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Blast from the past: Denmark 1958

We know a lot about Eurovision; this is knowledge we want to share with you. Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. Back to 1958, when Denmark was represented by Raquel Rastenni with “Jeg rev et blad ud av min dagbog”. Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest Hey, wait… it was only 1958! In Hilversum, The Netherlands, the 3rd Eurovision Song Contest was about to take place. Denmark expressed the wish to participate in 1956 already, but that didn’t happen. In 1957, Birthe Wilke & Gustav Winckler represented the country, ending their performance with the famous long lasting kiss. They ended up 3rd. How on earth could a performance be more spectacular than that one? Dansk Melodi Grand Prix The national final was held on February 16th in studio 2 of Radiohuset in Copenhagen. Six songs competed in the contest that was hosted by Sejr Volmer-Sørensen: Nanina, sung by Bent Weidlich Jeg rev et blad ud av min dagbog, sung by Raquel Rastenni For altid, sung by Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler Evas lille sang, sung by Preben Uglebjerg Mit gamle hakkebræt, sung by Preben Neergaard Refræn, sung by Raquel Rastenni After the presentation of the songs, the winner, song no. 2, was announced. No other results are known. Raquel Rastenni Raquel Rastenni was born as Anna Rachel Rastén, August 21 1915, in Copenhagen. She began her career as a dancer in the Helsingør Revyen in 1936 and had her debut as a singer in 1938. She also had her radio debut in that year. In 1940, she formed her own swing trio. That same year, her first record was released. She also toured in Sweden at the time. Being Jewish, Raquel had to flee to Sweden in October 1943 with her family due to the occupation. She spent the rest of the war years here, where she continued her success.  In 1945, Raquel Rastenni returned to Denmark, and in the following years she became Denmark’s leading singer. Among her successes were “Vovsen i vinduet” (1953, Danish version of the English song (How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?) And Heksedansen (1960). In the 1970s, she expanded the repertoire with Jewish songs. Her best-selling record was “Hele ugen alene” (1953), which sold over 120,000 copies. She was the first Danish artist to achieve a gold record for a million. sold gramophone records. She continued to receive awards throughout her career. She represented Denmark in the 1958 Eurovision song contest. She participated twice more in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix. In 1961 she sang a duet with Grethe Sønck, “Hjemme hos os“, which ended in a shared 5th place, and as a soloist in 1964 with the song “Vi taler samme sprog”. During the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East in 1973, she sang a backing track for Israel with Yiddish and Hebrew songs; she often visited the country and in 1975 was inscribed in Jerusalem’s so-called Golden Book. In the late 1980s, she retired from public life. She passed away in Skodsborg in North Sealand four days before her 83rd birthday. Jeg rev et blad ud av min dagbog “I tore a page out of my diary, every little word I regret my dear”, that was what Raquel Rastenni sang. The full lyrics can be found here. Sven UIrik and Harry Jensen co-wrote the song. Kai Mortensen was the conductor in Hilversum. On stage, Raquel Rastenni literally did what she sang: she tore a page out of her diary.  Results Three countries all had one vote for the Danish song: Sweden, France and The Netherlands. That brought Denmark to an 8th place out of 10, which was much less successfull than the year before. photo credits: Beeldengeluidwiki

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41 countries in 2022 Eurovision Song Contest

41 countries will take part in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin. That is what EBU announced today. In comparison with the 2021 contest, Armenia and Montenegro return. The full list is here: Albania Australia Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Latvia Lithuania Malta Moldova Montenegro North Macedonia Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia San Marino Serbia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland The Netherlands Ukraine United Kingdom   France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom will directly be placed in the final, to be held on may 14. The other countries will have to qualify through a semifinal on may 10 or 12. As one of the ‘big five’ was this year’s winner, there will only be 25 countries in the final. 

