EuroRevision: The Hit-Making Contest (1958)

Eurovision 1958 was the third edition of Eurovision, and for the first time, the contest was being held in The Netherlands. This was following on from the Dutch win the previous year with Corry Brokken and her entry, Net Als Toen. This began the convention of the winning nation hosting the following year.

The contest was held in Hilversum at the AVRO Studios on Wednesday the 12th of March. Nowadays we never see the contest held on a Wednesday, let alone in March! A total of 10 nations competed, the same number as 1957 however there was a change to the line-up. The United Kingdom decided to withdraw from the competition, and Sweden made their debut. With the line-up considered, 1958 was the second and last contest to date that has not featured a single entry in English!

Voting was done by juries alone, and the juries remained in their own countries to vote. The Italian entry was not heard properly in some of the nations, and as such, participant Domenico Modugno performed his entry again. After all the performances, including Italy’s encore performance, the juries would reveal their votes via telephone. Interestingly, this was the only year up until 2015 (and then again in 2018) where the host nation finished in last place, and the first time that more than one nation had finished last.

Once again there was an overall conductor of the show, which was Dolf van der Linden, however certain nations chose to feature their own conductors. The presenter of the show was Hannie Lips, and the interval act was Metropole Orkest.

Italian participant Domenico Modugno, who went on to have one of the most successful Eurovision songs ever!

Here is the full list of participants:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

There were four returning artists to the competition, Fud Leclerc (Belgium 1956), Margot Hielscher (Germany 1957), Corry Brokken (Netherlands 1956 and 1957) and Lys Assia (Switzerland 1956 and 1957). Lys Assia had won the 1956 contest, and Corry Brokken the 1957 contest.

Here is the full list of competitors:

  • Domenico Modugno – Nel blu dipinto di blu (Italy) 🇮🇹
  • Corry Brokken – Heel de wereld (The Netherlands) 🇳🇱
  • André Claveau – Dors, mon amour (France)
  • Solange Berry – Un grand amour (Luxembourg) 🇱🇺
  • Alice Babs – Lilla stjärna (Sweden) 🇸🇪
  • Raquel Rastenni – Jeg rev et blad ud af min dagbog (Denmark) 🇩🇰
  • Fud Leclerc – Ma petite chatte (Belgium) 🇧🇪
  • Margot Hielscher – Für zwei Groschen Musik (Germany) 🇩🇪
  • Liane Augustin – Die ganze Welt braucht Liebe (Austria) 🇦🇹
  • Lys Assia – Giorgio (Switzerland) 🇨🇭

Each jury had 10 members, and each voted for their best song and awarded 1 point each. Winning the contest with a total of 27 points was France with André Claveau. In second place was Lys Assia with a total of 24 points, followed by Italy with Domenico Modugno, finishing with 13 points.

Despite the results Nel blu dipinto di blu later known as Volare, performed by Domenico Modugno went on to become a worldwide hit, and a song still known well decades after its release. During the 1st Annual Grammy Awards held in Hollywood in 1959, the song won Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and is the only foreign language song to win this awards. It is also the only song to have won a Grammy and participated at Eurovision. It reached number 1 on the US-American Billboard Charts, meaning that it is one of the most successful Eurovision entries to date. The entry was also voted as the second best Eurovision entry of all time at the 50th anniversary show, ‘Congratulations’ behind only ABBA with their iconic entry, Waterloo.

Listen to the winning song AND Domenico Modugno’s entries below: