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Winners of the 1960s - What happened to them?

23 July 2011 at 22:45 CEST

1960 - Jacqueline Boyer (France)

The fifth edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was held for the first time In London, at the Royal Festival Hall on the 29th March, 1960.

For the second time France won the competition with the song Tom Pillibi, sung by Jacqueline Boyer.

She was born Jacqueline Ducos on the 23rd April, 1941 in Paris. Her parents were the singers, Jacques Pils and Lucienne Boyer. Jacques Pils had also participated in the contest, though with less success than his daughter, when he came last in the 1959 event for Monaco with the song Mon Ami Pierrot.

As well as being a singer, Jacqueline Boyer also established herself as an actress and appeared in several films. She enjoyed a successful career in Germany as well as her native France, and has peformed at many top venues, and is still recording and releasing albums.

1961 - Jean-Claude Pascal (Luxembourg)

Jean-Claude Pascal provided Luxembourg with their first victory in Europe's favourite TV show when Nous Les Amoureux took the title in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on the 18th March, 1961.

Jean-Claude Pascal was born on 24th October, 1927 in Paris. He originally studied fashion designing for Christian Dior, and worked in costume designs for the theatre. This brought him into contact with actors and singers, and he changed career direction and made his first film appearance in 1949.

He returned to the contest in 1981, again for Luxembourg, with a song he helped to compose, C'est Peut-être Pas L'Amérique, this time finishing in eleventh place.

Jean-Claude Pascal died on 5th May, 1992.

1962 - Isabelle Aubret (France)

Thérèse Coquerelle, otherwise known as Isabelle Aubret, was born on 27th July, 1938 in Lille France, and provided her native country with its third victory, when the contest was held in the Villa Louvigny in Luxembourg on 18th March, 1962.

Un Premier Amour was the runaway winner in the contest, scoring twice as many points as the runner up from Monaco.

Isabelle Aubrret was from a family of eleven children and had been a gymnast, and won the French national gymnastic championship in 1952 before she became a singer. She had previously participated in the French national for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961 where she had finished in second place.

In 1968 she once again represented her country in the contest, finishing in a highly respectable third place with the song La Source. Further attempts to represent France in 1970, 1976 and finally in 1983 were all however unsuccessful.

Isabelle Aubret is still recording and releasing albums and continues with touring and concert appearances.

1963 - Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann (Denmark)

BBC Television Centre in London was the venue for the eighth competition on the 23rd March, 1963 and for the first time was won by a duo. Dansevise was the title of the winnig song performed by the husband and wife team of Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann representing Denmark.

In a closely fought, and not to say controversial voting sequence, they emerged the winners by just two points over Switzerland.

Grethe was born in 1938, and Jørgen in 1925. They met in 1955 and married a year later, although they later divorced in 1975. Jørgen had acieved some earlier success with the instrumental song Apache which was a number two hit in the USA.

When Denmark returned to the contest after a long absence, Grethe attempted to represent her country in 1978, 1979 and 1980, the closest effort being in 1979 when she, along with Bjarne Liller P finished first equal in the national final. However after a revote, it was Tommy Seebach who won the ticket to Jerusalem.

Grethe Ingmann died on 18th August, 1990.

1964 - Gigliola Cinquetti (Italy)

Having had several international hits emerge from the contest, Italy achieved their first win in the competition when Gigliola Cinquetti stormed to victory in the Tivoli Theatre in Copenhagen on the 21st March, 1964 with Non Ho L'età.

Gigliola Cinquetti was born on the 20th December, 1947 in Verona. Aged just sixteen, she won the San Remo Festival in 1964 with Non Ho L'età which provided her the opportunity to present the song to a wider audience in Europe's favourite TV show. The song went onto become a big international hit.

She went onto win the San Remo Festival again in 1966 with Dio Come Ti Amo, although this time it was the composer Domenico Modugno who took the song onto the Eurovision Song Contest, with a less successful outcome, when he finished in joint last place.

Gigliola Cinquetti returned to the contest in 1974, when she finished second with the song Si, which also went onto become a big international hit. Her last association to date with the contest was in 1991 when she co-presented the contest, along with Toto Cutugno, when it was staged in Rome.

