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Blast from the past: Luxembourg 1956

We know a lot about Eurovision. That’s why we bring you a blast from the past every now and then. Today: “Les amants de minuit”, de Luxembourgian entry of 1956, sung by Michèle Arnaud.

First contest
Seven countries decided to join the first ever Eurovision Song Contest: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Because of the small number of countries, every country provided two entries. More countries showed interest, but for several reasons they didn’t participate. Luxembourg was the smallest of the participating countries, represented by broadcaster CLT (Compagnie de la Télévision Luxembourgois).

Nothing is known about the national selection in Luxembourg in 1956. However, it is not likely that there was one. Luxembourg only had a national selection on a few occasions in the 70s and the 80s. CLT chose French singer Michèle Arnaud to represent them. Luxembourg was, with Switzerland, one of the two countries that was represented by one artist for both the songs. For the occasion, Simone Laurencin composed one of the songs, with Pierre Lambry writing the lyrics. The other song, composed by Christian Guittreau, was called “Ne crois pas“.

Michèle Arnaud
Michèle Arnaud was born in Toulon at march 18, 1919.  She went to Paris, where she started a singing career in 1952. She started performing in the theatre Milord l’Arsouille. The first successful song she sang was “L’Île Saint-Louis“. After the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, she became the permanent star in Milord l’Arsouille. She was accompanied by Jacques Lassry, who was also her conductor in Eurovision, and… Serge Gainsbourg! In the sixties, Arnaud made her own version of big international hits, like Beatles’ “Yesterday”: “Je croyais Yesterday“.
Michèle Arnaud released 11 albums. In the seventies her career ended, her last single being “Cherbourg”. She passed away at march 30, 1998 in the small commune of Maisons-Laffitte.

Les amants de minuit
The song was called “Les amants de minuit”, which means “Midnight lovers”. “Midnight lovers by chance meet eachother. And about what will follow, happiness or unfortunate, only the night knows.”, Arnaud sings. The full lyrics can be found here. The results are not known; only the winner, Switzerland, was announced.

Two of Michele Arnauds children became artists as well. Daughter Florence Gruère became a photographer. Son Dominique Walter became a singer. He represented France in the 1966 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Chez nous“. 




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