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Blast from the past: Finland 1969

We know a lot about Eurovision; this is knowledge we want to share with you. Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. This time we’re going back to 1969, to the Finnish entry of that year. Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest Finland didn’t enter the top-5 in the Eurovision Song Contest so far. The best score was 7th place for Marion Rung with her “Tipi-tii” in 1962 and Lasse Mårtenson with his “Laiskotellen” two years later. There have been a lot of complaints about the contest. The Scandinavian countries claimed that they were left out by the others. However, they also voted for eachother. Another complaint was that the jury was not an expert jury. Denmark already left the contest, the other Scandinavian countries were not too keen on participating either. Euroviisut 1969 Despite what is described above, the Finnish broadcaster YLE took a lot of effort in organizing a national final under the name Euroviisut. Six artists participated, among them a lot of huge stars. Three former Eurovision participants (Viktor Klimenko, Laila Kinnunen and the forementioned Marion Rung) took part. The other three contestants were about to take part one day. The contest was held on february 12th in YLE’s tv-studio in Helsinki. The contestants were: 1.Marion Rung, singing “Tuntematon sydämeni“, 6th with 1.760 votes2.Viktor Klimenko singing “Vaari sirkuksessa“, 3rd with 36.880 votes3.Laila Kinnunen singing “Potkis“, 4th with 17.100 votes4.Markku Aro singing “Sanoin“, 5th with 5.260 votes5.Katri Helena singing “Maailman pihamaat“, 2nd with 42.160 votes6.Jarkko & Laura singing “Kun silloin ennen“, 1st with 88.040 votes Jarkko & Laura So the duo Jarkko ja Laura where the clear winners with the song “Kuin siloin ennen”. The duo was made up of Jarkko Antikainen and Laura Ruotsalo. The two met when they sang in a trio called The Hobbyguys. In 1966, they had their breakthrough as a duo, with a song Laura wrote: “Meidän laulumme“. A lot of hits followed, a Finnish version of Esther & Abi Ofarim’s “Cinderella Rockefella” (“Rakkahin Rokkefeller”) being one of the most remarkable ones. In 1974 they quit singing as a duo on a regular basis, as Jarkko started his own company. The two married in 1975. Laura made a solo album in 2004. The duo still performs every now and then.1969 was the only time they took part in the national selections for the Eurovision Song Contest. The song and performance “Kuin silloin ennen” means “Like in those days”. “Like in those days, everyhting’s well again”, is what the duo sang. The full lyrics of the song can be found here. Both were dressed like “in those days”: both had a suit in burgundy. Laura had a necklace, Jarkko a straw had and a walking stick. The song contained a part where the sound of tap dancing could be heard. However, this tap dancing was not performed by the two. Results “Kuin silloin ennen” was not among the favorites in the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest. Six countries all awarded it with one vote: Luxembourg, Spain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway and Germany. This was enough for a 12th place. The results, however, were a controversy: four countries (Spain, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and France) won the contest, countries that were already quite succesfull. Again, the Scandinavian countries did not reach the top. Finland was one of many countries that decided not to participate in the 1970 contest because of this result.  

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After the Eurovision fame – Carola

