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European Song Contest #2
by Thornchild/Angels/Occult

Hello, dear readers, how nice you found your way into one of my chapters. So I will proceed at once about the ESC and its history...

- 1961 -

This was the first ESC that was held on a Saturday. As a special day for this special event it wasn't established yet.

France, as the former year's winner, was host of this event. Meanwhile all former countries stayed into the contest, three countries entered the competition field, these were Spain, Finland and Yugoslavia. So the competitors number was 16 now.

The french hosts decided to let this ESC happen in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. This also had been the place for the ESC of 1959. The scenery and atmosphere of the earlier ESC was the same in many aspects, so the host was again Jaqueline Joubert. The decoration was a real sea of flowers.

A kind of motto this year was the subject seasons. After all four countries had songs having seasons on their title or they were subject of their texts. All of them didn't win.

As you may know in these times the television still was in black and white. Many of you may never have come to know this but it is true, these days did really existed. Due to the missing colour many details were quite difficult to recognize (e.g. the costumes of the choirs).

Some titles which can be interpreted as an exception of the rule did become not only well known in other countries but real hits. The entry from Great Britain was such a song. It was a modern one, styled a bit in a musical rock'n role outfit. It became a second rank.

As you know from the first article here and now the well-known tabella follows, sorted by the rank:

Perf. Title Pts.
J.C. Pascal "Nous Les Amoureux" L 31
The Allisons "Are You Sure?" GB 24
F. Di Rienzo "Nous Aurons Demain" CH 16
J.P. Mauric "Printemps" F 13
B. Curtis "Al Di La" I 12
D. Campeotto "Angelique" DK 12
N. Brockstedt "Sommer I Palma" N 10
L. Petrovic "Neke Davne Zvezde" YU 9
C. Bautista "Estando Contigo" E 8
C. Dereal "Allons, Allons..." MC 6
L. Kinnunen "Valoa Ikkunassa" SF 6
O. Kauffeld "Wat Een Dag" NL 6
L. Andersen "Einmal Sehen Wir..." D 3
Lill-Babs "April, April" S 2
J. Makulis "Sehnsucht" A 1
B. Benny "September,..." B 1

Some last but important remarks. The winning song was the only one in this year with a percussion. As you further can see in the rank list, the new participants weren't very lucky due to their ranks.

During the telephone calls, meanwhile the juries told the points, there were two problems. The first was that the telephone lines were in an unpleasing bad condition (e.g. they crackled). Further there occured a fault with the points. During the voting, results from Belgium were told the result of five points (instead the right one of one) appeared on the British point account. It wasn't remarked at once. But at the end all was corrected.

- 1962 -

The events that I described above are phenomena of live emissions. These used to take place in the whole history of those.

This time the stars flickered, such was the design of the stage. There was no one pausing and no country wished to enter this competition as a new one so the number of countries was 16 also in this year. Mireille Delannoy was moderating the ESC which was held in the Grand Auditorium de RTL in the Villa Louvigny. The moderation was quite speedy. Further the voting system was changed. Now every competing country gave three, two and one point to its three favourites. This should avoid that a country focussed the most of the possible points on only one title.

This should be the first year in which countries did indeed get 0 points for their entries. Certainly this could in fact have happened in the earlier years. But, as the rank lists between 1956 and 1961 show, it didn't happen. Also there were results with the same number of points.

The winning song from France was a crafty and also decent song, one that tackled with the subject of a first love.

Some say that starting place no. 2 in the order is a bad position in many aspects. Well, this statement, as cynic as it probably sounds, is not such wrong. A lot of artists got a bad place at this position and till this day no song starting as second one has won...

The songs were very different ones, the similar style of the first three years was gone. Germany's "Zwei kleine Italiener" was an example of a more legere entry. The Yugoslavian entry was a romantic one about two glowing cigarettes.

Between the french and the Norwegian entry all became dark, a light failure. Though the french entry did win, the German entry became the commercial most successful song, a hit in Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Austria.

It is a fact that the performing women were more accepted than the performing men. Eight male performers - and a winning lady.

