Sunday, December 28, 2008

愛你的只有一個我 - A new A Ba Ni Bi from Taiwan

Thanks to a tip from Anonymous from Hong Kong here's some details on a great new version of Israels 1978 Eurovision winner A Ba Ni Bi.
Taiwanese singer Harlem Yu, (庾澄慶, Yú Chéngqìng) has recorded a version sung in Mandarin for his latest CD.
The title 愛你的只有一個我 translates as I Am The Only One Who Loves You. This version has been released as the lead single for his new album Lady's Night which was released on Linfair records earlier this month.
Singer, Songwriter & TV-show host Harlem Yu is a pioneer of Taiwanese RNB and he is responsible for the first ever Mandarin rap song (source: Wiki)
You can hear the song here and see the video here.(YT)


Very Special Thanks to Anonymous from Hong Kong.

An updated version of the Chinese and related Eurocovers list is here / here (word doc)
And a highly recommended blog for Chinese all kinds of coverversions is Favorites In Original.

If you missed the Thai version of A Ba Ni Bi, check out this Eurocovers post or this one for the video. A grungy version can be found in the post Push The Button, Noisy Israeli's from 2006.

UPDATE - Volare by Slađan Jovanović

I received a message from Sladjan Jovanovic concerning the Belgrade Eurocovers post where I stated that I hadn't found any version of Volare in Serbian.
It was my mistake as there is actually such a recording on the website mentioned.
A reworking in Serbian of Volare is track 9 - of the Ginko album featured here at Sladjan Jovanovic's website. It's titled Between The Sky And The Bottom. This version has the same arrangement as the Italian version (track 14).
Here you can listen to all tracks from the Ginko album and also find an English translation of the lyrics.
Thanks to Sladjan Jovanovic, your help is much appreciated!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tobi Jooste - Engel


The 2005 Eurovision runner up Angel, originally by Malta's Chiara, here in an Afrikaans version by South Africa's baritone superstar Tobi Jooste.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Zwei Kleine Italiener - Happy Birthday Conny!

O.K., I'm a bit late, but belated best wishes go to Conny Froboess who celebrated her 65th birthday last month.
Conny Froboess was a German teen idol in the late 50s and early 60's and scored hitsingles and hitmovies in several European countries.
Only eight years old she scored her first hit with Pack die Badehose ein, a chirpy song about packing up your swimsuit for a day out at the beach. The song, written by her father, was covered in many languages in every beach loving country.

Hits like Teenager Melodie, Kleine Lucienne and Midi Midinette followed but it's of course the Eurovision entry Zwei kleine Italiener that remains her biggest evergreen.
Conny Froboess recorded the song in German, Dutch (pictured), English and Italian. A rumoured French version has not yet emerged.
The song only ended 6th at the contest but it became a big hit in Europe. I blame Conny for my love affair with Eurovision as I was exposed to the song while happily frolicking in the womb. It was a #1 hit in my country when I was born.
Zwei kleine Italiener is written by Christian Bruhn (Music) and Georg Buschor (lyrics)

Coverversions
Zwei kleine Italiener is a top 20 most covered Eurosong with currently 105 coverversions listed. The most famous cover is of course by the other Connie, Connie Francis, who recorded the song in Italian (single MGM K 2065). The song was covered in at least 12 languages, but I haven't found an English coverversion yet.
Eurovision singers that have covered Zwei kleine Italiener are Gitte, Lisa Del Bo, Mary Roos, Mathé Altéry, Colette Déreal, Anita Thallaug (see below), Monica Aspelund (with the Four Cats) and the German group Wind (although no original members were in the group when they recorded the Italiener).

Tohama
Tohama (1920 - 1995) was born in France as Nadia Altman, and the age of 12 she moved to Brussels, Belgium.
Her father was painter Alexandre Altman who'se work I don't know, but he has streets named after him, so he must have done something right.
Nadia adopted the name Tohama (Tahitian for I love you) as her artists name in 1937, the year she released her first record Le Vent M'a Dit Un Chanson. (A song made famous in German by Zarah Leander).

Tohama released many 78's from the late 30's to well into the 50's, both romantic songs and comedy songs including popular hits like Gigi, Le petit cousin, Suzanna Youpi You La la and Dis-moi oui, Dis-moi non. Even though she toured the world her fame was restricted to France, Belgium and Canada. Her work up to the mid 50's has been released on several compilation CDs but the Eurocovers from the early 60's are hard to find items on the original vinyl releases only.
At the dawn of the 70's she packed in her career and Tohama died in 1995 aged 75.

I know five Eurovision songs covered by Tohama, al songs in French
1959 France - Oui, Oui Oui Oui (original by Jean Philippe)
- released 7" single (Decca 922988)1960 France - Tom Pillibi (Jacqueline Boyer's winner)
- released on EP (Decca 460.734)1960 U.K. - Looking High, High, High by (Brian Johnson)
- Qu'il est Haut Haut Haut, on same EP as Tom Pillibi1960 Germany - Bonne nuit, ma cherie (Wyn Hoop)
- on EP Itsy Bitsy Petit Bikini (Decca edge 71420)1962 Germany - Zwei kleine Italiener by Conny Froboess
- Cheveux Fous et lèvres roses (Details wanted)

Another celebrated version is the Swedish version by Tina och Marina. Tina and Marina named themselves after the characters in the song. It was released on various EPs and singles including a solo EP by Margareta Rudebro, who is Tina (Karussell).

