimmy Barnes, John Waite, House of Lords, Ramsey Lewis and Nancy Wilson to name a few, and collaborated with many great writers, such as Dianne Warren, Jonathan Cain, Gerry Goffin, Albert Hammond, John Waite, Jimmy Barnes, Greg Giuffria, Alanis Morrisette.

    In late 70’s a demo submitted to a radio station talent search changed his fate when he was around 20 years old. The prize was to record 3 more songs in a high quality studio, and the finished tape ultimately got into the hands of A&R at WEA Canada. As a result, David got a deal and brought him to Los Angeles to record his first album "All Dressed Up" and released on Elektra Records in 1982.

    David wrote and produced dozens of commercials as well as music for television commercials for Coke and Budweiser Beeer and the Olympics, including "Before I Go" for the multi million selling Starship album "Knee Deep in the Hoopla”, a number one song in Australia "Drivin' Wheels" recorded by Jimmy Barnes. The artists who recorded David's songs are Bad English, Diana Ross, House of Lords ( Greg Giuffria's band ) to name a few others.
    In 1994, David won the prize of the song contest for opening theme of Kansai International Airport Japan with the song titled "Sora-Ni-Mukatte (Reach Out To The Sky)". David was flown to Osaka for the opening ceremony where it was announced that his song came in second.
    In 2003, David Roberts was back as a singer for Tommy Denander, Swedish guitarist. We were also able to listen to David's unchanged voice on Frédéric Slama's project album "AOR / Dreaming of L.A".
    In 2008, David was finally back with his second effort titled "Better Late Than Never."

    15F E: Eric Tagg ( Erik Tagg)

    E: Eric Tagg ( Erik Tagg)

    Eric Tagg was born in Illinois U.S.A. on January 9, 1953. while he was traveling around Europe as a memory of graduation from high school, he had his baggage stolen in Netherlands. At that time, he was assisted by one of Dutch Musicians and this is the reason why Eric started his carrier as a vocalist. Eric joined the band named "Beehive" (1973-1974).

    In 1975, Eric (aka Erik Tagg) released his first solo single "A Fantasy c/w "Tell Tale Eyes" (EMI Netherlands<5C 006-25305>) and then, the full-length solo album "Smiling Memories" followed, which was completed with the super musicians including Lee Ritenour , Jeff Porcaro, Mike Porcaro and David Foster. In the same era, Eric was also a member of the band "Rainbow Train" (1975-1979). In 1977, his second album "Rendezvous" was released only in Europe. "Fancy Meeting You" c/w "Lover With Statue" (Poker POS 15017E) was cut as a single record from the album.

    In 1979, Eric participated in the NY based band named "Medusa" and sung several songs for the album "Medusa".

    It must be the two Lee Ritenour's album that Eric Tagg became well-known all over the world for his vocal works. Yes, those are "Rit" (1980) and "Rit2" (1982). In 1981, Eric released his 3rd solo album "Dreamwalkin'" only for Japan.

    Eric had disappeared from L.A. music scene after the vocal performances on Lee Ritenour's album "Portrait" released in 1987 for a long time except limited number of session works. In early 90's, Eric was leading music and singing at Richland Bible Fellowship Church in Texas. Thus, we had to wait for a decade before the release of his 4th solo album "Through My Eyes" in 1997. After this release, Eric did a wonderful live performances here in Japan with L.A. Dream Band featuring Larry Carlton, Harvey Mason, Don Grusin and Eric Marienthal in July 1997.

    16F H: Heat

    H: Heat

    Heat was one of the legendary group in early 80's. Tom Saviano, well-known as the sax player performing with Bill Champlin and also known as the producer for Melissa Manchester's late 70's works or one of good songwriters for Sheena Easton and/or Chicago etc, had created this perfect album supported by the acclaimed LA musicians. The rest members of this group were Jean Marie Arnold (Vocals) and Joe Pizzulo (Vocals). Heat had released another album titled "Still Waiting" in 1984.

