Congratulations: 1966-1975

by Sietse Bakker 91 views

This week, we will discuss one decade of the Eurovision Song Contest's history. Or, more particular, the entries from that decade chosen to compete among the last 14 during the 50th anniversary show Congratulations, which will take place this Saturday in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1968 – United Kingdom – Cliff Richard – Congratulations
The 1968 Eurovision Song Contest took place on 6th April in the Royal Albert Hall in London, UK. Katie Boyle hosted the event. Each country had 10 jury members, who all awarded one point to their favourite song.

Cliff Richard was born as Harry Rodger Webb in Lucknow, India, on 14th October, 1940. Now Sir Cliff Richard has scored 14 number 1 singles in the UK; more than any other artist with the exception of Elvis Presley and The Beatles. He's a dedicated Christian and recorded several Christmas songs.

The BBC asked Cliff Richard, already a successful singer, to sing six songs for the UK national final in 1968. Congratulations was, by far, the most popular song. Unfortunately, a second consecutive victory appeared impossible and Cliff came second. Spain won the contest, but Cliff Richard had a big hit with his Eurovision Song Contest entry. Who could possibly imagine that 37 years later, the 50th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest would be named after his famous entry Congratulations?

1973 – Spain – Mocedades – Eres tu
7th April, 1973, the Eurovision Song Contest took place in the Nouveau theatre Luxembourg. During the show, hosted by Helga Guitton, each country was represented by two jury members, one younger and one older than 25 years. They both awarded 1 to 5 points to every song.

Mocedades was formed in 1967 under the name Voces y guitarras (Voices and guitars). When Juan Carlos Calderón heard their music, he decided to put them under contract and the group name was changed into Mocedades.

Eres tu didn't win the Eurovision Song Contest, but came second after Anne Marie David. Amaya, Carlos, Izaskum, Javier, José and Roberto had more success in the United States, where their song reached the top-10 in the Billboard charts. It should be mentioned that the formation changed several times.

Aged 57, Roberto Uranga, one of the original members of Mocedades, passed away last Thursday, suffering from cancer.

1974 – Sweden – ABBA – Waterloo
The 1974 Eurovision Song Contest took place in The Dome in Brighton, UK, on 6th April. Katie Boyle hosted the show. It would be the last year without the famous 'douze points', but for ABBA, it didn't make a difference.

Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad en Agnetha Fältskog had their first hit with People need love. One year later, they came third with Ring ring in the Swedish national selection for the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. A year later, they managed to win with Waterloo and won the international contest as well. If the conductor, dressed as Napoleon, made a difference… we will never know!

ABBA not only became the most successful Eurovision Song Contest participants ever, they are also one of the most successful pop groups ever. Unfortunately, the dream ended in 1982. Five years ago, the four were said to have refused an offer of one billion dollars to re-unite. During the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, the 30th anniversary of ABBA's victory, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid and Agnetha returned as dolls.

Wednesday: 1976-1985
1976 – United Kingdom – Brotherhood of Man – Save your kisses for me
1980 – Ireland – Johnny Logan – What�s another year
1982 – Germany – Nicole – Ein bißchen Frieden

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