Zwei kleine Italiener - The List
As usual, I have prepared a list with all versions of the song I know about. There are details on Conny's own versions and on 105 coverversions. It's a word document and you can get it  here (Updated April 2011)
Looking for…As I am a sucker for Eurocovers from Brasil there's one version of the Italiener I'm especially looking for. A Portuguese language version titled Os dois Italianinhos was released on an EP in 1963 by Brasilian singer Meire Pavão with Conjunto Alvorada.



EUROCOVERS vs THE MAN
The Man has got to Eurocovers. Blogger has been forced to remove some Eurocovers posts from the blog. I don't exactly know who filed the complaints (the promised letters haven't arrived yet) but I'm not going to make too big a deal of it.
The main posts that have been removed are the Belgrade Weeks post about Lane Moje (Serbia Montenegro 2004) and the 10.000 coverversions top post about Domenico Modugno's Volare.
Especially the latter is a shame as it's a bit silly to have a top 10 without it's #1.
On the bright side, I know of several artists who are in the process of recording Volare after they read the Eurocovers posts about it.
Concluding: Some posts may be gone and therefor some links may not work. I still hope to bring you interesting articles on Eurocovering artists, the latest release news and must read web tips.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Perla do Brasil

Brasil, a famous one point song from the 1991 contest (Bebi Dol - Yugoslavia) but also the country with more Eurocovers recorded than any other non-Eurovision country.
I don't want to sell Football short, but music is probably the cornerstone of Brasilian life.
So it's not surprising that many Eurovision songs have found their way to Brasilian singers. From the first contest in 1956 (with at least 3 songs covered in Brasil) to well into the 70's Eurovision songs have been covered by artists from Brasil.
About every Italian entry, most of the songs from the U.K. and many of the winners and hits from other countries. Only Portuguese songs seem a bit underrepresented.

So here's a bit of Brasilian Pop History, mixed with a bit of Paraguay and a touch of Sweden and of course Eurovision songs.

Perla was born Ermelinda Pedroso Rodriguez d'Almeida in 1952. She was raised in a musical family in Caacupé, Paraguay but she left the family in the early 70's and headed to Rio where she started performing and was soon welcomed as an international attraction.
Appearances on popular TV shows got her a record deal soon and she released her first LP Perla* in 1972 with mainly Spanish language evergreens.
The first LP was in Spanish but her second album titled Perla was released in both a Portuguese language version and a Spanish language version, catering for the full latin American market. It includes the first Eurovision cover, but I'll get to that later. It also includes her first hit Estrada do Sol.
Her 1976 album Palavras De Amor was also recorded in two languages and it includes what was probably her biggest hit Fernando, of ABBA fame.
Productive Perla released an album every year from 1975 to 1982 and sometimes even two, and the ABBA cover formula worked well for her. Chiquitita for example was another of her top hits as Pequenina.
Most of her early songs are coverversions of popular hits and her popular ABBA covers were all re-issued on a 2002 CD 50 Perla Canta ABBA E Outros Hits. Her version of S.O.S.: Paz De Um Grande Amor is as melancholy as the original and one of the best ABBA covers ever recorded.
Perla's most recent work is Perla, Nossas Canções from 2002 (Spanish version Perla, Nuestras Canciones was released in 2003)

PERLA EUROCOVERS
Italy 1966 - Dio Come Ti Amo

You may think Eurocovers is overdoing it a bit with this one, but it's Perla's first Eurocover recorded in 1975, so it's here. It's also the most covered Eurovision entry by Brasilian artists with almost half of the covers I know of it coming from Brasil.
Perla recorded three versions:
Deus Come Te Amo (Portuguese)
- on EP Perla (RCA 1010143, 1976) and LP Perla (RCA - 1030152, 1975)
Dios Como Te Amo (Spanish)
- on LP Perla en Espanol (RCA - 9910393, 1975)
Dio Come Ti Amo (Italian, recorded in 1999)
- on CD Especialmente Para Você (Brasidisc BRCD 1005, 1999)

Italy 1977 - Libera (Mia Martini)
A disco era Eurovision song that doesn't have many covers to its name, but Perla takes care of two.
Livre (Portuguese)
- on LP Perla (RCA 1030219, 1977)
Libre (Spanish)
- on LP Perla, Para Los Que Han Amado (RCA 99111319)

United Kingdom 1978 - Bad Old Days (Coco)
Meu Querido Pai (Portuguese)
- On LP Perla (RCA 103.0266, 1978)

Israel 1979 - Hallelujah (Milk and Honey, 1979 winner)
Alegria (Portuguese)
- on LP Pequenina (RCA Victor 1030309, 1979)
* As you may have noticed, several LP's are just called Perla


Sources: Perla website - This site has an extensive discography and also Perla CDs for sale. And of course pictures, lyrics and videos.
Clique Brasil and Special Thanks to João.
In previous Brasil posts you can find Puppet On A Strings and Eurocovers by My New Favorite singer Leny Eversong.