    17F J: Janey Clewer

    J: Janey Clewer

    Janey Clewer coming from Pittsburgh, is one of well-known songwriters in the AOR / West Coast Music circuit. You would find her name as one of the co-writers on the songs such as "She Just Can't Make Up Her Mind" and "You're Not Alone" on Jay Graydon's greatest 90's AOR album "Airplay For The Planet" (1993). In 1995, Janey wrote two songs for Bill Champlin's album "He Started To Sing" with Bill Champlin and the great guitarist, Bruce Gaitsch, her spouse. It should be remarked that Janey also co-wrote "The Last Words You Said" with Richard Marx for Sarah Brightman for the album "Eden" (1998) and also on "The Very Best Of 1990-2000". Lara Fabian also loves to sing Janey's tunes; "Je T'Appartiens" for the album "Pure" (1997), Lara sang its jazz version when she toured Europe in 2000, and "Bambina" co-written with Lara Fabian for the album "NUE" (2001), which was rerecorded and released for Lara's live acoustic album entitled "EN TOUTE INIMITE". Bambina was the first single for the album and released in October 2003. The album reached #6 on the Billboard France chart. In December of 2004.

    Janey is also widely known as a talented backing vocalist with a heartwarming and emotional voice. You may listen to her marvelous backing vocals with many big names such as Peter Cetera on "Restless Heart", "Wild Ways","Where There's No Tomorrow","The Last Place God Made" and "Dip Your Wings" from Cetera's smash hit album "World Falling Down" (1992). Janey's acclaimed career as a backing vocalist should be back to late 80's. You also find her name on George Benson's 1986 album "While The City Sleeps" and "Too Many Woman" from the famous Julio Iglesias's 1988 all-English vocal album "Non-Stop". In February of 2004, Janey had the honor of singing background vocals on "Heaven Help Us All", one of the last songs recorded by Ray Charles. It was a duet with Gladys Knight for his last CD called Genius "Loves Company" which was released on Concord Records/Hear Music in August of 2004.

    Janey was the featured duet partner and choir director for George Benson’s Nat King Cole Tribute Concerts, which toured internationally with full orchestra from 2008 to 2014.
    Next move was the project called The Bossa Nova Hotel with Michael Sembello and Bruce Gaitsch in 2009, released the album “Moon Island,” with EMI-Japan. the Bossa Nova Hotel’s cover of “A Day In The Life Of A Fool” became the theme song for the popular Japanese public TV channel comedy show “LIFE” and is still running as of January 2021.

    18F J: Jason Scheff

    J: Jason Scheff

    San Diego native Jason Scheff, the son of studio legend Jerry Scheff (Elvis Presley, The Doors, Bob Dylan), started his professional music career when he joined the band Keane, Tom and John Keane brothers in 1982, replacing Mike Millwood on bass for the album “Today, Tomorrow And Tonight”.
    In 1985, 23-year-old Scheff joined Chicago, after Peter Cetera had departed the band. Since then Scheff contributed and tried to keep the band creative as much as possible with Bill Champlin to convinced the founding members until October 2016 when he departed.
    Besides extensive touring with Chicago, Scheff recorded as a solo artist, releasing a CD titled “Chauncy” in 1997.

    19F J: Jay Graydon

    J: Jay Graydon

    Jay Graydon, the legend of AOR / Westcoast music, the most famous talented producers and great guitarists was born in California on October, 1949. The tremendous guitar play for "Peg" on the Steely Dan's Album "Aja" (1977) must be most iconic over decades. In 2001 Graydon was the soloist Grammy awarded Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan chose for the legendary guitar solo on PEG on their album "Aja", after turning down 7-8 other guitar players.

    Graydon released the bible AOR / Westcoast album "Airplay" with Tommy Funderburk and David Foster in 1980.
    In 1980's, Graydon became one of the busiest producers for many top artists including
    Al Jarreau, George Benson, Debarge, Kenny Rogers, Dionne Warwick and Art Garfunkel.

    In 1990’s, Graydon was relatively aggressive to release his own projects and performed live gigs with the recording members here in Japan and Scandinavia; Planet 3 with Clif Magness and Glen Ballard in 1991 and solo album “Airplay for the Planet” followed in 1993.

    In early 2000’s, Graydon worked with Randy Goodrum as the new supergroup - JaR. The first effort was released as “SCENE 29” in late 2008, Widely known the JaR recorded materials for their second album but not finished as of July 2021.