Some of you may find the ranking list boring or unpleasing but it surely is, regarded to the statistic view, important. Here it is:

Perf. Title Pts.
I. Aubret "Un Premier Amour" F 26
F. Deguelt "Dis Rien" MC 13
C. Felgen "Petit Bonhomme" L 11
L. Novakovic "Ne Pali Svetla..." YU 10
R. Caroll "Ring-a-Ding Girl" GB 10
C. Froeboess "Zwei Kleine..." D 9
M. Rung "Tipi-Tii" SF 4
I. Berggren "Sol Och Var" S 4
C. Villa "Addio, Addio" I 3
E. Winther "Vuggevise" DK 2
I. Jacobsen "Kom Sol, Kom Regn" N 2
J. Philippe "Le Retour" CH 2
F. Leclerc "Ton Nom" B 0
V. Balaguer "Llamame" E 0
E. Schwarz "Nur In Der..." A 0
De Spelbrek. "Katinka" NL 0

- 1963 -

This year the french didn't have the wish to host the ESC again so the BBC in Great Britain took the chance to present it. But due to some reasons this ESC was reflected not to be the best of all.

First of all the viewers had to listen to a long lecture of Stuart Hood. Secondly the whole ESC was reflected by the viewers as to be a studio program. The public and the moderator Katie Boyle sat in one room, meanwhile the singers and the orchester were located in another room.

The event was held in the BBC Television Center in London. The same countries competed, no one new joined the contest.

Germany's Heidi Bruehl sang the nervous song "Marcel", it didn't become the song of the evening. Many thought that the modern chanson "L'Amour S'en Va" was a real favourite to win. Well, as the ranking list will show you, the song didn't reach this aim. This was also the case for Esther Ofarim who did compete for Switzerland.

As I know no one could understand why Norway changed the point voting this evening. The voting system was changed for another time. The juries now gave the points to its five favourites from five points to one. To explain nearer how the two votes irritated Europe at this evening I will tell you how the first and the second vote went (the second was given after the last country of the 16 had told the point results):

Vote 1:
5 pts to Great Br.
4 pts to Italy
3 pts to Switzerland
2 pts to Denmark
1 pts to Germany

Vote 2:
5 pts to Great Br.
4 pts to Denmark
3 pts to Italy
2 pts to Germany
1 pts to Switzerland

If the first vote would have been the valid one, Switzerland would have been the winner. But the second vote brought the victory to Denmark. There were many rumours that Norway helped Denmark to win, but there are no proofs for that. The reasons for the two votes are unknown till today.

Here is the rank list:

Perf. Title Pts.
Grete & Jorgen Ingman "Dansevise" DK 42
E. Ofarim "T'En Vas Pas" CH 40
E. Pericoli "Uno Per Tutte" I 37
R. Caroll "Say Wonderful..." GB 28
A. Barriere "Elle Etait Ai..." F 25
F. Hardy "L'Amour S'en Va" MC 25
C. Corren "Vielleicht..." A 16
N. Mouskouri "A Force De Prier" L 13
H. Bruehl "Marcel" D 5
J. Raymond "Waroom" B 4
V. Vukov "Brodovi" YU 3
J. Guardiola "Algo Prodigioso" E 2
A. Palmen "Speeldoos" NL 0
A. Thallaug "Solherv" N 0
L. Halme "Muistojeni Laulu" SF 0
M. Zetterl. "En Gang I..." S 0

It has to be added at last that Nana Mouskouri started her really big career short time later. She was born in Greece.

- 1964 -

This year Sweden made a pause and Portugal became new member of the musical circuit. The Saturday should become the day of this event regularly and stayed it. Lotte Waever was the host of the evening, this time the ESC was held in The Tivolis Konsertsal in Copenhagen. Sometimes a mishap can be really grim, then becomes a little scandal. Not only due to the fact that Sweden had to pause reasoned by a strike of the artists. In these year Spain and Portugal were dictatorships and against their attendance and participation there were sent bomb threats. So the responsibles in the hall made body searches and the Tivoli was secured by the Police.

As usual the people in the hall were all dressed in decent clothes. A flippy outfit as a trump of the modern times was not accepted at this event. The times of this should come a while later. The style of the songs still was relatively decent, though the interested public and the viewers on TV got a quite mixed offer of songs.