Spain 1970 - Pitingo - Gwendolyne


Eurovision 1970 saw the entry of Julio Iglesias to the international music stage, and he's still there. His song Gwendolyne ended 4th. This is a video of a new flamenco tinged r'n'b version by Pitingo with Juan Carmona. It's from the 2008 Pitingo CD Souleria. Special Thanks to José Antonio.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

1966 Dio Come Ti Amo - Cabaret Short Circuit

I don't think it happened before: I just received a new CD and while enjoying the virgin listening out of nowhere an intriguing Eurocover pops up.The CD in question is Disastro by Sonny J. which I bought because I totally love Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand).
Handsfree is a sampladelic reworking of Donna Hightower's* If You Hold My Hand.
I didn't suspect anything reading the tracklist, but track 4, Cabaret Short Circuit is a reworking of Jack Jones' fantastic live version of Oh How Much I Love You, which is Dio Come Ti Amo, only one of my favorite Eurovision songs and a honorable member of the Gallery Of Most Covered Eurovision Songs. And it's written by Mr. Volare: Domenico Modugno.
Sonny J. speeds up Jack Jones's version, adds the necessary crackle and umph and makes a nice use of Jones talking bits.
Of course all you Captain Stubing fans know Jack Jones of the Theme From Love Boat !
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Oh how Much I love You by handsome Jack was originally released in 1967 as a b-side of Don't Give Our Love Away (Kapp K880) and on his LP Our Song (Kapp 3531) .
The live version used on Cabaret Short Circuit is from the 1970 LP Jack Jones In Person, Live At The Sands (RCA SF 8149 , 1970, & Laserlight CD reissue, 1993)



Sonny J.'s excellent Disastro album is available at a record shop near you or your PC. Highly recommended if you like cut'n'paste dance - pop genuis. I know I do.


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Sonny J. Myspace & Sonny J. Homepage and Sonny J TV (all the videos)
Jack Jones Official Site - Jack Jones Studio Audio at Youtube
Mike Patton's live version of Dio Come Ti Amo is in this Eurocovers Post
The 10.000 coverversions post about Dio Come Ti Amo is here and in this post there's a version by Angolan Duo Ouro Negro.


* I think Donna Hightower had a go at the Spanish preselection for Eurovision in the 70's, but my mind is blank about that just now. Her best known hit is This World Today Is A Mess from 1972 (and a hit in 1974).

ANOTHER ONE
Another new(ish) version of Dio Come Ti Amo was recorded by Tereza (Kesovija), Croatian singer who entered Eurovision in 1964 for Monaco (Bien Plus Fort) and for Yugoslavia in 1972 (Muzika I Ti).
Her CD Zaustavi Vrijeme from 2007 includes a Croatian version of the song titled Bože, Kako Te Volim. (Youtube)

Introduction to music of Ex-Yu & Croatia
Which brings me to another recommended read. Sasha has a new Rate Your Music site where you can find out about the most important Yugoslavian artists from the past 50 years.

You can find an 'Introduction to music of Ex-Yu & Croatia' here. It's written in English.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Vice Vukov 1936 - 2008

Another goodbye this week. Croatian singer Vice Vukov died at the age of 72.
Vice Vukov entered Eurovision twice for Yugoslavia. In 1963 with Brodovi (Ships, 11th), the only entry for Yugoslavia ever chosen internally (by TV Zagreb).
In 1965 he performed Čežnja (Yearning, 12th), which was submitted by Bosnia-Hercegovina TV and won the National final.

Both songs can be found on the CD Vice Vukov - Platinum Collection.
For Čežnja it's the first time ever release, as there was no record back in 1965. The CD features the Eurovision recording polished up nicely.

EurocoversI don't know about any cover of his Eurovision entries but Vice Vukov recorded a few Eurovision songs himself.

Italy 1958 - Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare, you know it by now)
- Italian, recorded 1983, LP Bella Italia (SUZY LP 573)Italy 1959 - Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina) also originally by Domenico Modugno)
- Italian, recorded 1983, CD Bella Italia (Perfekt music/Croatia Records CD 5553328)
Piove is not on the original LP but on the re-issued CD version only.Italy 1961 - Al Di Lá (Betty Curtis)
- Croatian as Iznad Svega, from EP More, Mandoline I Muzika, San Remo 1961 (Jugoton EPY 3102)Luxembourg 1961 - Nous Les Amoureux (winning song by Jean Claude Pascal)
- Croatian as Ja, ljubav I ti, on EP (Jugoton EPY 3108)

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Vice Vukovs Wiki Brodovi Youtube Čežnja Youtube
VolareJa, Ljubav I Ti

Rufus Harley (1936-2006) - Love Is Blue

Sometimes I come across a Eurocover that is just too amazing to be true.

This is Rufus Harley playing Love Is Blue (L'amour est bleu, Luxembourg 1967) from his 1970 LP Kings and Queens (Atlantic SD-1539) and reissued on the CD Courage - The Atlantic Recordings. (pictured)

Read more about Rufus Harley at this New York Times obituary. Harley died two years ago.

If you like this one also check out the must hear versions of Love Is Blue by Dorothy Ashby (Afro-Harp) and Ohta San (Ukulele) in this Eurocovers post

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eurovision 1990: Azucar Moreno - Bandido ...and then some

Another classic Eurovision moment: It's Zagreb, 1990 and Azucar Moreno are set to open the 35th contest with their groundbreaking (at least for Eurovision) Flamenco-House stunner Bandido (music by Raul Orellana & Jame Stinus, lyrics by José Luis Abel). But things go horribly wrong (Youtube).
After a long wait the backing tape finally starts but the Orchestra is still high on slivovits and they completely forget to play their parts. Sisters Toni & Encarna are not amused and walk off steaming. For a very long minute it's not clear if the sisters will return or if they are already running amok in the backstage area. But thankfully one of the favorites of the year gets a full airing and all is well in the end. Bandido only ends 5th and the winner is Insieme 1992 by Italian Toto Cutugno, who is dripping with black spray-on hairpaint when he walks on to carry the trophy home.

