In today's Throwback Thursday, we will look back on the first Eurovision Song Contest ever! The 'Grand Prix Eurovision De La Chanson Européenne 1956' was held on the 24th of May 1956 in the city of Lugano, Switzerland. The concept was created by Marcel Bezençon and presented by former Swiss television presenter Lohengrin Filipello. The show was broadcasted in 10 different countries, including the participating countries, as well as The United Kingdom, Denmark and Austria.
14 songs from 7 different countries were performed in the Teatro Kursaal, a Casino and Theatre in Lugano, with each country sending 2 songs. Every country also had a maestro, who led the live orchestra for the instrumentation of the songs. The countries with their songs, and conductors (in brackets) were as follows:
1. Belguim: Mony Marc - 'Le plus beau jour de ma vie' & Fud Leclerc - 'Messieurs les noyés de la seine' (Léo Souris)
2. Luxembourg: Michèle Arnaud - 'Ne crois pas' & 'Les amants de minuit' (Jacques Lassry)
3. Switzerland: Lys Assia - 'Refrain' & 'Das alte Karussel' (Fernando Paggi)
4. The Netherlands: Jetty Pearl - 'De vogels van Holland' & Corry Brokken - 'Voorgoed voorbij' (Fernando Paggi)
5. Germany: Walter Andreas Schwarz - 'Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück' & Freddy Quinn - 'So geht das jede Nacht' (Fernando Paggi)
6. Italy: Tonia Torielli - 'Amami se vuoi' & Franca Raimondi - 'Aprite le finestre' (Gian Stellari)
7. France: Mathé Altéry - 'Les temps perdu' & Dany Dauberson - 'Il est là' (Franc Pourcel)
Voting and results
All participating countries selected 2 jury members who voted separately. They were also allowed to vote for their own country. What point system that was used has not been revealed. The Luxembourgish points however, were made with help from the Swiss Jury, as they did not have their own jury.
The full results of Eurovision 1956 have never been released either. only the winner was announced, which turned out to be Lys Assia from Switzerland with her song 'Refrain'. Lys Assia went onto sing for Switzerland again in 1957 and 1958, finishing in eighth place and second place respectively. She has since been a huge part of the Eurovision world, and has attended many Eurovision contests, including the 2012 contest in Baku as a guest of honour. Sadly she passed away on the 24th of March 2018, aged 94.
There are no video recordings of the show. A full audio, however, has been released, which you can listen to below:
Have you heard any songs from Eurovision 1956? What is your favourite song from the contest?
Let us know in the comments down below!