We know a lot about Eurovision and we want to share this knowledge with you! Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. Today: one of the 1969 winners, the British one.
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
The United Kingdom started participating in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957. Five times it brought them the victory. Sandie Shaw was the first one in 1967, remember “Puppet on a String”? Lulu was the 2nd one, we are talking about this victory today. In 1976, they won again, now with the group Brotherhood of Man and the song “Save your kisses for me”. Five years later, Bucks Fizz got the trophy with “Making your mind up”. The most recent one was “Love shine a light” by Katrina and the Waves in 1997. Note that no less than 16 times, the UK got the 2nd place.
Lulu was selected internally by the BBC to represent the United Kingdom. In order to select the song, She performed six new songs in the BBC TV Centre in London on February 22nd. Viewers had a week to vote for the songs by postcards.
- Are you ready for love (5,560 votes, 5th)
- March (38,418 votes, 2nd)
- Come September (11,362 votes, 3rd)
- I can’t go on living without you (5,087 votes, 6th)
- Boom bang a bang (56,476 votes, winner)
- Bet yer (8,306 votes, 4th)
Note that “I can’t go on living without you” was written by Elton John (!!) and Bernie Taupin. One of the rejected songs was called “Try it and see“, by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was later recorded by Rita Pavone, but it rose to fame with other lyrics. As “King Herod’s Song” it was a part of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
Early life and 1960s
Lulu was born on November 3, 1948, in Lennoxtown, Scotland. She was raised in Glasgow. Lulu’s career began in the early 1960s with her band, The Luvvers. Her breakthrough hit, “Shout,” released in 1964 when she was just 15, remains one of her most iconic songs. In 1969, she represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Boom Bang-a-Bang,” which ended in a four-way tie for first place.
Further musical career
Lulu continued her musical career in the 1970s with hits like “Oh Me Oh My (I’m a Fool for You Baby)” and “The Man with the Golden Gun,” which was the theme song for the James Bond film of the same name. In the 1980s, she saw a resurgence in her career with hits like “I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)” and “To Sir With Love,” which also was the title track of a movie she starred in. Lulu’s relevance and appeal remained intact in the decades that followed. In the 1990s, she collaborated with Take That on a cover of “Relight My Fire,” which became a massive hit. She continued to release albums and singles in the 2000s and 2010s, exploring various genres and showcasing her versatility as a singer.
Acting and television
Lulu’s foray into acting was marked by her starring role in the 1967 film “To Sir, with Love” opposite Sidney Poitier. The title track, which she sang, became a No. 1 hit in the United States. Over the years, she made appearances in various TV shows and series both as an actress and as herself. She’s been a host and guest on numerous British television programs and has made appearances in radio shows and theater productions.
Lulu has been married twice, first to Bee Gees member Maurice Gibb and later to hairdresser John Frieda. She has one son with Frieda.
For Dutch and Belgian visitors: the most recent Eurovision Artists Magazine contains an article about Lulu.
Boom Bang A Bang
“Boom Bang-a-Bang” is an upbeat, bubblegum pop song. Its chorus is infectious, featuring the repetitive onomatopoeic title, which easily catches the listener’s ear and is designed for sing-alongs. The song was written by Peter Warne and Alan Moorhouse. The song won the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest, but not alone. No less than four countries gained 18 votes. The song became an international hit and reached the #1 spot in the charts in Ireland and Norway. Strangely enough not in the UK itself; the song reached the 2nd place in the UK Single Charts.
Notably was also the comment in one of the British newspapers: “Of course it will become a big hit. It will be translated into Hungarian and all the dialects of Mongolia, but it remains a lousy song.”