Still it wasn't allowed for a country to send a group of performers to the ESC. So the Spanish performers "Los TNT" had to divide themselves as solo performers (one singer, two in the background).

A new star was rising for an artist, it was the star of the chanson singer Udo Juergens. He didn't become the winner of the ESC this year, but his song "Warum Nur Warum?" became a big hit, not only in his home country Austria. But those, who know the story of the ESC a bit more detailed, know that this only was the first part of the fairy tale that became true. The winning song had the best result due to the points since the beginning of the ESC and is still one of the most beautiful winning songs of it.

You know what comes now? Right:

Perf. Title Pts.
G. Cinquetti "Non Ho L'Eta" I 49
M. Monroe "I Love The..." GB 17
Romuald "Ou Sont Elles..." MC 15
Rachel "Le Chant De Mallory" F 14
H. Aufray "Des Que Le..." L 14
U. Juergens "Warum Nur Warum?" A 11
L. Martenson "Laiskotellen" SF 9
A. Bendiksen "Spiral" N 6
B. Tidmand "Sangen Om Dig" DK 4
A. Groenloh "Jij Bent Mijn Leven" NL 2
R. Cogoi "Pres De Ma Riviere" B 2
Los TNT "Caracola" E 1
N. Nova "Man Gewoehnt..." D 0
A. Calvario "Oracao" POR 0
S. Kurt "Zivot Je..." YU 0
A. Traversi "I Miei Pensieri" CH 0

- 1965 -

In 1965 the voting system again had been changed. This time the juries gave their five, three and one points to their most liked songs. Renata Mauro presented this ESC in the Salo Di Concerto Della RAI in Naples. Meanwhile Sweden came back, Ireland gave its debut. One of the most successful ESC nations entered the musical circuit.

Udo Juergens came back for Austria and succeeded to improve his rank. After the decent winning song of the last year, the song with the most points at the end was quite lively.

The stage and the hall were quite plainly decorated, a big outfit was dear in these years also.

This was the first year, in which the performers were allowed to sing in another language than the mother tongue, if it was wished. The Swedish performer made use of this offer. His song wasn't the song of the evening.

The popularity of the event was quite different in the eyes if the participating nations. The most widened interest the ESC had in Austria. There ever have been nations that didn't take the ESC very serious. Germany did - with very different results. After the votes had been told, the song from Luxembourg was the winning entry. It was a quite peppy one, telling the story of a doll (if it can be interpreted so far). France Gall (which later went on distance to the ESC) performed the fast moving song. The first signs of the European pop couldn't be overseen anymore. And here comes the list:

Perf. Title Pts.
F. Gall "Poupee De Cire,..." L 32
K. Kirby "I Belong" GB 26
G. Mardel "N'Avoue Jamais" F 22
U. Juergens "Sag Ihr, Ich..." A 16
B. Solo "Se Piagni, Se Ridi" I 15
B. Moore "I'm Walking The..." IRL 11
B. Bruel "For Din Skyld" DK 10
Yovanna "Non, A Jamais..." CH 8
M. Noel "Va Dire A L'Amour" MC 7
I. Wixell "Absent Friend" S 6
C.V.D. Bos "'T Is Genoeg" NL 5
V. Vukov "Ceznja" YU 2
K. Sparboe "Karussell" N 1
S. de Oliveira "Sol De Inverno" POR 1
C. Bautista "Que Bueno, Que..." E 0
W. Wiesner Paradies, Wo... D 0
B. Marke "Als Het Weer..." B 0
V. Klimenko "Aurinko Laskee..." SF 0

Let me give you some remarks at last. The first decade of the ESC showed a development that was somehow a hidden comment referring to the regular musical taste. Meanwhile the days of rock'n roll and some few other music styles went over the whole world, the ESC showed a kind of grace, sense of decency and a little type of exotic charme. You don't find a lot of such emissions on the TV, not in the early days of the television and also not today.

The process of change did no harm to the success of the main ideology. The experiment of the Eurovision idea had been right. The cultural Europe was united in a number of aspects. Though it all isn't perfect even today.

Here and now I have to pause my explanations. I hope you'll be back with me in the next issue. Till then, bye!


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