- Dates – Grand Final: Wednesday, 11 March 1959 – 20:00 CET
- Host – Venue & Location: Palais des Festivals (Palais des Festivals et des Congrès; Palace of Festivals and Conferences), Cannes, 🇫🇷 France
- Presenter (s): Jacqueline Joubert
- Musical Director: Franck Pourcel
- Director: Marcel Cravenne
- Executive Producer: —
- Executive Supervisor: —
- Multicamera Director: —
- Host broadcaster: Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF) / Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF)
- Interval Act: —
- Participants – Number of entries: 11 [🇧🇪 Belgium (4ª), 🇫🇷 France (4ª), 🇩🇪 Germany (4ª), 🇮🇹 Italy (4ª), 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (4ª), 🇨🇭 Switzerland (4ª), 🇦🇹 Austria (3ª), 🇩🇰 Denmark (3ª), 🇸🇪 Sweden (2ª), 🇬🇧 United Kindom (2ª), 🇲🇨Monaco (1ª)]
- Debuting countries: 🇲🇨 Monaco (1ª)
- Return: 🇬🇧 United Kindom (2ª)
- Non-returning countries: 🇱🇺 Luxembourg (3ª)
- Vote – Voting system: Ten-member juries in each country; each member gave one vote to their favourite song. Each participating country had 10 jury members, and each jury member could award one point to one song.
- Nil Points: —
- Winning song: “Een Beetje” – Teddy Scholten – 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (2ª)
About. The glamorous Mediterranean resort of Cannes, France hosted the 4th Eurovision Song Contest in March 1959.
73 minutes live from Cannes. The Eurovision Song Contest of 1959 welcomed the small principality of Monaco. Moreover, the United Kingdom re-entered the contest after one year of absence, and Luxembourg decided not to participate. A new rule was introduced to this fourth Eurovision Song Contest; musical experts were no longer allowed in the national juries, but other than that, the same voting system as in 1957 and 1958 was used.
About the winner. The Netherlands won the contest for the second time with the song “Een Beetje” performed by Teddy Scholten. The lyrics of the song were written by Willy van Hemert, who also wrote the winning song of 1957. Domenico Modugno returned again for Italy, this time finishing in 6th place.
Facts & figures. For the first and the last time in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, the top three songs were reprised at the end of the show.
|R/o||Country||Participant (S)||SONG – Translate – language||Poins||RANK|
|01||🇫🇷 France RTF||Jean Philippe||Oui, oui, oui, oui (Yes, yes, yes, yes) French||015||03|
|02||🇩🇰 Denmark DSR||Birthe Wilke||Uh, jeg ville ønske jeg var dig (Oh, I wish I were you) Danish||012||05|
|03||🇮🇹 Italy RAI||Domenico Modugno||Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina) [It’s raining (Bye, bye baby)] Italian||009||06|
|04||🇲🇨 Monaco TMC||Jacques Pills||Mon ami pierrot (My friend Pierrot) French||001||11|
|05||🇳🇱 The Netherlands NTS||Teddy Scholten||Een beetje (A little bit) Dutch||021||01|
|06||🇩🇪 Germany ARD||Alice and Ellen Kessler||Heute abend woll’n wir tanzen geh’n (Tonight we want to go dancing) German||005||08|
|07||🇸🇪 Sweden SR||Brita Borg||Augustin Swedish||004||09|
|08||🇨🇭 Switzerland SSR SRG||Christa Williams||Irgendwoher (From somewhere) German||014||04|
|09||🇦🇹 Austria ÖRF||Ferry Graf||Der K. und K. kalypso aus Wien (The K and K calypso from Vienna) German||004||09|
|10||🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC||Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson||Sing, little birdie English||016||02|
|11||🇧🇪 Belgium NIR||Bob Benny||Hou toch van mij (Please love me) Dutch||009||06|
Participating countries Countries that participated in the past but not in 1959
The Eurovision Song Contest 1959 was the fourth edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest, held in Cannes, France, following the country’s victory at the 1958 contest with the song “Dors, mon amour“, performed by André Claveau. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF), the contest, originally known as the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne 1959 (English: Grand Prix of the Eurovision Song Contest 1959), was held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès on 11 March 1959 and was hosted by French television presenter Jacqueline Joubert.
In total eleven countries participated in the contest, with Monaco making its first appearance and the United Kingdom returning after their absence the previous year. Luxembourg, however, decided not to participate after competing in all former editions.