    20F J: Joseph Williams

    J: Joseph Williams

    Joseph Williams,Toto's third lead vocalist (1986-1989) was born in Los Angels on September 1, 1960. He is known as a son of very famous movie music composer, John Williams.
    He released his self-titles solo debut album in 1982 under Great Records before he joined Toto. It should also be noted that "Save The Night" for the movie "Goonies" produced by Spielberg's Amblin Entertainmentwith music by Cyndi Lauper, REO Speedwagon, and The Bangles in 1985. Otherwise, some of you may be aware that Joseph’s song were featured on the album for work-out titled "Body by Jake / Don't Quit" in 1984. After he left Toto in1989, his lead vocal tracks could be listened on some compilation albums and restarted his solo works and called for various special projects including Jay Graydon All Stars. In 2006, Joseph shared leas vocals with Steve Lukather on “Bottom of Your Soul" on the 2006 Toto’s album “Falling in Between”. It was surprising for us to see Joseph as a guest singer on stage with Bobby Kimball on stage when Toto performing live in 2008 at Tokyo International Forum. Subsequently, Joseph Williams rejoined Toto upon its reformation in 2010 and performing live and released Toto albums by the time the group disbanded in 2019. Under COVID-19 hard time, Steve Lukather called Joseph again to reactivate Toto in the autumn of 2020. He also works with Bill Champlin and Peter Friestedt over the years, releasing albums under the name of CWF (Champlin Williams Friestedt).

    21F K: King Of Hearts

    K: King Of Hearts

    The super AOR duo unit of Tommy Funderburk, the voice of Airplay and Bruce Gaitsch, one of the first call studio guitarists / songwriters / producers known for his works with Richard Marx or Madonna.

    The history of the unit should be back to 1989. The original King of Hearts was the super band featuring Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger and George Hawkins Jr. with Funderburk and Gaitsch. They recorded the basic tracks with David Cole engineering, producing and mixing. Although the record was finished, the album (originally intended to be released by Chrysalis Records) was shelved due to personal problem between the band and management.
    Bruce and Tommy went on to re-record a lot of the record and some new songs and put it out as a duo in Japan and Europe and South Africa in 1994.
    In 1996, the duo second effort was released as the album titled “Joy Will Come” in Japan and the alternate version with different tracks as “Midnight Crossing” in Germany.

    In 1999, the original King of Hearts album was released as “1989” targeting to their core fans in Japan.

    In 2019, their new studio album “King Of Hearts” are released.

    22F L: Lara Fabian

    L: Lara Fabian

    I described Lara at my old website in 1996 as follows:
    “I would hereby guarantee Lara Fabian is one of the best female singers of late 90's in the world. I dare to say that her talent as vocalist is more than that of Celine Dion and/or Mariah Carey. She sings in French except "Bridge Of Hope" on her 2nd album. But, What is that? It must be no problem relating to her, you can enjoy her beautiful vocals with passion.”

    Then in the spring of 2000, I wrote...
    “I was very pleased to say that my observation regarding Lara Fabian in those days was quite right! Lara became the new Super Star of new Millennium.”

    More than quarter century elapsed since then,let me allow to show you her footprints of success before 2000 a little:

    Lara Fabian was born in Belgium in January 9, 1970 and she started her music career at the chansons club with her father who was the experienced guitarist in Belgium (her native nation) at 14 years old. It was 1986 (that is 2 years after her debut) when she won the prize at the song competition in Brussels. Then, she won the No.4 prize at Eurovision with the song titled "Criore", the prestigious competition in 1988, which is her real take-off as her professional musical career After this success in Europe, Lara visited Quebec for promotion. She decided to live in Quebec permanently in 1991. It didn't need a long time before the audience in Quebec were fascinated by her talent with passion as a vocalist. Lara Fabian released her first album "Lara Fabian" in August, 1991 at last in Quebec, Canada. Everywhere in Quebec she visited for her Quebec tour 1992, the audience gave her standing ovation, attracted by this young woman's vocals. Lara's first album is sold more than 100,000 copies in Quebec by 1994.

    Lara Fabian released her second album "CARPE DIEM" in autumn 1994. In less than 3 weeks, she obtained gold disc (more than 50,000 copies sold). In 1995, her second album has been sold in 240,000 copies and audience of her concert were reached more than 100,000. At 1995 Juno Award (Canadian Grammy Award), Lara Fabian was nominated in 2 categories, that is to say, Best New Solo Artist and Best Selling French-singing Album.

    In the autumn of 1996, Lara Fabian has presented you her third French singing album "PURE". And furthermore, you can find that Lara sings "Surrender To Me" with Richard Marx on Richard Marx's 5th album "Flesh And Bone" UK/European/French/Canadian version in the spring of 1997. Then, Lara Fabian started to invade France with her own album "Pure" and established her top position in France and her native country Belgium.

