Happy Birthday Eurovision Song Contest

Happy Birthday Eurovision Song Contest
Lys Assia on stage in Lugano in 1956.
Lugano, Switzerland -

Today, the 24th of May marks the 56th birthday of the Eurovision Song Contest. It all started in 1956 when just seven countriies participated in the inaugural event.held in the Teatro Kursaal in Lugano, Switzerland.

Each of seven nations which participated, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Italy had two songs in the contest.

The contest was won by Lys Assia with the song Refrain for Switzerland. The song was composed by Géo Voumard and Émile Gardaz and conducted by Fernando Paggi.

No details of the voting have ever been made public. Each country was represented by two jurors, who could also vote for their own entry, and the winner was simply revealed by an announcement. The contest was presented by Lohengrin Filipello.

The first contest is not known to exist in any archive, although there is newsreel footage that includes part of the winning reprise by Lys Assia.

Lys Assia interview

Watch the interview we conducted with Lys Assia in 2011.

The contest has changed a lot over the past 56 years, and embraced more and more countries, and has been at the forefront on technical development within the television industry.

Throughout the decades it has remained Europe's Favourite TV Show.

Happy Birthday Eurovision Song Contest.


There are 21 comments

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  • Posted on 1/June 2012 at 08:40
    I look forward to hear more beautiful songs from ESC report to the moderator
  • Posted on 28/May 2012 at 00:24
    I think the EBU should let Australia take part in that year because they love Eurovision and the only international country outside Europe that take interest the most.

    Or each country can chose a song from their countries past in Eurovision and re-enter it. So it will like be the past but the present of Eurovision. For example Germany could re-enter Lena's Satellite and UK could re-enter Katrina and The Waves, Love Shine A Light. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 25/May 2012 at 11:09
    Lugano, Switzerland! <3 report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 18:00
    Happy birthday Eurovision!! :D report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 17:58
    Happy Birthday ESC! :) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 17:58
    Happy Birthday ESC! :) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 17:52
    Happy Birthday and I hope it will be a 1000 years and even more! ;) Thanks for making of the Music the biggest even in the whole world! ;) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 16:58
    Happy Birthday to Eurovision. From me and all the Eurofriends report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 16:40
    Happy Birthday ESC :) I love you and i hope that you will ever stay by my site <3 report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 15:47
    Happy Birthday to the Eurovision Song Contest.. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 15:37
    Happy anniversary !!! Eurovision is the best show ever, with different music, culture, dressing ^^ , so fun .
    Hope I can see for the 100 years ^^ will be great ^^ report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 15:25
    happy bday <3 report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 15:15
    Congratulations on your anniversary! Let music bind us, so we are never divided again! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 15:13
    I'm so happy that eurovision exist, is the best show in the world of music for me and it will stay for ewer in my life, i hope that the 60th anniversary go to be the best show ewer that eurovision hat to do, and i hope to that the eurovision can stay in us life for ewer :) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24/May 2012 at 15:09
    Happy Birthday to the Eurovision Song Contest! And with the Second semi-final on tonight, we're in for a special Eurovision treat at Baku's Crystal Hall! report to the moderator