History of the Eurovision Song Contest
The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began with an idea of Sergio Pugliese, of the Italian television RAI, approved by Marcel Bezençon of the European Broadcasting Union. The contest was based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology; the first contest took place on 24 May 1956. As the Contest progressed, the rules grew complex and participation levels rose to pass forty nations at the end of the 20th century; as more countries came on board over subsequent decades and technology advanced, the EBU attempted to keep up with national and international trends. The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s led to a sudden increase in numbers, with many former Eastern Bloc countries queuing up to compete for the first time; this process continued into the 2005 contest, in which both Moldova made their debut. Liechtenstein, Vatican City and Kosovo are the only European countries not to have participated. San Marino took part in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade, together with Azerbaijan.
Australia made their debut in the 2015 contest and became the first country from the Oceania region to participate in the contest. Although their participation was announced as a one-off event, the country was subsequently invited to participate in the 2016 contest; the earliest period in the Eurovision history is marked by the style of songs which participated and the manner in which the show itself was presented. Famous musical and film stars would participate without prejudice, with Italian winners of the Sanremo Festival and such British names as Patricia Bredin and Bryan Johnson. With a live orchestra the norm in the early years, simple sing-a-long songs on every radio station, the Contest grew into a favourite amongst all age groups across the continent. Iconic songs such as "Volare" and France Gall's "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" hit the sales charts in many countries after their Eurovision performance. In the beginning, it was obvious for the participants that they should sing in their country's national language.
However, as the Swedish entry in 1965, "Absent Friend" was sung in English, the EBU set strict rules on the language in which the songs could be performed. National languages had to be used in all lyrics, including Maltese when the island nation made its debut. Songwriters across Europe soon tagged onto the notion that success would only come if the judges could understand the content, resulting in such entries as "Boom-Bang-A-Bang" and "La La La"; the lyrics were allowed to contain occasional phrases in other languages, utilized for example by the Yugoslavian song in 1969. In 1973, the rules on language use was relaxed, in the following year ABBA would win with "Waterloo"; those "freedom of language" rules would be soon reversed in 1977, to return with apparent permanent status in the 1999 contest, with the intervening years waning from highlights to dead-weight years. The "swinging sixties" and punk scenes were all but missed by the contemporary Eurovision periods, whilst the 1980s saw an increase in balladry with an blanket disregard for electronica or guitar-based pop.
Other than infused pop versions, rap has been next to ignored. One result of the attempt to modernise the songs in the Contest was the abolition of the obligatory use of the live orchestra, to which all songs had to perform; this decision was made in 1997 and removed the automatic requirement for songs to be re-composed for playback with a live orchestra. As of 1999, the host country hasn't been obliged to provide a live orchestra, there hasn't been one since. No attempt has been made to return the Contest to the days of symphonic violins. Live music is not allowed; this rule most exists because there isn't enough time to wire the instruments during the short break between the songs. On the other hand, a backing tape may have no voices on it, singing still must be done live. Before 1997 backing tracks were only if all instruments on tape were featured on stage; this explains the odd situation in 1996, when Gina G, entrant for the United Kingdom, had two computer screens on stage. Other than the earliest contests and every entry has been fixed at a maximum three minutes in length.
Previous performers at the Eurovision Song Contest include: European music History by Year Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Sing Your Heart Out, Europe: The Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest 1959
The Eurovision Song Contest 1959 was the fourth edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Cannes, following André Claveau's win at the 1958 contest in Hilversum, Netherlands with the song "Dors, mon amour", it was the first time. The contest was held at Palais des Festivals et des Congrès on Wednesday 11 March 1959, was hosted by Jacqueline Joubert. Eleven countries participated in the contest. Monaco made its début this year; the United Kingdom returned after their absence from the previous edition. The winner was the Netherlands with the song "Een beetje", performed by Teddy Scholten, written by Willy van Hemert and composed by Dick Schallies; this was the Netherlands' second victory in the contest, following their win in 1957 - marking the first time a country had won more than once. Willy van Hemert wrote the first Dutch winner that year; the event took place in Cannes, with the venue being the original building of Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, after France got the right to host this edition of the Eurovision Song Contest for winning its previous 1958 edition with the song "Dors, mon amour" performed by André Claveau.
Cannes, a city located on the French Riviera, is a busy tourist destination and known worldwide for hosting the annual Cannes Film Festival, with the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès hosting the Film Festival. The original building was built in 1949 and was located on the boulevard of Promenade de la Croisette, on the present site of the JW Marriott Cannes. A new rule was created for this Eurovision, ensuring that no professional publishers or composers were allowed in the national juries. During the voting, Italy gave one point to France, no points to the UK and seven points to the Netherlands placing them just three points ahead of the UK. On, France gave only three points to Italy and four points to the Netherlands thus giving them a five-point lead over the UK, who were only one point ahead of France, leaving Italy behind in sixth position, behind Denmark, on nine points. Something that occurred this year, but never again, was that more than the winning entry was performed once again.