    In the autumn of 1999, Lara has released her English vocal album "Lara Fabian" in Europe and in Canada. In the late spring of 2000, Lara has started to concur United Sates of America, Asia including Japan and all EC countries with this self-titled English album "Lara Fabian". 00, I was very pleased to say that my observation regarding Lara Fabian in those days was quite right! Lara became the new Super Star of new Millennium.

    Let me allow to show you her footprints of success a little:

    Lara Fabian was born in Belgium in January 9, 1970 and she started her music career at the chansons club with her father who was the experienced guitarist in Belgium (her native nation) at 14 years old. It was 1986 (that is 2 years after her debut) when she won the prize at the song competition in Brussels. Then, she won the No.4 prize at Eurovision with the song titled "Criore", the prestigious competition in 1988, which is her real take-off as her professional musical career After this success in Europe, Lara visited Quebec for promotion. She decided to live in Quebec permanently in 1991. It didn't need a long time before the audience in Quebec were fascinated by her talent with passion as a vocalist. Lara Fabian released her first album "Lara Fabian" in August, 1991 at last in Quebec, Canada. Everywhere in Quebec she visited for her Quebec tour 1992, the audience gave her standing ovation, attracted by this young woman's vocals. Lara's first album is sold more than 100,000 copies in Quebec by 1994.

    Lara Fabian released her second album "CARPE DIEM" in autumn 1994. In less than 3 weeks, she obtained gold disc (more than 50,000 copies sold). In 1995, her second album has been sold in 240,000 copies and audience of her concert were reached more than 100,000. At 1995 Juno Award (Canadian Grammy Award), Lara Fabian was nominated in 2 categories, that is to say, Best New Solo Artist and Best Selling French-singing Album.

    In the autumn of 1996, Lara Fabian has presented you her third French singing album "PURE". And furthermore, you can find that Lara sings "Surrender To Me" with Richard Marx on Richard Marx's 5th album "Flesh And Bone" UK/European/French/Canadian version in the spring of 1997. Then, Lara Fabian started to invade France with her own album "Pure" and established her top position in France and her native country Belgium.

    In the autumn of 1999, Lara has released her English vocal album "Lara Fabian" in Europe and in Canada. In the late spring of 2000, Lara has started to concur United Sates of America, Asia including Japan and all EU countries with this self-titled English album "Lara Fabian".

    23F M: Marc Jordan

    M: Marc Jordan

    Marc Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1949 as the son of Canadian singer Charles Jordan. Marc's farther returned to Toronto, so Marc Jordan grew up in Toronto. Marc signed with CBS Records (Canada) and released some single records in 1974 which did not sell well. However, Gary Katz heard Marc's music and then he got his first album release deal on Warner Bros. Records in 1977. In the following year, he moved to Los Angles and released his second solo album “Blue Desert” with Jay Graydon, the album producer. Jordan also began writing songs for and with the likes of Diana Ross,, Manhattan Transfer, Rod Stewart and name to a few, Marc Jordan continues to pursue his solo artist career over decades and at the same time must be a sought-after songwriter.

    24F M: Mark T. Williams (Lionel’s Dad)

    M: Mark T. Williams (Lionel’s Dad)

    Mark T. Williams was born in Los Angeles in April 1958. He has been supporting as drummer on quite a many albums and live performances of well-known artists such as Don Henley, Cher, Air Supply, Eddie Money, Crosby Stills & Nash, Tina Tuner, Paul Rogers and many others since he started his professional career when he was only fifteen. Mark called upon Joe Porcaro as principle drum instructor while also studying music theory and arranging. Mark also went on Berklee College of Music from 1976 to 1979. Meanwhile, you would like to note that he is the elder-brother of Joseph Williams (TOTO lead singer).
    Mark T. Williams started to release his solo albums as Lionel's Dad with his first one "Lionel's Dad", on which you can listen to Mark T. version of "Thousand Years" originally performed by TOTO, under his own small label named Andromeda in 1995. The initial copies of this CD were sold out very quick and the additional copies were distributed in response to the repeated request from many music lovers through many AOR/West Coast Music CD Specialized Internet-based retailers. Mark plays almost all of the instruments such as guitar, Bass, hammond organ and keyboards as well as drums on his solo albums. I believe that Mark T. Williams will keep on providing us with his good music. Please keep your eyes open for his music activity from now. Mark's music style including his voice is quite similar as that of Joseph's. It means that very good AOR / Westcoast one. If you would like Toto albums featuring Joseph on the lead vocals and/or Joseph's solo albums, Mark T. Williams must become another one of your favourite artists.

    25F M: Michael Sembello

    M: Michael Sembello

    It was 1974 when Michael Sembello’s name was widely known. The young Sembello played electric and acoustic guitar on Stevie Wonder’s 17th studio recording album “Fulfillingness' First Finale” (1974) won 3Grammy Awards at the including Album of the Year. On the following Stevie Wonder’s album “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976), Sembello was remarkable all through the album, playing guitar on several tracks and also co-writing "Saturn" with Stevie Wonder. In late 70’s, Sembello became a top tier session guitarist.
    Subsequently Sembello successfully signed to release his first solo album “The Bossa Nova Hotel” in 1983 and one of the songs on this album “Maniac” was selected for soundtrack to the1983 movie Flashdance and this was a game changer for him, climbed up on the single chart and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Whilst Sembello contributed to many major movies in 80’s such as Cocoon, Independence Day, and Gremlins, he was releasing his solo and some special collaboration albums since then.

    26F N: Ned Doheny

    N: Ned Doheny

    Ned Doheny was born at Doheny Drive Beverly Hills, Los Angeles on 26 March, 1948. It was 1971 that Mason & Elliot, Dave Mason project, recorded Doheny’s tune "On And On", which had Doheny known as one of the unsigned talented songwriters. Thus, Doheny made a contract with Asylum Records as the first contracted artist of the company and released his self-titled first album "Ned Doheny" in 1973.
    In 1976, He released the acclaimed second album "Hard Candy" under CBS, USA which included his song collaborated with Hamish Stuart of Average White Band titled "A Love Of Your Own" originally performed by Average White Band and featuring David Foster on keyboard,Tower of Power horn section and many others.
    Although his third album "Prone" recording had been finished in 1977, CBS did not release it in USA. Thus, 2 years later "Prone" was released only in Japan . "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me" performed by Chaka Kahn is one of the his composition with Hamish Stuart of Average White Band in 1980's.
    In November 1988, Doheny restarted his musical journey with the album "Life After Romance" here in Japan. It was July 1989 that Doheny established his solid status again in Japan when he performed great passionate gigs with awesome supporting musicians such as Mike Porcaro, Carlos Vega, James Harrah, Leslie Smith and Marilyn Scott. And you should note that Doheny had his own DJ regular broadcasting "Postcards From Hollywood" on FM Yokohama from April 1990 to September 1993. Doheny released many albums only for Japanese music lovers. It was 1993 when the last 1990’s studio recording album of Ned Doheny "Between Two Words".
    In February 1996, we saw Doheny singing "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me" on stage when he came to Japan as a member of Jay Graydon Super Band.

    We could see self-liner notes done by Doheny when his album "Life After Romance was reissued under Dreamsville in 1999. On the liner notes written in June 1999, Ned said "My experience at the West Fork Ranch altered the course of my life and changed me forever. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to share these moments with you.”
    Ned Doheny's music would be still flesh beyond time and place.

    27F P: Peter Mayer | PM

    P: Peter Mayer | PM

    Peter Mayer is known as "PM", the leader of the legendary late 80's US pop group "PM". After releasing 3 albums as the group "PM" ("Pieces Of Paradise" from their 1st album was ranked #8 on Billboard Hot 100 Single Chart in 1988), Peter started his solo career with his self-released first solo album "Green Eyed Radio" in 1995, besides the lead guitarist for Jimmy Buffet as the core member of Coral Reefer Band. Later since 1988, Mayer gradually established his firm position as a solo artist and thus his first solo album "Green Eyed Radio" was widely distributed in the United States by Pool Party Records in 1996. At the end of 1998, Mayer released his follow up solo album "Romeo's Garage" under Little Flock Records, his own label. Roger Guth and Jim Mayer, the rest original members of "PM" were supporting Peter on all the tracks of this album. Mayer’s music style is the mid-american and westcoast music mixed one with very unique influence, which origin seems to be coming out from his experience in India in his childhood. His acoustic guitar performance must be awesome. Once you have a chance to see Mayer’s live stage, you must be knocked down definitely. Actually I was done when I saw his live performance at the 2nd Westcoast Music Festival in Disneyland Paris in the autumn 1997. Peter Mayer continues to release his albums to date and constantly tours year round with the Peter Mayer Group

