Jetty Pearl Has Passed Away

The Netherands – We’re a bit late to pay our respect to Jetty Pearl who has passed away last week in Amstelveen at the age of 92. She represented the Netherlands in 1956 and she’s the first singer in the history of Eurovision.

In 1956 each of the seven participating countries had two songs and while some countries chose the same singer for both songs (Michèle Arnaud for Luxembourg, Lys Assia for Switzerland), the Netherlands were represented by Jetty Pearl who performed “De vogels van Holland” first and Corry Broklen with “Voorgoed voorbij”.

Jetty Pearl can go in history as the first ever performer in Eurovision. Sadly, no video recording of the 1956 contest was ever made and we’re still unsure of the results of that contest which may be for the best as it leaves no less than 13 runner-ups. Jetty Pearl was born in Amsterdam on 27 May 1921 and moved to London during World War II when The Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany. She married Dutch artist Cees Bantzinger (info Esctoday).

We present our condolences to her family and everyone saddens by this news.

Here’s the live recording of her 1956 performance, which opened more than 50 years of Eurovision history!

28 comments on “Jetty Pearl Has Passed Away

  1. Thanks to stomie for sending us the news!

    • You are welcome.
      To be honest, I am not too fond of her song. Even though the lyrics are written by the legendary Annie MG Schmidt, who is a real icon in the Netherlands.

  2. May she rest in peace. :(

    P.S.: beautiful voice.

  3. Rest in Peace, Jetty Pearl :(

    It’s beyond me how on earth the EBU, still after 58 years, hasn’t thought of paying a tribute to those leaving us every year by mentioning them on the night of the final in an a la “In Memoriam” video :(

    • id like to remind you that the EBU has only a “checking the rules remain fair” on the hosting of the contest, which is almost entirely in the hands of the hosting broadcaster!

      • That sounds a very cheap excuse to me, Morgan. It’s very easy for them to oblige the hosting broadcaster to act accordingly.

        • the EBU hasn’t much a lot of “power” to oblige: people forget the EBU is an association of broadcasters, in other words they’re themselves their own kings, how can some of them oblige others to, under which pretext?

          i agree it would be a nice thing, but i understand that broadcasters think “this is a big party night full of glitter and shaky acts, how can we manage to fit something more serious for 5mns?” and they decide not to put it in and i dont see how other broadcasters, unless they “pay” for the show, can say anything: they can “boycott” but that’s about it: the big payers already got themselves a final spot, they barely can push their luck more

          • I think EBU=ESC; in other words it certainly has the upper hand in dictating things to its’ members. Otherwise it would be like saying that UEFA f.e. does not have the power to say how a football tournament will be made.

            • Anyway this is not the first idiotic thing the EBU does and it probably won’t be the last.

            • the FIFA just said yesterday that it was up to Qataris to decide if it’s going to be hold in Summer or Winter for the 2022 world cup…

            • I’m waiting for their decision on ERT, sharpening my knives here :P :D

            • Tbh, I didn’t know that statement; if so, what exactly are they (FIFA) there for? :0

            • Haven’t you read this?I think they are ready to welcome the new public broadcaster and offer their help whre it’s needed. http://www.protagon.gr/?i=protagon.el.media&id=27043

            • Yes, Dimitri, I’m aware of this news; you can check my reaction to it at the “Big Survey 2013” topic ;) :)

            • Yes,i’m aware of your reaction but i had the impression it was because of the news that EBU will stop broadcasting ERT’S program.This letter i posted is sent to the ERT unions’ and is more analytical with regard to the reason EBU took this decision and it’s also indicative of what they are planning to do from now on,IMO.

  4. To cut a long story short, not mentioning the artists that pass way every year is an embarrassment to the history of the contest imho.

  5. I already posted my condolences last night. RIP, Jetty Pearl!

    Her ESC song and I have a long and complicated history. When I was young, I didn’t like “De vogels van Holland” at all but the song has grown on me a lot over the past years. Perhaps it is a song for more mature people. ;)

    On the “in memorian” topic I am all with oxi but understand Morgan’s academic approach to the matter too. The EBU is a toothless tiger. :(

    Goodnight everyone. :)

    • ahah I was also thinking that my approach was quite “clinical” and “academic” but yeah, it’s often a lot of things to take into account; people often talk of language, live orchestra and many other things about the contest that bugs them and I’m often with them but I’m always trying to understand the reasoning behind. If one looks closely at all the changes, it’s obvious that most “rules” are about the EBU having less and less actual power on the contest (no “obligated” live music, no “obligated” language rule…) and just trying to gather enough money from all broadcasters (including televote) so that the contest can survive and that the EBU shows to all broadcasters the contest still has a reason to go on. It’s sad but true, once one understands that, one can make fair contribution to how we can make the contest a better place and yes it starts by a much stronger decisive power behind the contest, i doubt that EBU neither wants or can actually be said power.