BEST BAND IN THE WORLD
Azucar Moreno are probably the best band in the world and since their breakthrough with the Bandido album (their 4th) they recorded 9 more. One is even more poptastic than the other and they are all highly recommended if you like passionate Flamenco- house crazyness and salsaflavored pop gems. And the occasional bonkers coverversion like Hava Nagila, Paint It Black or Tequila. Recommended personal favorites are Mambo (1991), Ojos Negros (1992), Amén (2000) and Bailando Con Lola.
Their success also spread to South America with a cover of Ven Devorame Otra Vez (Come and devour me again, 1990) and especially the El Amor album produced by Emilio Estefan (Gloria's hubby) in 1994. In 1996 they have a European summer hit with Solo Se Vive Una Vez (You only live once) from the album Esclava De Tu Piel (Slave to your skin).
Their most recent offering is Bailando Con Lola (2006), a tribute to Flamenco singer Lola Flores. You can listen to some of the tracks at their MySpace.
A selection of Azucar Moreno records for sale at BeaRecords

THE FUTURE
And there's good news, Encarna, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer last year is now declared cured. It's reported the girls are currenty working on their 14th album which should see the light of day at the end of this year. However other sources state Toni is working on a solo album and Azucar Moreno is on the backburner for a while.

SOME 2010 UPDATES (6-6-10)
Here's some great news on the best band in the world, Queens of the walk-off: Azucar Moreno. And their neices Alazan.
As you might know Azucars Moreno sisters Toñi and Encarna fell out big time after Encarna (the angry one) fell ill with breast cancer and Toñi (the bossy one) split up with her partner.
Things got really ugly but the girls seem to have made up (yay!!) and a new album is planned for the end of the year.  (well, make that somewhere in 2011 then)

Toñi Salazar has just released her new solo album Zero Azucar (!) which includes La Caña De España. That song was one of the many songs shortlisted in the Spanish national selection. (Youtube). It didn't make it to the final even though I voted for it…
Encarna released her solo album Desencuentro in 2009

Alazan
Meanwhile, Alazan, some nieces of The Moreno sisters celebrate their 10th anniversary with ditching a member* and releasing a compilation album 10.
10 includes a new version of the fabulous Alcanzaras La Luna from the 2000 Spanish final.
On the new version of Alcanzaras... you can hear and see Auntie Toñi and uncles Los Chungitos guest.
Watch La Caña de España here
You can watch the Alazan video here or listen to the new Alcanzaras here at Alazans homepage.
Source: Azucar Moreno Myspace (don't know if it's official or fanmade)

* actually, I don´t know when they became a duo

BANDIDO COVERS
Below there's a list of the coverversions of Bandido I know about and a few to listen to. Many are in Spanish although several of these are just cheap copies of the original song to fill MCs with even more cheap copies.

Atalaje (Spanish)
- on CD Eurovision Por Rumbas (1999). This album has 10 Spanish Eurocovers all in Rumba
Flamenco style
Andy & de Ania's - Bandieten der Liebe (German)
- on CD Zuhause etwas spannendes erleben (1996) (Danke Flavio!)
Antonia & Ronit - (translates as) Gipsy Vagabond (Hebrew)
- on CD, any info wantedAskin Nur Yengi - Zehir Gibisin (Turkish)
- on CD Hesap Ver and CD Aşk' In ŞarkilariPaul De Leeuw - Alleen maar de zon (Dutch)
- on CD Van U wil ik zingen (Varagram/Brommerpech)Los Chamarones (Spanish)
- on MC Rumbas mix para bailar. Vol. 5 (Disco Mercurio)
Maribel Cozar (Spanish)
- on CD Maribel Cozar (Sonograf)Dulce Veneno (Spanish)
- on MC Por Rumbas (Disco Mercurio)Los Gemelos (Spanish)
- on CD Escucha Como Cantan Los Gemelos (Fonoruz)Raíces (Spanish)
- on MC A Bailar La Rumba (F.P. Records)Rod's band (Spanish)
- on CD 40 Años De Eurovisión, album with cheap covers of 40 years of Spanish entriesSalsa Rumba band (Spanish)
- on CD Romantic Rumba's & Sizzling Salsas (1999) (Legacy)Zurriona (Spanish)
-on MC Rumbas De Exito (Divucsa)
+ instrumental versions by Gerardo Nuñez (Guitar, MC A Toda Rumba) and by Antonio Rodriguez & Jose Miguel Alvares (MC Rumbas Guay)
If you have any additions to this list I'd be happy to hear from you.




and then some:
BERRYZ KOUBOU
Remember a few months ago Berryz Koubou released a cdsingle with their Japanese version of Dschinghis Khan. Great and all that, but now they have taken it a bit further and released yet another remix of the song. The Tarutaru mix mixes the Berrys Koubou version with the original German version by Dschinghis Khan themselves. In a totally hyper over the top fashion of course.

