Eurovision Song Contest 1979
The 24th Eurovision Song Contest was held outside the geographical area of
Europe for the first time. Jerusalem played the proud host of the annual European event
The Israeli capital, Jerusalem, was this year's host city that welcomed 19 different delegations. Turkey withdrew from the contest because it took place in Israel and many Arab countries put some pressure on Turkey not to go to Jerusalem. Lots of the artists were familiar - they had returned to the contest like Peter, Sue & Marc from Switzerland, Anne-Marie David, the 1973 winner for Luxembourg, now singing for France, and Anita Skorgan for Norway. Israel won for the second time in a row with the song Hallelujah which became a Europe-wide hit. Spain was the last country to cast its votes. At that moment Spain was in the lead with 1 point ahead of Israel, but the Spanish 10 points gave Israel its second victory. It was later rumoured Spain had deliberately given its points to Israel because they didn't want to win themselves.
The German entry, performed by band Dschinghis Khan also went on to become a hit in several European countries, despite being heavily criticised in Germany itself. Germany's neighbour Austria had a hard time though and came last. The entry, written by Josef Dermoser and avantgarde artist André Heller about Jerusalem didn't prove to be popular with the national juries. The Swiss contestants Peter, Sue & Marc had difficulties getting into the country and had to explain to customs exactly why they needed so many watering cans, hoses, bin bags and bottle openers which were needed for their refreshing performance on the Jerusalem stage.
The Belgian singer Micha Marah was very unhappy with her song Hey Nana as this was selected against her will in the Belgian pre-selection. She refused to record the song and it remains one of the few songs in Eurovision Song Contest that don't have a studio-version. Monaco decided to withdraw from the contest after their singer Laurent Vaguener only reached the 16th place and the principality would only return again 25 years later, in 2004.