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Winners of the 1950s - What happened to them?

13 July 2011 at 01:13 CEST

The 1950s marked the beginning of the Eurovision Song Contest, when the first competition was held in Lugano Switzerland. 

Europe's favourite TV show came at a time when the world was on the cusp of a musical revolution, marking the appearance of rock and roll and the first teenager generation.

In Europe the Eurovision Song Contest played its part in this revolution, becoming a household name all over the continent and a pinnacle of European cooperation and peace through the medium of music.

Keep reading to see what happened to all four winners of the contest in the 1950's.

1956 - Lys Assia (Switzerland)

The first Eurovision Song Contest was held at the Teatro Kuursaal in Lugano, Switzerland on the 24th of May, 1956. 

The winner of the competition was Switzerland's Lys Assia with the song Refrain. Lys since went on to take part in the contest in 1957 and 1958 before continuing a successful and long career as a singer all over the world, even performing for Queen Elizabeth II! Her last album was released as recently as 2008 and aptly called Refrain des Lebens. As a mark of her long and successful career, Lys also featured in a book about Swiss women over 80 entitled Das volle Leben.

Lys continues to be a huge asset to the Eurovision Song Contest, having appeared at recent competitions as the guest of honour, acting as a connection between the contests of old and new. 

1957 - Corry Brokken (The Netherlands)

The second edition of Europe's favourite show took place in the studios of Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt, Germany on the 3rd of March, 1957. 

The Dutch representative, Corry Brokken, took home the trophy with her song Net Als Toen beating France and Denmark who came second and third respectively. Corry went on to represent the Netherlands once more in 1958 and has since released a number of records and acted in a number of films. 

In 1976, Corry was a presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest, held in The Hague. Her musical career ended at this time when she decided to study law and become a judge. However, in 1996 she made a comeback releasing a mixture of old and new material. In 2000 she released a book entitled Wat mij betrefd which was a big success. Most recently she has appeared on various TV shows as a guest and released a second biography in 2009 entitled, Encore. 

1958 - André Claveau (France)

André Claveau won the Eurovision Song Contest for France in 1958 with his song Dors, mon amour. The competition was held at the AVRO Studios in Hilversum, the Netherlands on the 12th of March 1958. 

Unlike his predecessors, André had had a career before participating in the contest starting in 1936, continuing through World War II and the 1950s before winning in Hilversum. He also appeared in a number of films and on the radio in a career that spanned four decades .

In the late sixties André withdrew from public life at the height of his career, saying that he did not want to be known as an old man but be remembered for the handsome young and charming man he became known for. 

Sadly, André passed away in 2003 at the age of 87. 

1959 - Teddy Scholten (The Netherlands)

For the second time in four years, the Netherlands won Europe's favourite TV show in 1959 with the song Een Beetje. The contest was held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France on the 11th of March, 1959. 

Teddy had a distinguished career on television as well as released dozens of records throughout the 50's and 60's. In 1965 and 1966 Teddy also presented the Dutch national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, the Nationaal Songfestival. Later on in life Teddy left her career in show business to work as a public relations officer for the Dutch Red Cross between 1974 and 1986.

Last year, Teddy passed away at the age of 83 and will be remembered for her long and successful career as well as the contribution she made to the contest.