Eurovision Song Contest 1968
|Eurovision Song Contest 1968|
|Final||6 April 1968|
|Venue||Royal Albert Hall|
London, United Kingdom
|Musical director||Norrie Paramor|
|Directed by||Stewart Morris|
|Executive supervisor||Clifford Brown|
|Executive producer||Tom Sloan|
|Host broadcaster||British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)|
|Number of entries||17|
|Voting system||Ten-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.|
|Nul points in final||None|
|Winning song|| Spain|
"La, la, la"
The Eurovision Song Contest 1968 was the 13th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in London, United Kingdom, following the country's first victory at the 1967 contest with the song "Puppet on a String" by Sandie Shaw. Despite having won for the first time the year before, it was actually the third time that the United Kingdom had hosted the competition, having previously done so in 1960 and 1963, both of which also took place in London. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the contest was held at Royal Albert Hall on 6 April 1968, and was hosted by Katie Boyle for the third time. It was notably also the first time that the contest was broadcast in colour.
Seventeen countries participated in the contest, the same countries that had participated the previous year.
The winner was Spain with the song "La, la, la" by Massiel, and written/composed by Manuel de la Calva and Ramón Arcusa. This was Spain's first victory - and their first ever top five placing - in the contest. With her winning reprise, she became the first winner to perform part of her song in English, in addition to the original version.
The contest was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Royal Albert Hall is known for hosting the world's leading artists from several performance genres, sports, award ceremonies, the annual summer Proms concerts and other events since its opening in 1871, and has become one of the United Kingdom's most treasured and distinctive buildings.
1968 was the first time that the Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast in colour. The countries that broadcast it in colour were France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, although in the UK it was broadcast as an encore presentation in colour on BBC Two the next day. All of Eastern Europe as well as Tunisia broadcast the contest as well.
Prior to the contest, the bookmakers were sure of another British victory, as the English singer Cliff Richard, who was already dominating the music charts at that time, was hotly tipped as the favourite to win, but in the end he lost out to Spain's song by a margin of just one point.
Originally Massiel's song La La La was supposed to be sung by Spanish singer Joan Manuel Serrat who wanted to perform the song in Catalan. At the request of Spanish officials, however, Juan Manuel was replaced by Massiel who sang the same song in Castilian (Spanish).
All countries that had participated in 1967 also participated in 1968.
- Portugal – Joaquim Luís Gomes
- Netherlands – Dolf van der Linden
- Belgium – Henri Segers
- Austria – Robert Opratko
- Luxembourg – André Borly
- Switzerland – Mario Robbiani
- Monaco – Michel Colombier
- Sweden – Mats Olsson
- Finland – Ossi Runne
- France – Alain Goraguer
- Italy – Giancarlo Chiaramello
- United Kingdom – Norrie Paramor
- Norway – Øivind Bergh
- Ireland – Noel Kelehan
- Spain – Rafael Ibarbia
- Germany – Horst Jankowski
- Yugoslavia – Miljenko Prohaska
Bold indicates a previous winner.
Participants and results
|3||Belgium||Claude Lombard||"Quand tu reviendras"||French||8||7|
|4||Austria||Karel Gott||"Tausend Fenster"||German||2||13|
|5||Luxembourg||Chris Baldo and Sophie Garel||"Nous vivrons d'amour"||French||5||11|
|6||Switzerland||Gianni Mascolo||"Guardando il sole"||Italian||2||13|
|7||Monaco||Line and Willy||"À chacun sa chanson"||French||8||7|
|8||Sweden||Claes-Göran Hederström||"Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mig"||Swedish||15||5|
|9||Finland||Kristina Hautala||"Kun kello käy"||Finnish||1||16|
|10||France||Isabelle Aubret||"La source"||French||20||3|
|12||United Kingdom||Cliff Richard||"Congratulations"||English||28||2|
|14||Ireland||Pat McGeegan||"Chance of a Lifetime"||English||18||4|
|15||Spain||Massiel||"La, la, la"||Spanish||29||1|
|16||Germany||Wencke Myrhe||"Ein Hoch der Liebe"||German||11||6|
|17||Yugoslavia||Luci Capurso and Hamo Hajdarhodžić||"Jedan dan" (Један дан)||Serbo-Croatian||8||7|
Detailed voting results
Due to a misunderstanding by the hostess, Katie Boyle, Switzerland were erroneously awarded 3 points by Yugoslavia, instead of 2. The scrutineer asked for the Yugoslav votes from TV Skopje to be announced a second time.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2021)
Listed below is the order in which votes were cast during the 1968 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country.
- Portugal – Maria Manuela Furtado
- Netherlands – Warry van Kampen
- Belgium – André Hagon
- Austria – Walter Richard Langer
- Luxembourg – TBC
- Switzerland – Alexandre Burger
- Monaco – TBC
- Sweden – Edvard Matz
- Finland – Poppe Berg
- France – Jean-Claude Massoulier
- Italy – Mike Bongiorno
- United Kingdom – Michael Aspel
- Norway – Sverre Christophersen
- Ireland – Gay Byrne
- Spain – Ramón Rivera
- Germany – Hans-Otto Grünefeldt
- Yugoslavia – Snežana Lipkovska-Hadžinaumova
This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2021)
Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. In addition to the participating countries, the contest was also reportedly broadcast in Tunisia, and in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union via Intervision.
Spanish artist replacement
Originally Spain entered Joan Manuel Serrat to sing "La, la, la", but his demand to sing in Catalan was an affront to the Francoist State dictatorship. Therefore, Massiel, who was on tour in Mexico, was brought in as a late replacement. In just two weeks, she had to rush back to Spain, learn the song, record it in several languages, travel to Paris to get a dress and go to London for rehearsals. She sang the song in the contest in Spanish with the new arrangement made to fit her. In her winning reprise, she performed part of her song in English, in addition to the original version, becoming the first winner to do so.
Vote rigging allegations
In May 2008, a documentary by Spanish film-maker Montse Fernández Villa, 1968. Yo viví el mayo español, centred on the effects of May 1968 in Francoist Spain, and alleged that the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest was rigged by the Spanish caudillo Francisco Franco, who would have sent state television officials across Europe offering cash and promising to buy television series and contract unknown artists. The allegation was based on a testimony by journalist José María Íñigo, a TVE employee at the time, who claimed the rigging was common knowledge and suggested that Spanish record label representatives offered to release albums by Bulgarian and Czech artists (neither Bulgaria nor Czechoslovakia were members of the European Broadcasting Union at the time, though in the 1968 contest, Austria was represented by Karel Gott, who was from Czechoslovakia.).
The documentary claimed that the contest should in fact have been won by the United Kingdom's entry – "Congratulations" performed by Cliff Richard – which finished second by one vote. Massiel, the performer of the winning entry, was outraged by the allegations, and claimed that if there had been fixes, "other singers, who were more keen on Francoist Spain, would have benefited". José María Iñigo, author of the statement in the documentary, personally apologized to Massiel and said that he had repeated a widespread rumour. Both Massiel and Iñigo accused television channel La Sexta, broadcaster of the documentary, of manufacturing the scandal.
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