    28F R: Richard Marx

    R: Richard Marx

    Chicago born Richard Marx had an opportunity to meet Lionel Richie when Lionel was about to start solo career and suggested Richard to come to Los Angeles. Richard successfully got chance to be one of background vocalists for Lionel Richie 1982 self-titled solo debut album. It was June, 1987 when Richard Marx self-titled debut album, was released, which went triple platinum.
    “Repeat Offender” the second album folllowed in May 1989 which climbed up to No. 1 on Billboard's album chart. In early and mid 90’s, Richard was very successful with his albums; “Rush Street” (1991) and “Paid Vacation” (1994).
    His fifth album “Flesh and Bone” (1997) became the last one released by Capitol Records. By 2014 when he released “Beautiful Goodbye”, Richard released 11 studio recording albums in total. It took 6 years to have his twelfth album “Limitless” in 2020, That is to say, Richard spent nearly four years writing and recording over various sessions in between tour dates.

    Richard Marx has already sold more than 30 million albums worldwide by 2020 and his musical journey continues.

    29F R: Robbie Dupree

    R: Robbie Dupree

    Brooklyn born (23 December, 1946) Robbie Dupree is best known for his solo debut hit tune "Steal Away" (No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100) in 1980. His solo career success was started by relocation to Los Angeles in 1978. Robbie signed as a solo singer with Elektra Records, then with the help of Rick Chudacoff and Peter Bunetta Robbie released the self-titled album in 1980. It did not take long to release second solo album “Street Corner Heroes” in 1981.
    with the exception of the song "Girls in Cars," appeared on the 1987 competition album titled “The Wrestling Album, Vol. 2: Piledriver”, he didn't release any new recordings until 1989, when his long-awaited third album “Carried Away” was released.
    “Walking on Water” (1993) and “Smoke and Mirrors” (1995) followed mainly for Japanese market. Whilst he constantly toured in late 90’s in Japan and France and released his first live album “All Night Long” in 1998, we had to wait for his next studio recording album until 2003 when a jazzy “Robbie Dupree with David Sancious” released. The next effort with David Sancious was release in 2010 as the album “Time and Tide”.

    30F S: Sherwood Ball

    S: Sherwood Ball

    Sherwood Ball was one of the most talented singer-songwriters / guitarists whom I met in person in the 90's. To my surprise, Sherwood was very versatile in terms of his songwriting and vocal style, that is to say, sometimes sing like a soul singer, sometimes jazz singer as well as a hard rock singer. You would agree with me when you listen to Sherwood awesome lead vocals for 3 tracks; “Holdin' On To Love”, “One Way To Another” and “Show Me A Magic” from Jay Graydon’s 1993 masterpiece album “Airplay For The Planet”.

    Furthermore, I must hereby mention about some of his original songs recorded by other artists such as "Smile For Me" (performed by War from the album"Peace Sign" 1995) and "You Let Me In " (performed by Dan Siegel from the album "Late One Night" 1989), which shown that his first class songwriting talent is full of variety.
    Sherwood also sang or announce for many international commercials such as Japan Airlines, Coca Cola, Toyota, Mitsubishi Panther, Bridgestone Tires, Suntory Beer (Route 66) & Suntory Whisky, Nissan Gloria (in Spanish for Japan), Budweiser Beer and many many more, many of which you listened without knowing Sherwood was the man.

    In September 1995, Sherwood finally released his own solo debut album "White Light" under the name of Sherwood Ball 'n Chain. Here was then what some people had to say....
    Jay Oliver - "This is some of my best work"
    Rodney Crowell - "Nobody sings this song like you do..."
    Jay Graydon - "Hey man, do you know who I am?"

    After releasing “Dreamin' Of Christmas in L.A.” in 1997, Sherwood shifted his main interest towards creating, directing and / or producing short films and / or computer motion graphics, such as "The Osage Tribal Murders" feature length documentary.
    In January 2007, the sought-after singer released a melodic album “The Enemy Within” under the name of the band CODE with Anders Rydholm and Ola af Trampe.
    Sherwood and I had an opportunity to reunite and enjoyed lunch and excursion in 2008 after he moved to Big Island Hawaii.

    Sherwood moved back to L.A. to record the soulful big band CD with the Les Hooper band, but the album release was not in time before he was called to heaven on 15 November, 2015. However, the album was completed by his wife in November 2017.
    Rest in Peace, my dear friend.