Carola (Maria Häggkvist)  was born on 8 September 1966 at Södersjukhuset in Stockholm, Sweden.  She grew up in Norsborg, south of the Swedish capital. At the age of eight, she began to perform. She also attended Adolf Fredrik’s Music School. In 1977, Carola won a talent competition and appeared on television for the first time. In 1981, Swedish music promotor Bert Karlsson met the then 15-year-old Carola after she performed on the television series Hylands hörna. He offered her the chance to take part in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1982. She said no.  The next year, songwriter Lasse Holm offered her two of his songs :  “Mona Lisa” and “Främling”. “Främling” won Melodifestivalen 1983, and with this song Carola won the right to represent Sweden at that year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Munich on April 23.   She finished third in front of 6.1 million Swedish television viewers, 84% of the country’s population. This is still a record in Sweden. “Främling” became the title track to her debut album, which sold over one million copies, making it the biggest selling album in Swedish history.  After Eurovision, Carola went on a tour of European television programs, promoting “Främling” and performing it in several languages. In 1985, the Bee Gees collaborated with her on the album Runaway, which was written by the Gibb brothers and produced by Maurice Gibb. The record sold double platinum when released in Sweden the following year. “The Runaway”, “Brand New Heart”, “Spread your wings” and “Radiate” became massive hits in Scandinavia.   In 1990, she returned to Melodifestivalen, with “Mitt i ett äventyr” (In the middle of an adventure). The song finished second in the festival. Her comeback album, titled “Much More”, was released, earning a gold certificate in Sweden. However, Carola and songwriter Stephan Berg had already begun planning another attempt at Eurovision. In 1991, she returned to Melodifestivalen again with “Fångad av en stormvind” (Captured by a lovestorm). The song won the festival by thirty-two points and became the Swedish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in Rome. British bookmakers considered Carola as the  second favourite to win the contest. On the night of the contest, with one voting jury left to announce their scores, three countries were in competition to win the contest: Sweden, with 146 points; Israel, with 139; and France, with 134. Neither Israel nor Sweden received any points from the Italian jury, but France received twelve, leaving Sweden and France tied for first place with 146 at the conclusion of the voting. Sweden won the contest after a recount, having received five ten-point scores during the voting versus France’s two. “Fångad av en stormvind” became a huge hit in Europe, and was followed by a compilation album, “Hits”, and a Christmas album, “Jul”. After her victory, she released an international version of “Much More” and went on an extended promotional tour throughout Europe. Her album produced several hits, among them “I’ll live” and “All the Reasons to Live” Carola was the first Scandinavian pop artist to perform in China—in front of an estimated 600 million television viewers; she also released an album in China in 1992. In 1992 and 1993, Rival International, released Carola’s earlier albums on CD. She was originally signed to Mariann Records in Scandinavia. In 1993, ten years after her breakthrough representing Sweden at the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest, she recorded a gospel album, My Tribute, which was released in sixteen countries, making her gospel artist of the year in the Netherlands in 1994. The album contains the hit-single “My Tribute”, one Carola’s  best-known songs. In 1994, she  released a rock-themed album, ‘”Personligt” (Personally), marking her debut as a songwriter and selling gold. “Så länge jag lever”, “Sanna Vänner” and “Guld i dina ögon” became hits and received a great amount of radio airplay. In 1995, Häggkvist made her debut as a musical actress, playing Maria in The Sound of Music. Three years later, she sang the theme song in the Norwegian musical Sophie’s World, which was released on the album “Songs” from Sophie’s World. Also in 1998, Carola played the voice of Mirjam in the Swedish version of The Prince of Egypt. In 2002, she made a short appearance as Fantine in Les Misérables in London and five Scandinavian cities. In November 1997, Carola released another compilation album, De bästa av Carola (“The Best of Carola”), and with it several new singles like “Dreamer”. Following this came an album of tracks penned by Lina Sandell, Blott en dag (“Just One Day”). The album received excellent reviews and revealed Carola’s passion for hymns. In 1999, another Christmas album was released: Jul i Betlehem (“Christmas in Bethlehem”). The album sold 600,000 copies throughout Scandinavia, including 350,000 in Sweden and became the biggest-selling album of 1999. She also co-wrote the ballad “Himlen i min famn”, which remains a popular Christmas song that is often performed at Christmas concerts. In the summer of 1999, she toured in the Rhapsody in Rock. In 2001, she released “Sov på min arm”, an album based on Christian hymns, gospel melodies and intimate ballads. It became one of the most-sold albums in Scandinavia that year. In 2002, she release the pop/country album “My Show”, which received great reviews. The album, which marked Carola’s return to the pop scene, contained several hits such as “The Light”, “I believe in love”, which also topped the Estonian and Brazilian charts, and “A Kiss Goodbye”. Even though the album only peaked at number 6 on the Swedish album chart, it sold 100,000 copies by the end of the year. In the summer, she embarked on a huge and luxurious Scandinavian tour. In 2003, Carola submitted a song, “Autumn Leaf”, for Melodifestivalen 2003. Having performed the demo, she was required to perform the song when it qualified for the competition. She decided against doing that, and the song was disqualified from the competition. “Autumn Leaf” appeared on her next album, “Guld, platina & passion”, in Swedish as “När löven faller”. The ballad became an enormous hit, and the album itself reached number 1 on the Swedish charts and

