Sam Takahashi, For The North American Post
Eddy was my mentor, music teacher and dear friend. I first met him at Riverside Inn, a country music dance hall in Tukwila by Green River in 1970. One evening, I found a photo of a handsome-looking young man dressed in a tuxedo at the entrance. He looked like a Japanese. That was Eddy singing and yodeling with his own country music band. Big applause from all guests for his Columbus Stockade Blues.
Eddy came to Los Angeles in 1968 from Tokyo by invitation of Billy Vaughn, who sponsored him for a green card, trusting Eddy’s talent for music arrangement. Later, Eddy toured with Buck Owens’ country band based in Bakersfield, California. Eddy played with most of the top entertainers of those days in Yokosuka, Yokota and other military bases in Japan and here in the US including Nashville. Eddy was popular because of his entertainment skill and special talent in singing and playing instruments. In Seattle, he played at Nisei Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars in Everett, Elks Club, etc. and taught music to anyone wanting to learn with no charge.
His grandfather and father both worked in top positions at NYK Steamship, and the family lived in Denenchofu, kind of like Medina here. He went to Gakushuin. He told me Shimazu Takako, the princess, was his roommate. His band travelled extensively through the US and Europe, but in last few decades, he settled down and enjoyed his life in Bothell with his hobbies of golf, fishing and feeding higoi or carps.
I was reacquainted with him after my retirement to learn guitar and country music. He was a great friend. We shared all our life stories and cooked dinner together with many music-loving friends. He had a circle of more than a dozen close Japanese friends who would visit his house to eat and sing together.
In the beginning of this month, he fell off his chair while playing guitar at VFW and passed out on the scene. A week later, he passed away. More than 150 friends gathered at his farewell party. He was a true musician, all his life, with no other side jobs, lived on Samurai spirit and principle, loved American music and was loved by American people. My life was good to have had Eddy as my friend. I know he will start singing with his band in Heaven soon. God bless you, Eddy.