Now it would be a clever amateur mix-up, but actually it's the Koubou's latest released cdsingle. (King Records, available from cdjapan).

The cdsingle includes three tracks:


1. ジンギスカン タルタルミックス (Tarutaru remix)
2. ジンギスカン - Berryz工房
3.Dschinghis Khan - the original 1979 version by Dschinghis Khan.

Even the picture sleeve is a remix.
Some youtubes feature the new mix.



DE TOPPERS TO MOSCOW
And then there was the news of De Toppers as the Dutch entrants for Eurovision 2009 in Moscow.

The whole country is in uproar but the announcement restored the worldwide stockmarkets after last weeks devastating plunge.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on this surprising choice from the Dutch broadcaster, so I thought I'd let my light shine on it too.

De Toppers are René Froger, Gerard Joling and Gordon. Three filthy rich* singers who are able to entertain the masses with their no holds barred renditions of popular singalongs, torch songs and humpah classics. Their live shows are completely outrageous, and their wardrobe puts Dame Shirley Bassey's to shame.

Above all De Toppers are an immensely professional live act and no resources are spared to make their shows unforgettable. A preselection is planned on Februari 1st 2009, to select the perfect song for Eurovision 2009.
http://www.toppersinconcert.nl/

Gerard Joling represented the Netherlands in Dublin in 1988 with Shangri La, a typical 80's Eurovision song which ended 9th. Before that he already enjoyed a # 1 hit with Ticket To The Tropics and Eurovision didn't destroy his career as he scored his biggest hit with No More Bolero's in 1989. Joling also enjoyed popularity in Asia as well as in Belgium.
After 10 years of trying with really not so good records he scored another #1 with Maak Me Gek (drive me wild) in 2007 and with a duet with (un)dead André Hazes: Blijf Bij Mij (Stay with me)
Even though his records were crap from 1995 to 2006 he enjoyed a lot of popularity as a TV presenter and frequent guest in TV shows.
His corny OTT reality soaps with chum Gordon also filled the kitty and today Gerard Joling is hotter than ever. http://www.gerardjoling.nl/

Gordon tried to reach the Eurovision stage a few times, once as a poodle and once with a ballad. He enjoyed a #1 hit with his debut single and has also presented several TV shows. His one and a half braincell not in his pants has been put to use to cash in with his own line of clothing which makes even the thinnest people look obese. His hit songs with Re-Play were actually quite enjoyable. http://www.gordon.nl/

In the middle of the bitching bitches there's René Froger, calm, composed and heterosexual. Another #1 hit maker (also with his debut single) and a man able to fill a few stadiums every year. In fact is was his live show where Gordon & Joling guested that sparked the idea for De Toppers.
His current reality soap where he and his wife pretend to be poor for a month..... has raised some critisism, but I'm sure it'll all be blown over come Eurovision.
He released his first Dutch language album Passie a few months ago.
http://www.renefroger.nl/

TOPPERS EUROCOVERS
Next to some Eurovision medleys and live Eurocovers on DVDs each of the toppers have recorded at least two Eurocovers solo, which I won't upload here as their lawyers will be all over me in a second.

Gerard Joling
Ein Lied Kann Eine Brücke Sein (Germany 1975 by Joy Fleming)
- as Zing Met Me Mee (Dutch) on cdsingle (Bunny / Dino)Amsterdam (Netherlands 1980 by Maggie MacNeal
- on 7"inch single
Io Senza Te (Switserland 1981 by Peter, Sue and Marc)
- as Het Is Not Niet Voorbij, technically a Willeke Alberti cover. It was a top 10 hit a few months ago. on cdsingle and also on his latest CD Bloedheet.

René Froger
Ik Heb Zorgen (Belgium 1967 by Louis Neefs)
- on CD Louis Neefs 20 jaar later (various artists), tribute album to Louis Neefs who died in 1980.Go (U.K. 1988 by Scott Fitzgerald)
- on CD Pure (2004)

Gordon
Ik Hou Van Jou (Netherlands 1984 by Maribelle)
- on 7"and cdsingle (CNR) , a #26 hit in 1992. He also released an English version and a live version
Where Are You (U.K. 1998 by Imaani)
- as Waar Ben Jij (Dutch), a ballad version of the 1998 runner up. (CNR cdsingle)

Why is it a good thing that De Toppers are going to Moscow ? OK, De Toppers don't Rawk! and I prefer my Diva's to be female, but I do think it's a good thing to send them to Moscow. Moscow is in dire need of a good gay injection and I doubt if Putin will hire his spitting nanny's** to disrupt the festivities (A Gay pride is planned in Eurovision week) , with all Euro eyes watching this time. I'm 100% sure De Toppers will give good show if they haven't killed each other by then. And I really hope they can find the right song. Money should be no object. Bring out the sequins, feathers and fur*** and paint the town all kind of colours, but mainly pink.

* They're probably the only Dutch artists who can afford to have a café latte frappiato in Moscows starbucks.
**Old ladies spitting at the people marching in the attemped gay pride in moscow turned out to be payed for by authorities. Allegedly of course.
*** although I regret they'll propably go out and kill the baby seals for it themselves.