She became a professional journalist, and  works in presenting current affair programmes.

1965 - France Gall (Luxembourg)

It was on the 20th March, 1965 that the Sala di Concerto della RAI in Naples played host to the tenth edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, and was won for the second time by Luxembourg.

Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son was the title of the song, composed by the legendary Serge Gainsbourg, and sung by France Gall.

 Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall was born on 9 October 1947 in Paris. Her father was the lyricist Robert Gall, and it was he who encouraged his daughter to record songs, and the first airplay of her first single coincided with her sixteenth birthday. The song became a hit, and her second single N'écoute Pas Les Idoles topped the French charts in 1964.

In 1965 she was selected to represent Luxembourg in the contest, and out of ten shortlisted songs she chose Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son. The winning song was recorded by France Gall in German, Italian and even Japanese, and ensured her future international career.

At a relatively young age, she felt she was too naive to fully understand the double meanings of the songs by Serge Gainsbourg and felt used by the composer. As a consequence France Gall rarely discusses the contest, and refuses to perform the song.

In 1987 France Gall achieved a big international hit with Ella, Elle L'a composed by her husband, the French singer songwriter Michel Berger, who died at the the young age of 45 in 1992.

In 1997 she announced her retirement from showbusiness, and tragedy was to strike again when her eldest daughter died in December of that year. Today she makes few public appearances, and focusses on being the patron for a French charity that deals with homeless women.

1966 - Udo Jürgens (Austria)

At his third attempt in the contest, Udo Jürgens finally lifted the Grand Prix for Austria, when his entry Merci Chérie took the honours in the Villa Louvigny in Luxembourg on the 5th March, 1966. 

Udo Jürgens was born Udo Jürgen Bockelmann on 30th September 1934 in Klagenfurt, Austria, and in a career that has spanned more than fifty years, he has composed over 800 songs and sold more than a 100 million records.

Having won a composer contest in 1951 organised by Austrian broadcaster ORF, he went onto write an international hit in 1961, Reach For The Stars sung by Shirley Bassey.

In 1964 he had his first entry in the Eurovision Song Contest for Austria with Warum, Nur Warum? which finished a respectable sixth place. The song was given an English lyric by Don Black as Walk Away, and became a big hit for Matt Monro, who himself had been runner up in the 1964 contest.

One year later Udo Jürgens was back in the contest with Sag Ihr, Ich Lass Sie Grüßen this time coming even closer by finishing in fourth place. In 1966 his entry Merci Chérie co-written with Thomas Hörbiger won the competition, and he became the first singer/composer to take the title. Although the song had a French title, the song was sung in the German language.

Udo Jürgens continued his successive appearances in the contest, when in 1967, apart from presenting the awards to the winners, he conducted the orchestra in the opening sequence with a waltz version of  Merci Chérie. In 1968 he was back as co-composer of the Austrian entry Tausend Fenster which finished in joint thirteenth place with just two points.

in 2007 a musical, Ich War Noch Niemals In New York, opened in Hamburg, which contained many of his hit songs, weaved into a storyline. He still continues to perform into his seventies, and can still  fill many large concert venues.

1967 - Sandie Shaw (United Kingdom)

Having finished in second place in five contests, the United Kingdom was long overdue a win when Sandie Shaw took the title in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna on the 8th April, 1967 with the catchy song  Puppet On A String.

Born as Sandra Ann Goodrich on 26th February, 1947 in Dagenham, Essex. Sandie Shaw was spotted by singer Adam Faith after appearing in a charity concert, who teamed her up with his manageress, Eve Taylor.

Her trademark appearance was to perform barefoot, and  she had hit songs, starting in September 1964 with (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me. Sandie Shaw recorded many of her hits in French, German, Spanish and Italian, which established her all over Europe, and made her an ideal choice by the BBC for Europe's favourite TV show in 1967.

Puppet On A String emerged an easy winner, and the song became a huge hit all over the continent, though Sandie Shaw herself was never over enthusiastic about the song.

Her final big hit of the sixties was Monsieur Dupont, but in 1984 she returned to the charts with a cover version of Hand In Glove along with The Smiths.