The third- and second-placed songs and United Kingdom were allowed to sing again at the end of the show, together with the eventual winner, the Netherlands. Luxembourg withdrew from the contest for the first time; the United Kingdom returned after missing the previous contest and finished second for the first time. The UK would have 15 second-place finishes in the country's history in the contest. Monaco came last; each performance had a conductor. France - Franck Pourcel Denmark - Kai Mortensen Italy - William Galassini Monaco - Franck Pourcel Netherlands - Dolf van der Linden Germany - Franck Pourcel Sweden - Franck Pourcel Switzerland - Franck Pourcel Austria - Franck Pourcel United Kingdom - Eric Robinson Belgium - Francis Bay The contest saw the return of two artists who had participated in previous editions of the contest: Birthe Wilke for Denmark and Domenico Modugno for Italy; the table above shows the order in which votes were cast during the 1959 contest along with the spokesperson, responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country.
Each national broadcaster sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. Details of the commentators and the broadcasting station for which they represented are included in the table below. Official website
Hassan II of Morocco
King Hassan II was King of Morocco from 1961 until his death in 1999. He is descended from the Alaouite tribe, he was the eldest son of Mohammed V, Sultan King of Morocco, his second wife, Lalla Abla bint Tahar. Hassan was known to be one of the most severe rulers of Morocco. Hassan was educated at the Imperial College at Rabat, earned a law degree from the University of Bordeaux, he was exiled to Corsica by French authorities on 20 August 1953, together with his father Sultan Mohammed V. They were transferred to Madagascar in January 1954. Prince Moulay Hassan acted as his father's political advisor during the exile. Mohammed V and his family returned from exile on 16 November 1955. Prince Moulay Hassan participated in the February 1956 negotiations for Morocco's independence with his father, who appointed him Chief of Staff of the newly founded Royal Armed Forces in April 1956. In the unrest of the same year, he led army contingents battling rebels in the mountains of the Rif. Mohammed V changed the title of the Moroccan sovereign from Sultan to King in 1957.
Hassan was proclaimed Crown Prince on 19 July 1957, became King on 26 February 1961, after his father's death. Hassan's conservative rule, one characterized by a poor human rights record, strengthened the Alaouite dynasty. In Morocco's first constitution of 1963, Hassan II reaffirmed Morocco's choice of a multi-party political system, the only one in the Maghreb at that time; the constitution gave the King large powers he used to strengthen his rule, which provoked strong political protest from the UNFP and the Istiqlal parties that formed the backbone of the opposition. In 1965, Hassan dissolved Parliament and ruled directly, although he did not abolish the mechanisms of parliamentary democracy; when elections were held, they were rigged in favour of loyal parties. This caused severe discontent among the opposition, protest demonstrations and riots challenged the King's rule. A US report observed that "Hassan appears obsessed with the preservation of his power rather than with its application toward the resolution of Morocco's multiplying domestic problems."Many militants of the National Union of Popular Forces are imprisoned and some party leaders sentenced to death.
In October 1960, Mehdi Ben Barka is secretly murdered. In the early 1970s, King Hassan survived two assassination attempts; the first, On July 10, 1971, was a coup d'état attempt supported by Libya, organized by General Mohamed Medbouh and Colonel M'hamed Ababou and carried out by cadets during a diplomatic function at the King's summer palace in Rabat during his forty-second birthday party. Important guests, including the Belgian Ambassador Marcel Dupert, were placed under house arrest, the King himself was taken to a small pavilion. Rabat's main radio station was taken over by the rebels and broadcast propaganda stating that the King had been murdered and a republic founded; the coup ended the same day. It was subsequently claimed by the Moroccan authorities that the young cadets had been misled by senior officers into thinking that they were acting to protect the king. On 16 August 1972, during a second attempt, four F-5 military jets from the Royal Moroccan Air Force fired upon the King's Boeing 727 while he was travelling back to Rabat from France, many bullets hit the fuselage but they failed to bring the plane down.
The King himself hurried to the cockpit, took control of the radio and shouted: "Stop firing you fools, the Tyrant is dead!" Eight people were killed. General Mohamed Oufkir, Morocco's defense minister, was the man behind the coup and was declared to have committed suicide after the attack, his body, was found with several bullet wounds. In the Cold War era, Hassan II allied Morocco with the West and with the United States in particular. There were close and continuing ties between Hassan II's government and the CIA, who helped to reorganize Morocco's security forces in 1960. Hassan served as a back channel between the Arab world and Israel, facilitating early negotiations between them; this was made possible due to the presence in Israel of a large Moroccan Jewish community. During his reign, Morocco recovered the Spanish-controlled area of Ifni in 1969, militarily seized two thirds of Spanish Sahara through the "Green March" in 1975; the latter issue continues to dominate Moroccan foreign policy to this day.