The winner was the Netherlands with the song “Een beetje“, performed by Teddy Scholten, composed by Dick Schallies and written by Willy van Hemert. It was the nation’s second victory – the first time a country had won the contest more than once – and Van Hemert also became the first individual to win twice, having also written the first Dutch winning song from 1957, “Net als toen“. The United Kingdom placed second, marking the first of a record sixteen second place finishes that the United Kingdom would go on to achieve, while France placed third.
1.Location. The event took place in Cannes, France, following the nation’s victory at the 1958 edition with the song “Dors, mon amour“, performed by André Claveau. The selected venue was the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, built in 1949 to host the Cannes Film Festival and located on the Promenade de la Croisette along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the growth in the film festival a new building bearing the same name was opened in 1982, with the original building renamed as the Palais Croisette and subsequently demolished in 1988.
This marked the second occasion in which the previous year’s winning country organised the event, and the first time in which the winning country was given first choice at hosting the following year’s event, as the rights to host the 1958 contest were only awarded to the Netherlands after all other countries declined.
2.Format. The contest was organised and broadcast by the French public broadcaster Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF) and was hosted by French broadcaster Jacqueline Joubert. The stage constructed for the event featured three revolving platforms, with each platform segmented into four, similar to a revolving door, to include various backdrops. These backdrops were specific to each of the participating countries and featured scenery or objects associated with that country.
As in the 1957 and 1958 contests, each country, participating through a single EBU member broadcaster, was represented by one song performed by up to two people on stage. The results of the event were determined through jury voting, with each country’s jury containing ten individuals who each gave one vote to their favourite song, with no abstentions allowed. One rule change implemented for this contest specified that musical experts were no longer allowed to be included among the national juries.
3.Participating countries. A total of eleven countries competed in the contest, with Monaco making its first appearance and the United Kingdom returning after a one year absence. Beginning with this event the United Kingdom holds the record for the longest string of consecutive appearances in the Eurovision Song Contest, appearing in every subsequent contest final as of 2022. Luxembourg was absent from the event, having participated in all previous contests, and appears to have decided against participating late in the preparations for the contest as the country was listed among the participants in several radio and television listings.
3.1.Conductors. Each country was allowed to nominate their own musical director to lead the orchestra during the performance of their country’s entry, with the host musical director, Franck Pourcel, also conducting for those countries which did not nominate their own conductor. The conductors listed below led the orchestra during the performance for the indicated countries.
- 🇫🇷 France – Franck Pourcel
- 🇩🇰 Denmark – Kai Mortensen
- 🇮🇹 Italy – William Galassini
- 🇲🇨 Monaco – Franck Pourcel
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Dolf van der Linden
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Franck Pourcel
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Franck Pourcel
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Franck Pourcel
- 🇦🇹 Austria – Franck Pourcel
- 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Eric Robinson
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – Francis Bay
|Lys Assia||🇨🇭 Switzerland||1956, 1957, 1958|
|Corry Brokken||🇳🇱 The Netherlands||1956, 1957, 1958|
|Fud Leclerc||🇧🇪 Belgium||1956, 1958|
|Margot Hielscher||🇩🇪 Germany||1957, 1958|
3.3.Participants and results. Among this year’s participants, two artists had previously competed in the contest. Birthe Wilke had placed third for Denmark in the 1957 contest, performing “Skibet skal sejle i nat” alongside Gustav Winckler, and Domenico Modugno had placed third for Italy in the 1958 contest with “Nel blu, dipinto di blu”.
Upon winning the contest, the Netherlands became the first country to achieve two victories in the event, and the winning lyricist Willy van Hemert became the first individual to win the contest twice, after previously providing lyrics for the Netherlands’ winner in 1957, “Net als toen“. The United Kingdom’s result was the first of sixteen British entries to finish in second place, a contest record as of 2022. Alongside the traditional reprise performance of the winning song, the second- and third-placed songs were also performed again, for the first and only time at the contest.
