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History: Celebrate anniversaries!

09 May 2017 at 15:10 CEST
San Marino press conference Andres Putting
It is 30 years ago to the day that Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Hold Me Now' but he is not the only one that has a reason or two to celebrate anniversaries in 2017.

Every May there is always an anniversary to celebrate. Let's go back in time to 9th May 1987 and to Brussels when Ireland won the contest with Hold Me Now. Johnny Logan had already won the competition for Ireland in 1980, making this the only time in history that the same performer won the contest twice. 

Hold Me Now

Hold Me Now was the third Eurovision winner for Ireland and the song became an international hit, reaching #2 in the EuroChart for five consecutive weeks, held off the top by Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).

In another curious Eurovision coincidence, the 1992 edition of the contest also took place on 9th May, this time in Malmö, Sweden, where Johnny Logan was about to make Eurovision history again. The Irish entry that year, Why Me?, was performed by Linda Martin and written by Johnny. The victory meant that Logan once again made history winning Eurovision for a third time, exactly 25 years ago today.

Ralph's hat-trick

German songwriter Ralph Siegel is someone who has narrowly lost to Johnny Logan not once but twice. He wrote both Katja Ebstein’s Theater in 1980 and Wind’s Lass Die Sonne In Dein Herz in 1987, which both finished second. A song written by Ralph, Träume Sind Für Alle Da, also represented Germany when Johnny Logan’s song won again in 1992.

2017 also marks a silver anniversary for Ralph Siegel as this year's entry from San Marino, Spirit Of The Night, performed by Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson, is Ralph’s 25th entry in the Eurovision Song Contest as a songwriter and/or producer. 

Ralph's first song in the contest represented Luxembourg in 1974, Bye Bye I Love You, performed by Ireen Sheer: "I was so happy because we came fourth and that was the year that ABBA won so it gave me hopes for the future."

Since then Siegel has competed 14 times for Germany, this is his fifth for San Marino. He has also written songs for Switzerland, Montenegro and the aforementioned Luxembourg three times: "I write with all my heart for Eurovision because it is a great chance for a songwriter to show their song to the world and also gives new singers a chance to perform for millions of people."

Ralph's golden era in Eurovision started in 1979 when his song, Dschinghis Khan, finished fourth. He followed that up with two second places culminating in Germany’s first win in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1982 with Nicole’s Ein Bisschen Frieden, 35 years ago. "The only thing that didn’t really change since I started doing Eurovision is the security, that was the same back then in 1974, and the main difference is that in the 70s and 80s the songs were presented in the show for the first time but now with the internet, this has become a battle,” he said. 

Celebrating anniversaries

Three countries made their debut 60 years ago in 1957; Denmark, Austria and the United Kingdom although only one of them is actually entering for the 60th time this year. The United Kingdom participated for the first time in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957, skipped the 1958 edition and came back in 1959. They’ve participated ever since, so this year marks their 60th appearance in the contest with Lucie Jones and the song Never Give Up On You.

The UK holds the record for most second places. They finished as the runner-up in no less than 15 occasions, most recently in 1998, which was also on 9th May. Arguably the most famous UK entry to finish second was Cliff Richard’s Congratulations which lost out to Spain by just one point in 1968. It is also the 50th anniversary of the UK's first victory in the Eurovision Song Contest when Sandie Shaw won with Puppet On A String.