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Eurovision Universe Summer Party: Rollo & King – Never let you go

For todays summer party we give you Rollo & King, with the songe “Never ever let you go”, the Danish entree for the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Originally, the song was performed in Danish at the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2001, titled “Der står et billede af dig på mit bord” (“There is a picture of you on my table”)  

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Another Summer Night. EU Summer Party

Suzy (Susana Guerra) represented Portugal in the Eurovision Songcontest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She reached the 11th place in the Semi-Final, so no big Final for Suzy. But what a wonderfull addition for our Summer Party is “Quero ser tua” You can follow our Summer party at Spotify and YouTube  

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UEFA 2020: 2nd semifinal

As we said yesterday, it starts to look like a Eurovision Song contest. We already have the 2nd semifinal tonight. England plays against Denmark. And that is the moment when we go back to 2007. Both the United Kingdom (with an English group) and Denmark had contestants who were dressed quite remarkable. The British group Scooch were dressed as flight attendants, while a transvestite represented Denmark. Watch and enjoy!

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UEFA 2020 Quarter finals: DAY 2

Today is the day for the other twho quarter finals in the European soccer Championship. The first match will be between Czech Republic and Denmark. Both countries have sent boybands in the past. Czech Republic sent Lake Malawi in 2019. Denmark sent boybands more than once. We chose for the Anti Social Media, representing their country in 2015 with “The way you are”. The second match is between Ukraine and England. We chose winners from both countries. Ruslana won for Ukraine with her song “Wild dances”. The United Kingdom won with Katrina and The Waves and “Love shine a light”. And although Katrina is American, the Waves are English.

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UEFA: Eighth finals

Finally, the eighth finals of the European Soccer Championship will start. The first match will be between Wales and Denmark. When we come to these countries, red is the thing. The Welsh dragon is red, the Dannebrog, the Danish flag, is also red. In 1990 both the United Kingdom and Denmark had a singer with a red dress. For the UK it was Welsh girl Emma with “Give a little love back to the world”. For Denmark we saw Lonny Devantier singing “Hallo hallo”. Tonight’s other match will be between Italy and Austria. And we remain in 1990: both countries chose the uniting of countries as their subject. With “Insieme: 1992”, Italian Toto Cutugno sang about the birth of the European Union in 1992. With “Keine Mauern mehr” Austrian Simone sang about the vanishing of the iron Curtain. 

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UEFA 2020: DAY 11

It’s day 11 of the European Championship soccer already. Today, no less than four matches will be played. To start with Ukraine against Austria. Both countries once had an act containing a burning fake piano. It was Mélovin who played the piano in his song “Under the ladder” in 2018. He was not the first one to do so. In 2015 The Makemakes had a piano burning during the performance of “I am yours”. The second match is between North Macedonia and the Netherlands. Both countries once had a song about darkness and light. The 2012 North Macedonian entrant Kaliopi sang “Crno i belo”, which means black and white. The Dutch sisters of O’G3NE sang “Lights and shadows” in 2017. Russia will meet Denmark tomorrow. It was back in 2000 when Russia and Denmark ended up in the top, Denmark as the winner, Russia as the number 2. When The Olsen Brothers won with “Fly on the wings of love”, Alsou was the runner up with “Solo”. Another match will be the the one from Finland against Belgium. In 1977, both countries were favorites to win the contest. Both ended up disappointed. Finnish Monica Aspelund and her “Lapponia” ended up in 10th place, while Belgian Dream Express brought their “A million in one, two, three” to a 7th place.

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