BLOG TIPS
I recommended this blog before but Blowupdoll continues to amaze. Currently running a series of Francoise Hardy songs in English in the fh in english week.
Another blog I have mostly been enjoying this week is Zvuci Jugoslavije. Extensive delving in the Yugoslavian music archives, from pop to classical and of course including several posts about Eurovision artists and even some Eurocovers too.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

100% Off Topic: Louise Bastien a.k.a. Sapho

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Rare debut single of one of my all time favorite singers.







Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2008 Anno Domenico - Io e i Gomma Gommas

Punk Rock version of Volare by Io e i Gomma Gommas. From their CD 50's...Morti 60's...Feriti.

http://www.gommagommas.it

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mike Patton´s Mondo Cane - Dio Come Ti Amo

Faith No More frontman Mike Patton with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra performing Italy's 1966 Eurovision entry originally by Domenico Modugno. Recorded last june. Impressive stuff.

Géo Voumard 1920 - 2008

This week the Eurovision community says goodbye to Swiss composer, pianist and radio maker Géo Voumard, composer of 5 Eurovision songs including the first ever winner, Refrain from 1956.
With lyricist Emile Gardaz (1931 - 2007) Voumard is responsible for half of the first 10 songs that entered Eurovision for Switzerland. Three of them finished in the top three.
In 1967 Voumard co-founded* the world renowned Montreux Jazz Festival of which the 42nd edition took place last july.

Géo Voumard / Emile Gardaz Eurovision songs:1956 - Refrain - Lys Assia (winner)
1957 - L'Enfant Que J'Etais - Lys Assia (8th)
1961 - Nous Aurons Demain - Franca Di Rienzo (3rd)
1962 - Le Retour - Jean Philippe (10th)
1963 - T'En Va Pas - Esther Ofarim (2nd)

EurocoversRefrain, one of two songs** that entered for Switzerland in 1956 is the most covered of the Voumard/Gardaz songs, followed by Esther Ofarims runner up that almost won *** T'En Va Pas from 1963.
Of the other three songs I only know about an accordion cover of Nous Aurons Demain by André Verchuren. L'Enfant Que J'Etais and Le Retour still have a big 0 in the 10.000 coverversions list. The original artists records are (also) among the rarest Eurovision singles.

Refrain was recorded by Lys Assia in French, German and English (pictured). An Italian coverversion was recorded by Flo Sandon's (her Refrain is in this Eurocovers post). I know of three versions in Portuguese recorded in Brasil (Carlos Augusto, Araci Costa, Arthur Murat) (all wanted) and La Esterella recorded a Flemish version.
We're deep into 78rpm territory here and the covers of Refrain are not the easiest to find. About half of them are instrumental and of course quite a few in French.

Two 1956 Eurovision singers that have recorded Refrain in French are Corry Brokken (who went on to win in 1957) and Mathé Altery (France). Both recorded the winning song but neither released their own entry of that year.
My favorite coverversion is by Jula De Palma ♫, who slows the song down even further than the original.

T'En Va Pas
Esther Ofraim recorded her Eurovision entry in French, German and Italian (pictured). A lovely English version is recorded by Dana Valery ♫. She's an Italian born singer from South Africa.
Her version Would I Love You Again is the b-side to This Is My Prayer, an English version of the 1964 wonner Non Ho L'Eta (Gigliola Cinquetti). (Decca F 11881).
Other coverversions were rcorded in Finnish (by Olavi Virta), Dutch (Corry Brokken), Flemish (Jo Leemans), Swedish (Majbritt Persson) and Danish (Ellen Winther).
T'En Va Pas also found its way to Brasil, but so far I've only found details on instrumental versions (The Jordans ♫, The Bells, Os Carbonos)



* with Claude Nobs and René Langel
** Each country entered two songs in the first contest, 7 countries, 14 songs. The contest, held in Lugano, Switserland, was only aired on radio and only the winner was announced.
*** Esther Ofarim was pipped to the post only after Norway re-casted their votes which differed from their initial ones. It gave Dansevise by Danish Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann the final victory.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Team GB 1961 - Are You Sure?

Golden Oldie Are You Sure is one of the songs I knew by heart (although in my own invented variation on English) before I found out it actually was a Eurovision tune.
The Allisons (Brian 'John Allison' Alford & Colin 'Bob Allison' Day, not really brothers contrary to popular belief), the U.K.'s answer to the Everly Brothers, scored a European hit with their Eurovision runner up, the third U.K. entry in a row to finish 2nd.

Despite their European hit, world domination didn't really happen for the Allisons. They managed to get two more top 40 hits (but not top 30) and called it a day in 1963.
'Goodbye, Farewell.... Are You Sure?' they asked. I guess they weren't, as the Allisons reunited on several occasions and in the 70's recruited some new brothers like Mike Allison and Tony Allison.
John White, earlier member who left in 1959 is the real composer of their Eurovision Song. (It's credited to The Allisons)

Search engines aren't much use when you're browsing with a general term like "Are You Sure" but over the years I have found details on about 40 versions of the song and here are some of them.

My favorite first: The Chicks are a New Zealand sister duo formed by Judy & Sue Donaldson. (real sisters) The single was sent to me by Barry from New Zealand, long before the internet and all that and it has always been one of the treasured little gems in my collection.
Are You Sure is the b-side to the 1969 single Miss You Baby (Polydor 425220).
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I could write/copy/paste the girls life story, but instead I recommend this excellent bio at New Zealand Music with gorgeous pictures and very detailed info.

