Happy 60th Birthday, Eurovision!

assiaEurovisionEurovision Times would like to wish the Eurovision Song Contest a very Happy Birthday! 60 years ago today, on 24th May 1956. the first Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast from Switzerland and Lys Assia was the first winner. 

In the last 60 years the contest has gone from strength to strength with this year’s contest attracting 204 million viewers.

Lys still attends the contest whenever possible and said,

“This day, 60 years ago. I sang for my beloved home country Switzerland in a show called the Eurovision Song Contest. Only 7 countries participated in a small venue on an even smaller stage with only one camera. I presented two beautiful songs ‘Das alte Karrussel‘ and ‘Refrain‘. At the end of the evening the winner was announced: Switzerland’s Lys Assia with her evergreen ‘Refrain‘. I never thought that this show would become such a big and successful event. I’m still proud of what I achieved that day. It means a lot to me. I want to thank you all for the kind wishes and messages. I received messages from all over the world. In times of war, crises, hatred and other insecurities Eurovision brings countries and people together to celebrate, let’s never forget that.”

Here’s to the next 60 years!

15 comments on “Happy 60th Birthday, Eurovision!

  1. (I am in a killjoy mood).
    Congratulations for the 60th birthday of jury controversy. After all the Luxembourg delegation didn’t have any juries with them. So the Swiss hosts also voted on their behalf.

  2. Congratulations!
    And celebrations!

    1956 is one of the best editions ever imo. A great start, even if it slowly went downhill for the rest of the 50’s, with 1958 and 1959 being quite poor years. “Im Wartesaal zum grossen Glück”, “Messieurs les noyés de la Seine” and “Les amants de minuit” are my three love songs from the first year, but the winning song is just fine too.

    • “Refrain” imo is awful and almost all 56 songs too, and the rest of the 50s are quite weak, it’s insane the contest stuck (but then the 50s did get “big hits” at home, like André Claveau here) but the 60s then were great

      • It’s true that the early years created a surprisingly lot of hits. Even here, early songs like “Volare”, “Romantica”, “Zwei kleine Italiener” and “Elle était si jolie” did better than most ESC songs today on the lists. Europe was in some way much more connected back then.

  3. Not a big fan of “Refrain” either, but there have been worse winners afterwards.

    My favourite in 1956 is clearly “Im Wartesaal zum großem Glück”. Some really great lyrics in particular.

    • I totally adore the lyrics of “Im Wartesaal zum großem Glück”, which perfectly represent torn apart German post-war society. They are perhaps my favourite ESC lyrics ever, being both politically relevant and very poetic. I really love “Messieurs les noyés de la Seine” too.

  4. On a more general note I find it rather difficult to connect with the 50’s Eurovision – with some exceptions of course, but for me it’s the decade of decency, “smørballader” and syrupy singing.

  5. Oops. Forgot to avoid smileys. Awaiting moderation…

  6. I also find it pretty amusing that the first two songs in Eurovision history, “De vogels van Holland” and “Das alte Karussell”, were pretty much two children songs, just to be quickly followed by a guy singing about suicide.

  7. Fascinating 60 years, imo!

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