Today exactly 57 years ago something exciting was happening in Switzerland. In 1955, the idea of uniting Europe through the power of music was discussed in Monaco. The Italian music festival of Sanremo was used as an example and the first contest took place in Lugano on the 24th of May, 1956.
Seven nations competed and each country’s representative performed two songs. The exact results of the show aren’t known but as we all know, Lys Assia won the contest with her song ‘Refrain’. The winner was chosen by national juries but each juror could also vote for their own country! Luxembourg couldn’t send its two jurors to Lugano and therefore EBU allowed Swiss nationals to vote on behalf of Luxembourg. Voting controversies have therefore been part of Eurovision already then!
Unfortunately the full contest isn’t available to watch but at least there’s a clip of Lys Assia singing her winning entry again after the results were announced.
Eurovision Song Contest celebrates its 60th song contest in 2015 and EBU has promised to celebrate the anniversary somehow.