Despite her dislike of her winning song, in 2007, to mark her 60th birthday, she recorded a new version as Puppet's Got A Brand New String. She still continues to perform and tour.

1968 - Massiel (Spain)

 For the first time the contest was broadcast in colour from the Royal Albert Hall in London, on the 6th April, 1968, with Massiel from Spain winning a tightly fought contest with La, La.La.

Just one vote separated Spain and the United Kingdom at the end of the voting sequence, with favourite Cliff Richard losing out to María de los Ángeles Felisa Santamaría Espinoza, otherwise known as Massiel.

Born on the 2nd August, 1947, she had not been the first choice to perform the Spanish entry in 1968. Joan Manuel Serrat had recorded the song La, La, La but had wanted to perform in Catalan, but under the dictatorship of Franco this wasn't permitted, and  had insisted on the Castilian lanaguage being used in Spain.

Therefore Massiel was brought in as a late replacement, and had just a few days to learn and record the song in various languages. With her winning reprise, she became the first winner to perform part of her song in English, in addition to the original version.

Massiel continued her career with the release of numerous single and albums, and sucess in dramatic roles in theatrre productions. She also enjoyed some popularity in Latin American countries.

In 1997 she re-recorded a new version of La, La, La, and in 2007 she continued her association with the contest when she was involved in the jury to select the Spanish entry that year.

1969 - Frida Boccara (France)

1969 was to see the most remarkable result in the history of the contest, when no less than four countries had to share the prize in the Teatro Real in Madrid on 29th March, 1969.

Frida Boccara gave France their fourth win with Un Jour, Un Enfant. She was born in Casablanca, Morocco on 29th October, 1940. She had previously tried unsuccessfully to represent France in the 1964 contest, and made two further unsuccessful attempts in 1980 and 1981.

She continued to have a successful career with many singles and albums to her credit, prior to her death on 1st August, 1996. 

1969 - Lenny Kuhr (The Netherlands)

De Troubadour was the title of the song that gave the Dutch their third victory in the competition. It was sung and co-composed by Lenny Kuhr.

Lenny Kuhr was born on the 22nd February, 1950 in Eindhoven, making her the youngest of the four winners.  It was in 1967 that she started her career as a singer in The Netherlands,  just two years before her win in the contest.

In the 1970's she enjoyed more success in France than in her homeland, and topped the charts there in 1972 with the song Jesus Christo. However she enjoyed her biggest success in The Netherlands in 1980 with the song Visite.

Like several other winning artists she was to re-record her song, this time with revised lyrics as De Generaal, in homage to the Dutch national football coach, Rinus Michaels, who was nick named De Generaal.  In 1982 she hosted the Dutch national final for the Eurovision Song Contest.

She continues to release records and still performs, although without major chart suceess.

1969 - Salomé (Spain)

Salome, otherwise known as Maria Rosa Marco Poquet was born  0n 21st June, 1943 in Barcelona, and gave Spain their second win in succession with the song Vivo Cantando.

Her outfit for the contest was very unusual in that it was made of porcelain, and reportedly weighed over 30 pounds. 

Salome recorded her winning song in several languages, including Catalan and Basque. She continued her association with the contest by appearing in several programmes and documentaries in Spain  in subsequent years related to Europe's favourite TV show.

1969 - Lulu (United Kingdom)

Boom Bang-A-Bang was commercially probably the biggest hit of the four winners from the 1969 competition, and provided the United Kingdom with its second winner of the Grand Prix in three years.

It was performed by Lulu, who was born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie on 3rd November, 1948 in Lennoxtown, Scotland.

In 1964 aged just fifteen, and with the stage name of Lulu, she scored a big chart hit with Shout. In 1967 she had a role in the film To Sir, With Love, and had a number one hit in the USA with the title song.

She had further success with the theme from another film, the James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun. Her association with the contest continued when she presented the United Kingdom final in 1975, as well as being a guest panelist in the national finals of 1989 and again in 2009.

In 1993 she finally topped the British charts along with Take That with a cover version of Relight My Fire. She continues to perform, tour, record albums and present on television.

In the third part of this series we will look at the winners of the 1970's.