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About Pink Lady

The female pop vocal duo of Mitsuyo "Mie" Nemoto (born March 9, 1958) and Keko "Kei" Masuda (born September 2, 1957), culling their name from the alcoholic drink, shot to fame in their native Japan in the late '70s after appearing on a Star Search-like show there called Star Tanjo (Star's Birth). After scoring numerous hits -- including a cover of the Village People's "In the Navy" recast as "Pink Typhoon" -- they attempted to duplicate their success in the U.S. In summer 1979, they eked out a minor Top 40 hit with the mild disco track "Kiss in the Dark," becoming only the second Japanese act to hit the singles chart (following Kyu Sakamoto's 1963 number one hit "Sukiyaki"). Their cheery personalities and malleability led NBC president Fred Silverman to offer them a variety series in the spring of 1980; sadly, it proved to be one of the biggest missteps in TV history. Mie and Kei's limited English (they performed largely phonetically), combined with ethnically insensitive humor, hackneyed and outdated monologues from co-host Jeff Altman, and ill-conceived medleys of disco hits and show tunes all conspired to make Pink Lady (the show) an utterly embarrassing flop, one mercifully canceled after a mere month. Departing the States soon afterward, the girls gamely soldiered on back in Japan, but did not recapture their previous success and parted ways in 1981. Their torch was carried on, however, in subsequent years by several fan sites and a tribute band called Pink Lady X. Late 2001 saw the prospects of a mini-resurgence, as Rhino Records reissued the Pink Lady TV series on DVD, spawning a new generation of curious pop culture vultures. ~ Joseph McCombs