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Eurovision Song Contest 1956
ESC 1956 logo.png
Final 24 May 1956
Presenter(s) Lohengrin Filipello
Conductor Fernando Paggi
Host broadcaster Switzerland SSR
Venue Teatro Kursaal
Lugano, Switzerland
Winning song  Switzerland
"Refrain"
Voting system
Each country had 2 jury members who each awarded 1-10 points for each song[citation needed]
Number of entries 14
Debuting countries  Belgium
 France
 Germany
 Italy
 Luxembourg
 Netherlands
 Switzerland
Returning countries None
Withdrawing countries None
Nul points Unknown
Interval act Les Joyeux Rossignols & Les Trois Ménestrels
Eurovision Song Contest
       Wiki Eurovision Heart (Infobox).svg    1957►

The Eurovision Song Contest 1956 was the 1st Eurovision Song Contest, held in Lugano, Switzerland. This first contest was mainly a radio programme, though there were cameras in the studio for the benefit of the few Europeans who had television. The backdrops behind the singers were, perhaps understandably, not very lavish. Unlike more recent competitions, each country was allowed to enter two songs rather than one.

It had been strongly recommended that each participating country have a preliminary national song contest. Austria, Denmark and the United Kingdom were disqualified from the final contest, however, as all of them registered after the official deadline. The BBC's Festival of British Popular Song, which had been intended to choose the United Kingdom entry, was in the end not held until after the Eurovision contest.

All participating countries sent two jury members to Lugano, except for Luxembourg who allowed the Swiss jury to vote on their behalf.

No video recording of the entire event is known to have survived, although an audio recording does exist (although 20 minutes is missing from the end of the first part of the interval act till the start of the announcement of the winner). Newsreel footage of Lys Assia's encore performance of "Refrain" appears to be the only known video from the contest.

One rule of this contest is that every country had to have a national final, this rule was dropped in future years and some countries chose to choose a song internally.

Contents

Voting controversy

The voting system at this Contest allowed juries to vote for any competing song, including those of their own country. This is a system which was not repeated, and is believed by some[citation needed] to be the reason for Lys Assia's win.

Additionally, the Swiss jury was allowed to vote on behalf of the Luxembourg delegation, again something which has not been repeated in Contest history. This has also led to some[citation needed] allegations that these proxy votes may have tipped the result in Lys Assia's favour.

The scores for this Contest have never been made public, which has also led to a number of rumours[citation needed] about other placings. Lys Assia's other entry was never released commercially, which has caused suggestions[citation needed] that it placed very low. Other suggestions include a possible second place for Germany's Walter Andreas Schwarz (or Freddy Quinn, in some versions of the rumour), thus justifying Germany hosting the second Contest, and a possible third place for one of the Belgian entries.

The interval act, whistling by the Joyeux Rossignols, had to be extended due to a delay in the voting procedure.

Individual entries

Results

Draw Country Language Artist Song English translation Place Points
01  Netherlands Dutch Jetty Paerl "De vogels van Holland" The Birds of Holland - -
02  Switzerland German Lys Assia "Das alte Karussell" The Old Carousel - -
03  Belgium French Fud Leclerc "Messieurs les noyés de la Seine" The Drowned Gentlemen of the Seine - -
04  Germany German Walter Andreas Schwarz "Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück" In The Good Luck Waiting Room - -
05  France French Mathé Altéry "Le temps perdu" Lost Time - -
06  Luxembourg French Michèle Arnaud "Ne crois pas" Do Not Believe - -
07  Italy Italian Franca Raimondi "Aprite le finestre" Open the Windows - -
08  Netherlands Dutch Corry Brokken "Voorgoed voorbij" Over Forever - -
09  Switzerland French Lys Assia "Refrain" Chorus 1 -
10  Belgium French Mony Marc "Le plus beau jour de ma vie" The Most Beautiful Day of my Life - -
11  Germany German Freddy Quinn "So geht das jede Nacht" That's How It Is Every Night - -
12  France French Dany Dauberson "Il est là" He Is Here - -
13  Luxembourg French Michèle Arnaud "Les amants de minuit" The Lovers of Midnight - -
14  Italy Italian Tonina Torrielli "Amami se vuoi" Love Me If You Want - -

Commentators

Italy - Franco Marazzi

External links

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