There are fans, and then, quite fortunately, there are real fans.
Mr. Mukai’s loyalty and interest go even beyond that.
Mr. Mukai is a retired truck driver from Osaka, Japan who bicycle’s newspapers to 600 subscribers on a part-time basis.
He has been a country music fan since he was 16 years old, which makes him 53 years an enthusiast. Somewhere along this musical journey he met a young lady of similar interest, and soon she became his wife.
Mr. Mukai discovered Janet McBride after the release of her LP's on Cattle Records in the 1980's. Mr. Mukai is a huge fan of yodeling and yodelers, which is how he came to be a Janet McBride fan.
Mr. Mukai visited Nashville, Tennessee, and there made new friends. One of them, L. B. , explains as follows:
”I met him there in Nashville. He was a member of Charlie Nagatani's annual June Country Music Tour from Japan (Charlie is a country music performer and promoter, and a friend of mine).
“During the course of our friendship, Mr. Mukai asked me if I knew Janet McBride from Texas. I found Janet through her website and emailed her for any information she could give me.”
In January of this year, Mr. Mukai decided to again visit the United States, this time for the sole purpose of greeting Janet, and hearing her sing. Both Mr. Mukai and his wife belong to a Japanese country music association, and they hoped to write an article about Janet for their association’s magazine.
Mr. Mukai contacted L. B. , and L. B. acted as a go-between to set up this moving and special meeting. Janet asked if Mr. Mukai was going to visit Nashville again during this visit, and L. B. replied that no, the entire reason for the trip was to meet Ms. McBride.
So, on Sunday, May 15, Janet drove early to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where she mentors monthly a group of young yodelers called “The Buckaroos.”
Janet relates the details as follows:
“Their host brought him early and we were early too, so we got right into talking. Mr. Mukai brought with him all four of my albums from Germany which I autographed for him. He loves yodeling and yodeled along with each song I sang.
“He requested one song, 'Almost Three,' which I did for him. Since I didn't have any kids arrive to yodel until 11:35, I was able to have a wonderful visit with Mukai, and I sang several songs for him while I was waiting.
“What an honor it was for me to be able to meet this fan and entertain him 'one on one.' Everyone just loved having him at Buckaroo's.
“He stayed until we were ready to leave for home at 3:30, and then retired to the Stockyards Hotel that night with his friends. They took him to the airport the following morning for his flight back to Japan. ”
L. B. has since re-confirmed that “Mr. Mukai did fly all the way from Osaka just to meet you.”
Says Janet, “it was a first for me.”