3.4.All the national selections for Eurovision Song Contest 1959:
• National Selections in 1959:
|🇧🇪 Belgium||Eurosong 1959||Bob Benny – “Hou toch van mij“|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||Melodi Grand Prix 1959||Birthe Wilke – “Uh, jeg ville ønske jeg var dig“|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Sanremo 1959||Domenico Modugno – “Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)“|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||Nationaal Songfestival 1959||Teddy Scholten – “Een beetje“|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||Eurovisionsschlagern 1959 (song selection)||Siw Malmkvist – “Augustin”|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||Concours Eurovision 1959||Christa Williams – “Irgendwoher“|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||Eurovision British Final 1959||Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson – “Sing, Little Birdie”|
• Internal Selections in 1959:
|🇦🇹 Austria||Ferry Graf – “Der K und K Kalypso aus Wien“|
|🇫🇷 France||Jean Philippe – “Oui, oui, oui, oui“|
|🇩🇪 Germany||Alice and Ellen Kessler – “Heute Abend wollen wir tanzen geh’n“|
|🇲🇨 Monaco||Jacques Pills – “Mon ami Pierrot“|
Connections Participants of the Eurovision Song Contest 1959
||–||Otto Lington||Carl Andersen||Kai Mortensen:
|04||Jacques Pills||–||Florence Veran||Raymond Bravard||Franck Pourcel:
|05||Teddy Scholten||–||Dick Schallies:
||Willy van Hemert:
||Dolf van der Linden:
|06||Alice & Ellen Kessler||–||Helmut Zander||Astrid Voltmann||Franck Pourcel:
|07||Brita Borg||–||Harry Sandin||Åke Gerhard:
|08||Christa Williams||–||Lothar Löffler||Lothar Löffler||Franck Pourcel:
|09||Ferry Graf||–||Norbert Pawlicki||Günther Leopold:
|10||Teddy Johnson & Pearl Carr||–||Stan Butcher:
||Ke Riema||Francis Bay:
4.Voting. Each participating country had 10 jury members, and each jury member could award one point to one song. The announcement of the results from each country was conducted in reverse order to the order in which each country performed.
Voting results in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||21||3||1||3||2||1||7||4|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||16||2||2||3||5||2||1||1|
Each country nominated a spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country via telephone. Known spokespersons at the 1959 contest are listed below.
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Siebe van der Zee
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Roland Eiworth
5.Broadcasts. Each participating broadcaster was required to relay the contest via its networks. Broadcasters were able to send commentators to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language and to relay information about the artists and songs to their television viewers. Known details on the broadcasts in each country, including the specific broadcasting stations and commentators are shown in the tables below.
|🇩🇰 Denmark||Danmarks Radio TV||Sejr Volmer-Sørensen||–|
|🇩🇪 Germany||Deutsches Fernsehen||Unknown||–|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Programma Nazionale||Renato Tagliani||–|
|🇲🇨 Monaco||Télé Monte-Carlo||Unknown||–|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||NTS||Piet te Nuyl Jr.||–|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||Sveriges TV||Jan Gabrielsson||–|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||TV DRS||Unknown||–|
|Radio Monte Ceneri||Unknown|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||BBC Television Service||Tom Sloan||–|
- “Augustin” was performed by Brita Borg at Eurovision 1959.
7.Trivial / Fun facts.
- The longest song in Eurovision Song Contest is Italy’s “Corde Della Mia Chitarra” from 1957: 5 minutes and 9 seconds. After the contest, the rules were tightened so songs couldn’t be longer than 3.5 minutes initially and later 3 minutes.
- Eurovision Song Contest is normally held every year in May. The earliest Eurovision date was in 1957, on 3rd March and the latest was in 1999 and 2010 when it was held on 29th May.
- The first scandal in Eurovision history occurred in 1957 where the Danish singers Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler kissed for 11 seconds in the end of the song. Generating a furious reaction.
- A new rule was introduced to the 4th contest; music experts were not allowed into the National juries any longer.
- This year only, not just the winning song by Teddy Scholten got a reprise at the end, but also the 2nd and 3rd finalists.
← Eurovision Song Contest 1958 • Eurovision Song Contest 1959 • Eurovision Song Contest 1960 →
Countries (in order of appearance)
|Final||France ⦁ Denmark ⦁ Italy ⦁ Monaco ⦁ The Netherlands (winner) ⦁ Germany ⦁ Sweden ⦁ Switzerland ⦁ Austria ⦁ United Kingdom • Belgium|
Artists (in order of appearance)
|Final||Jean Philippe ⦁ Birthe Wilke ⦁ Domenico Modugno ⦁ Jacques Pills ⦁ Teddy Scholten (winner) ⦁ Alice and Ellen Kessler ⦁ Brita Borg ⦁ Christa Williams ⦁ Ferry Graf ⦁ Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson • Bob Benny|
Songs (in order of appearance)
|Final||“Oui, oui, oui, oui” ⦁ “Uh, jeg ville ønske jeg var dig” ⦁ “Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)” ⦁ “Mon ami Pierrot” ⦁ “Een beetje” (winner) ⦁ “Heute Abend wollen wir tanzen geh’n” ⦁ “Augustin” ⦁ “Irgendwoher” ⦁ “Der K und K Kalypso aus Wien” ⦁ “Sing, Little Birdie” • “Hou toch van mij“|