  6. But at least they mention it on Eurovision.tv.

    May she rest in peace.

    As for the song, I think it’s sweet. But I have some difficulties relating to pop music from the 50’s, except rock’n roll, r&b and things like that.

    • pop? i wonder what you mean by pop from 50s, i wouldnt have used that word, which seems like a filler for any music that isnt in a certain category box yet… in the 50s a lot of them sound like “old chanson” to me, and a lot sound more 40s than 50s until around 1961 where the contest dives right in the 60s like scrapping the 50s all together

  7. What I mean by pop is simply popular music in general, which is a very wide term. But popular music, in contrast to “classical” music, traditional folk music, jazz from bebop and onwards, avant garde etc. But I never use it as a negatively charged concept.

    I don’t know if it sounds more like the 40’s than the 50’s, but it IS from the 50’s, no matter how it sounds. And who are actually defining the sound of a particular decade? People would probably disagree on it anyway. It just goes to show you can’t just say the 50’s sounded like that, and the 60’s like that and so on.

    • agreed, ive often used that same argument when people said “outdated” or “too modern”: it’s from when it’s from, however simplistic that sounds

      though i knew that you said “pop” in a good way, but it felt strange that someone with your musical background (id like to remind people that i have none) wouldn’t use a better word than “pop” which means “undetermined”

      what i meant on the 50s was that, back then the contest had a grandeur feel to it and indeed more “classical” (UK 57 anyone?) and something more pop and mainstream took a while to enter the contest, and even the chanson ones feel a bit “dated” for the 50s in that sense: imo the 60s and some 70s are the last time the contest was exactly in tune with its time. In the 80s onward, the contest will forever try to catch up with its time, only matching it one song here and there (Nocturne, Siren…)

      • But even in the 50’s the contest was heavily critisized in Denmark for being too substandard in terms of musical quality. Even songs like “Skibet skal sejle i nat” (DK 1957) and “Dansevise” were heavily panned down in the press. It may be different in France, I don’t know, but the critics in Denmark hated it.

        • “Dansevise” being an all time Top 10 for sure (and not just on my personal taste or opinion) it says something! Either the Danish critics were right, and therefore, an averagy song is in the contest’s all time top 10 or the critics back then got it wrong which I would tend to think. In France, the contest was so highly popular in the 60s and so many stars did it, you may not know this, but every Frenchman could sing to you France 63, France 65 or most of all Luxembourg 65 (that one is still played on the radio here and there) and people like Françoise Hardy (Monaco 63) or Isabelle Aubret (do I need to say who she is really?) made huge careers here! Back then they were super star (the Françoise Hardy – Thomas Dutronc relationship got all the teenagers go crazy) and they did do the contest! On the other hand, someone like André Claveau, who beat “Volare”, was a huge 40s superstar that was still hypd in 58 but totally forgotten come 62 and now absolutely unknown…

          Denmark is maybe different, after all, you pulled out of it between 1967 and 1978 and probably came back when ABBA won and the contest grew big in Scandinavia.

          • It was indeed very popular in Denmark, but the cultural elite surely hated it. In 1966 DR got a new head of entertainment, Niels Jørgen Kaiser, who thought Eurovision made people stupid (alongside pop culture in general). Therefore he decided to pull Denmark out of the contest. We came back in 1978 after Niels Jørgen Kaiser resigned.

            Genre definitions are always difficult. ‘Popular music’ is not just a term that you put on ‘undetermined’ music. It normally has to be relatively easily accesible to the listener, and yet, even The Velvet Underground, which is not exactly easily accesible, falls into that category in most of the litteratur we used at musicology. In Denmark we often use the term ‘rytmisk musik’ (rhythmical music) instead, but it doesn’t include things like schlager.

  8. Rest in peace.

    “De vogels van Holland” is a cute and sweet little song, which I enjoy. Just as the second Eurovision son, “Das alte Karussell”, it sounds almost like a children song. But since Annie MG Schmidt has written it, it might not come as a surprise. It’s in my ninth place in 1956.

  9. R.I.P. :(

    • (ps Marc, I noticed that we have 8 (!) in common in our top 10: among the two we disagree with, one of mine is in your 11-13th and one of yours I disagree with is also in my 11th-13th while the other one we both have it belo 30th as the big one we disagree on, not bad ;))

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