Relations with Algeria have deteriorated due to the Western Sahara affair, as well as due to Moroccan claims on Algerian territory, which unleashed the brief 1963 Sand War. Relations with Mauritania were tense too, as Morocco only recognized it as a sovereign country in 1969, nearly a decade after Mauritania's independence, because of Moroccan claims on the country. In 1985, Hassan II suspends Morocco's membership of the Organization of African Unity and enters into conflict with Burkinabe President Thomas Sankara because of his decision to recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Economically, Hassan II adopted a market-based economy, where agriculture and phosphates mining industries played a major role; the period from the 1960s to the late 1980s was labelled as the "years of lead" and saw thousands of dissidents jailed, exiled or forcibly disappeared. King Hassan II had extended many parliamentary functions by the early 1990s and released hundreds of political prisoners in 1991, allowed
Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest
Turkey has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 34 times since making its debut in 1975. Since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, the only year that Turkey participated and failed to advance to the final was in 2011. Turkey hosted the 2004 contest in Istanbul. Turkey finished last on its debut at the contest in 1975, went on to finish last with "nul points" in 1983 and 1987, only reached the top ten in one of its first 18 attempts at the contest between 1975 and 1996, before Sebnem Paker achieved the country's first top five result in 1997, finishing third with "Dinle". Turkey would go on to achieve five more top five placements after the introduction of the free language rule and tele-voting, with Sertab Erener giving Turkey its first victory at the 2003 contest with the song "Everyway That I Can", narrowly defeating Belgium by two points. Turkey's other top five results are Athena, Kenan Doğulu, who all finished fourth, the nu metal band maNga, who finished second. TRT announced in December 2012 that they would not attend the 2013 contest in Malmö, citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the competition.
2013 was the first time since the 1973 contest that there was no television broadcast on TRT. In September 2013, TRT stated a return is unlikely for the 2014 competition, citing the same reasons; as of 2019, Turkey has yet to return to the contest. National broadcasting service of Turkey, Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, was one of the charter members of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950 along with eighteen countries around Europe including a North African state, Tunisia; as an intercontinental country, Turkey takes part in lots of Westerner organisations including their NATO membership in 1952 and associate membership in the European Economic Community in 1959. Test transmissions started on TRT 1 on 31 January 1968. A full national television schedule, which at that time linked the areas in and around Ankara and Izmir, started in December 1971. TRT renewed its membership in the European Broadcasting Union starting on 26 August 1972 with Turkey's first Eurovision Network event, a football match, on 13 January 1973.
Turkish national broadcaster televised the Eurovision Song Contest between 1973 and 2012 incessantly in the years that they weren't participating. Turkey debuted to the Eurovision Song Contest in the 1975 Contest, the 20th edition of the Contest and held in Stockholm, Sweden. Greece did not participate in the 1975 Contest for "unknown reasons" according to the EBU, but it was discovered that the withdrawal was in protest of Turkey's debut and its invasion of Cyprus in 1974. TRT organized a national final for select the first Turkish entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest; the final hosted by Bülend Özveren. The winning song was picked by averaging the ranks from the professional jury and people's jury as "Seninle Bir Dakika" by Semiha Yankı. At the close of voting the song had placed last. In 1976, Greek entry aroused controversy; this time Turkey withdrew from the Contest to protest the political background of the entry of Greece, "Panagia Mou, Panagia Mou". Turkey televised the final on 3 April 1976 but censored the Greek entrant's performance and played a nationalist Turkish song titled "Memleketim", one of the symbols of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in Turkey.
Turkey didn't take part in the Contest until 1978. The 1979 Contest was held in Jerusalem. Turkish entry selected as "Seviyorum" by Maria Rita Epik but Arab countries compelled the Turkish government to withdraw from the Contest because of Arabs state of war with the host country, Israel. So Turkey withdrew from the Contest for the third time in 1979. In 1980, Turkish superstar Ajda Pekkan selected internally by TRT and the song, "Petrol" through a national final. Pekkan placed 15th with 23 points, including the first twelve points received by Turkey from Morocco. Turkey participated to the Eurovision Song Contest in the eighties incessantly, and had their best result in the Eurovision Song Contest 1986, when Klips ve Onlar placed 9th with the total of 53 points in Bergen, Norway. The country scored "nul points" for two times in the eighties one in 1983 and the other one in 1987; the Contest has seen the most famous artists of Turkey in the eighties including Ajda Pekkan, Candan Erçetin and MFÖ.