Another sister duo, The Young Sisters (again, real sisters) from the Netherlands recorded Are You Sure in Dutch.

Johnny, Kom Weer Hier (Johnny come back) was recorded in 1961 and released on single (Philips 318 552 PF).
The Young Sisters are Willy & Nelly De Jong, mom & aunt of Maxine. Maxine represented the Netherlands in Eurovision in 1996 with Franklin Brown (De Eerste Keer, 7th).
Even though the Sisters released several singles covering international hits, they never scored a chart hit. But they prooved to be a popular live act performing for Dutch soldiers abroad, often accompanied by the Jumping Jewels.
There is a short bio with some great pictures here at the West Brabants Rock 'N' Roll Archief (in Dutch).

German versions of the song are called Ahoi-Ohé and it is this version that probably was the inspiration Kalmer Tennosaar & Kalju Terasmaa to record an Estonian version. That version was covered by Estonian girl-folk-humpah band Seelikukütid.
The girls of Seelikukütid have been known to sport the Sebastien Tellier look and tackle popular songs as well as tradional songs on their many albums.
Ahoi Ohee is from the CD Seelikukütid 4 from 1997. Seelikukütid also recorded Puppet On A String (as Hüpiknukk, on CD Seelikukütid 5)



A List of Are You Sures
List of versions of Are You Sure . (e-mail me) This has release details on the Allisons versions and info on 42 coverversions of the song. (Word document uploaded with 4shared) (Updated November 2013)
Any corrections, additions and comments are of course very welcome.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bits And Pieces

THE VOICE
Back in the 90's Ireland won Eurovision 4 times in a 5 year span but somehow these winners haven't inspired many coverversions. The Voice, the last Irish winner to date (1996, by Eimear Quinn) only has two released coverversions I know of. A local one by Andy Cooney and one by Celtic Woman, a multi artists project often dubbed the Riverdance Without The Noisy Stamping Bits.

The Norwegian madmen of Døsty Cåwshit (Dusty Cowshit) probably thought that the song deserved a new coat and they recorded The Voice in their inimitable party style and put it on their website for you to enjoy. Also featured is their take on the 2007 Norwegian entry Ven A Bailar Conmigo and the Swedish 1984 winner Diggi Loo, Diggi Ley.

Their website is here, and the songs are here. In this Eurocovers post there's more Døsty Cåwshit family entertainment.

MIODIO
MiOdio, San Marino's Eurovision debut hopefuls didn't do very well. Unfortunately for the boys their song Complice ended last in the first semi final of this years contest. Which is a shame as it's a decent tune with the interesting voice of Nicola Della Valle as a bonus. Next week sees the band performing at the Cerbul De Aur festival in Braşov, Romania. For the occasion Miodio have recorded a coverversion of the 1994 Romanian entry Dincolo De Nori (by Dan Bittman of Holograf fame, 14th place). It's in Italian, it's titled Oltre Le Nuvole and you can download it for free at Miodio's MySpace. Thank You MiOdio!. You can also listen to two versions of Complice and another song.

FRÄMLING
Carola, back-up Queen Of Sweden. Främling, back-up National Anthem Of Sweden. Below is an Estonian version of the Swedish 1983 entry that finished third in the Münich contest and even became a hit in several European countries.
The Estonian version, Rändur, was originally recorded by Jüri-Peeters band with vocals by Linda Pannas on a 1983 LP Laulusild 3 which was released in Sweden on the Estonian Voice label. Still looking for that one, me.

Fashionally challenged Sirje & Rein Kurg recorded a cheerful version of the song for their 2002 album Veidi Õnne. The title track being a version of Ein Bisschen Frieden, yep, Germany 1982. Sirje & Rein also recorded Congratulations (as Õnnesoovid, CD Tropicana).



ORTAL
Chacun Pense A Soi wasn't one of the French greats in Eurovision. The song by Ortal finished 23rd with 11 point in the 2005 contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. In 2003 she recorded the album Bar Mitsvah where she interprètes Hallelouyah, a.k.a. as Hallelujah, the Israel 1979 winner by Milk and Honey. You can listen to the song and the other tracks of the album here at Deezer. And even buy them!

BABY DOLLS
And one more. Waterloo. Mamma Mia, Musical, Movie, Meryl, ABBA revival, UK #1 album / US # 1 album, unless you have been under a rock you read the news and know it all.
But a year before the first ABBA revival (so in 1991) there were a few Italian producers who thought it was a clever idea to make a club version of the 1974 Eurovision winner. (and I use the term Club lightly) They recruited some girls, baptised them the Baby Dolls and didn't put them on the record sleeve. (Still Novo Records SNR 001791)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

U.K. 1968: Congratulations, コングラチュレーションズ

Kyu Sakamoto (1941 - 1985) is one of the most popular singers of all times in Japan. Even though his life came to an early end in a plane crash over 20 years ago he is remembered as one of the most popular singers in Japanese pop music, and the first Japanese singer who took one of his songs to international fame.


The song Ue O Muite Arukō (上を向いて歩こう) originally from 1961, became Sukiyaki to the world and it was a world wide hit in 1963. It reached the #1 spot in the US Billboard top 100. There are many coverversions of the song including another US top 3 hit by Taste Of Honey (1981), A European hit for the Blue Diamonds who recorded Dutch and German, a version by Canadienne Lucille Starr and one by ill fated Selena (who also a tragic death, way too young, see comments).

