I wondered recently what events might have conspired to take the now famous video of Josh Williams and his feathered friend into true viral status. Shot by pure chance by Ted Lehmann at the Doyle Lawson festival during the summer of 2011, it has crossed the 1 million mark on YouTube in the past week, and still growing.
A lot of things need to happen to reach such number, and we discovered what another of them was this morning when our Japanese friend Ty Nishigauchi told us that the video had been featured on a popular television program in Japan, along with an interview with Lehmann.
Ty says that the video was suggested to the show’s producers by a viewer.
“The idea of this TV program is to share YouTube clips recommended by its viewers. They introduced Josh Williams as a country singer, and no word of bluegrass was mentioned. As you know, Japan has thousands of bluegrass musicians and listeners, but those who don’t know it just don’t know it.”
He also mentioned that it was nearly impossible to translate the show’s name into English, but he gave it the old college try.
“It’s an entirely Japanese name: Tokudane (=scoop!) tookoo (=contribute) Do ga (English `Do’ + picture). There’s a Japanese word `dooga’ which means movie, so it’s a play on words. In all, the idea may be: Scoop! Movie contributors’ choice!”
You can watch the video online. Josh’s bit comes in around three and a half minutes in, but the rest of the videos are funny as well.