Early 1990s the Contest wasn't popular in Turkey after Kayahan, one of the most famous singers of country placed 17th place in a set of 22 participating countries with 21 points. After Kayahan's failure Turkey had unknown entrants or amateur singers until 2003. Şebnem Paker, represented the country in two consecutive years, first time being in the 1996 Contest where she qualified to the final and placed 12th and in the 1997 Contest she placed third, behind the UK and Ireland, with the song "Dinle", sung in Turkish. After the free language rule was re-introduced in 1999, the first Turkish entry to be sung in English, was at the 2000 contest. Turkey reached to the top ten second time since 1986 and first time to the top three, so, the most successful result that the country had in the Eurovision Song Contest until their victory
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
Germany has participated in every Eurovision Song Contest since its beginning in 1956, except in 1996 when its entry did not qualify past the audio-only pre‐selection round, was not seen in the broadcast final and does not count as one of Germany's 62 appearances. No other country has been represented as many times. Along with France, Italy and the United Kingdom, Germany is one of the "Big Five" countries that are automatically qualified to the final, due to being the largest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union; the final is broadcast in Germany on Das Erste. Germany has won the contest twice, in 1982 and 2010. Germany first won the contest at the 27th attempt in 1982 in Harrogate, when Nicole won with the song "Ein bisschen Frieden"; the second German victory came 28 years at the 2010 contest in Oslo, when Lena won with "Satellite". Katja Ebstein, who finished third in 1970 and 1971 second in 1980, is the only performer to have made the top three on three occasions. Germany has a total of 11 top three placements finishing second with Lena Valaitis and twice with the group Wind, finishing third with Mary Roos and Surpriz.
Germany has finished last on seven occasions, receiving nul points in 1964, 1965 and 2015. Having not reached the top-ten in ten of the previous 13 contests, Michael Schulte achieved Germany's second-best result of the 21st century, by finishing fourth at the 2018 contest. Although German contestants have had varied levels of success, public interest remains high and the contest is one of the most watched events each year. Since 1996, ARD consortium member Norddeutscher Rundfunk has been responsible for Germany's participation in the contest; the Eurovision Song Contest semi-final is broadcast on NDR Fernsehen, the final is broadcast on Das Erste, the flagship channel of ARD. The German representative in the contest is chosen during a national selection, broadcast on public television channel Das Erste, organized by one of the nine regional public broadcasting organizations of the ARD. Between 2010 and 2012, private broadcaster ProSieben worked in partnership with NDR. Radio coverage has been provided, although not every year, by Deutschlandfunk and Bayern 2 from 1970 to 1979, hr3 from 1980–85, 1991–94, 2007 and 2011, NDR Radio 2 from 1986 to 1990, 1995 to 2006 and 2008–13, WDR1LIVE in 2011.
Since 2010 production company Brainpool, which co-produced the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf and the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, have worked with NDR to co-produce the German national finals. Germany has changed the selection process used in order to find the country's entry for the contest, either a national final or internal selection has been held by the broadcaster at the time. Before German reunification, the country was presented as West Germany, representing the Federal Republic of Germany; the German Democratic Republic did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest but instead took part in the Intervision Song Contest. With one win and four second-place results, Germany is the second most successful country in the contest in the 1980s, behind Ireland, who had two wins in the decade. ARD had selected an artist and song to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 1996, to be held in Oslo, Norway. Due to the large number of countries wanting to compete at Eurovision, they determined that only 23 of the 30 countries could compete.
Hosts Norway qualified automatically, the other 29 songs went into an audio only pre-qualification round, with the top 22 going on to compete alongside Norway in Oslo. For Germany its entry, Leon with "Planet of Blue", failed to earn enough points to progress to the final, finishing 24th. ARD and the EBU were not happy with this, as Germany was the biggest financial contributor at the time; this is the only time. In the 2000s, Germany has been notable for their adoption of musical styles which are not typical of Eurovision, such as country and western and swing. Germany tied for last at the 2008 contest for points, but was awarded 23rd of 25 places when the results were posted. In 2009, ARD held an internal selection for the first time since 1995 due to lack of interest and viewing figures of the German national finals. Alex Christensen and Oscar Loya were selected to represent Germany at the 2009 contest, where they performed on stage with burlesque artist Dita von Teese; however they only managed placing 20th of 25 competing countries.
In 2010, ARD approached former entrant and songwriter Stefan Raab and private network ProSieben to co-operate in finding a winning entry for the country. It has been said that Raab was approached due to his good record at the contest, finishing 5th in 2000 as well as writing entries in 1998 and 2004, which finished 7th and 8th respectively. Raab agreed and conducted a TV casting show called Unser Star für Oslo, broadcast on ARD and ProSieben. A winner arose in Lena Meyer-Landrut with "Satellite". Two further collaborations with ProSieben provided the second and third top ten result in a row in 2011