But Sukiyaki isn't a Eurovision song, and even though Eurovision expands to the east faster than Usain Bolt, it's not likely Japan will be giving us their poing anytime soon.

So better get to the point: Kyu Sakamoto recorded a Japanese version of the happy birthday evergreen Congratulations, the #2 of the 1968 contest originally by Cliff Richard. Cliff was robbed of the first place by Massiel and her La La La and allegedly general Franco.
Sir Cliffs career is as old as Volare this year and he will kick off on a celebratory tour later this year. So Sir Cliff, here's to you, コングラチュレーションズ.




EUROVISION, BIG IN JAPAN?
I've compiled another list (I love lists) of all the Japanese Eurovision covers I know of. It includes details on:
- all versions in Japanese by original Eurovision singers
- all coverversions in Japanese
- all coverversions by Japanese artists
with picture sleeves for your viewing pleasure
It has been an ongoing puzzle for several years and I don't claim it's in anyway conclusive or correct, so any additions, comments and corrections are very welcome.
You can download the file (word.doc) here: Big In Japan / Big In Japan

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lita Roza (1926 - 2008) (UPDATED)

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? In the U.S. it was Patti Page windowshopping for a domestic animal but in the U.K. the song was a # 1 hit for Lita Roza in 1953.
She wasn't too pleased that she was remembered mostly for the cheesy doggie novelty song, as she was an acclaimed jazz and pop singer.

Lita Roza, born in 1926 in Liverpool, was the first female singer to top the U.K. charts (with doggie) and she scored two more hits with Hey There and Jimmy Unknown in the mid-50's.
In 1957 she entered the U.K. Eurovision pre-selection with the song The Way It Goes. (unreleased). She ended third in the final that was won by Patricia Bredin and her operatic song All (still holding the record for shortest ESC entry ever).
In 1959 she tried again with the song This Is My Town (Pye 7N15190) and ended 2nd. Sing Little Birdie by Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson won the U.K. selection and became the runners up in the 4th Eurovision Song Contest.
Lita Roza tried again in 1960, but her song (see update below) stranded in the first of two semi-finals.
Like any singer with an ear for a tune she recorded a version of Volare in 1958 and released it on single (PYE 7N15155) and 78rpm.

Lita Roza died two days ago aged 82. You can find out more about the singer and her life at the Lita Roza official website. You can watch a tribute here at Youtube.



UPDATE: Lita Roza preselections
Thanks to Thomas here's an update on Lita Roza's preselection songs. Different variations of the listing of early U.K. selections can be found on the web but Thomas has been digging in the BBC written archives and the results concerning Lita Roza's songs are here.
1957 The Way It Goes
Lita Roza won the first of three heats with this song written by Ronnie Booth. In the final she ended third with 18 points behind All by by the Malcolm Lockyer Quartet and by Patricia Bredin (it was performed twice) and Once sung by Pauline Shepherd. All was subsequently performed at Eurovision by Patricia Bredin and finished 7th.
1959 This Is My Town
Written by John S. Rossiter. Won the second preselection heat but was beaten by Sing Little Birdie as mentioned above.
1960 Unexpectedly
Written by Susan Morrel(l) (& possibly David Greer?). With this song Lita Roza won the first heat but the final was won by Looking High, High, High by Bryan Johnson & the George Mitchell Singers. The points or finishing order of the other songs is unknown. Bryan Johnson took his song to a 2nd place in the contest.
In other sources Unexpectedly is credited to Marion Keene but her song was Love, Kisses and Heartaches which stranded in the 2nd heat.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

All Kinds Of Everything From China

2008, Beijing, Olympics, etcetera.
I'm not going to deep into the politics (or the sports for that matter) of it all here, I'm sure you'll find enough websites for that. Opening Ceremony was great, but I caught some zzzz's too.The square drummers at the start were totally amazing.
Unfortunately the TV forgot to include any televoting numbers when all the countries marched on, missed opportunity I say.
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But I did notice a complete absence of Chinese visitors to Eurocovers, when normally there is always a steady flow of friends from Beijing and Guangzhou visiting my blog.

I find it hard to imagine that a blog like Eurocovers should all of a sudden be branded dangerous to national interest, so I have to assume our Chinese friends are just to busy right now with watching the Olympics. Or relocating.


潘巧丹 - Michelle - All Kinds Of Everything (in English)
- from 2005 CD Angel Of The Morning (pic. right)
区瑞强 - Albert Au - All Kinds Of Everything (in English)
- from CD Simple Folk (2000), Albert Au is a Hong Kong cantopop singer and DJ at Radio Television Hong Kong.
胭花四乐 - Rouge Hot - Love Is Blue (in Chinese)
- from the CD Oriental Instruments Vs Occidental Music, (pictured top left). Odd version, sounds more Barok than Oriental to me, but lovely still.


and check out these earlier Eurocovers posts with Chinese related Eurocovers:
鍾玲玲 - Betty Chung - Puppet On A String
櫻櫻 - Lara and the Trailers - Puppet On A String
Sakura Teng & Quests - Puppet On A String
難得有情人 - Shirley Kwan - Le dernier qui a parlé (France 1991)
雷安娜- Annabelle Lui - Johnny Blue (Germany 1981)

Denmark 1963: Dansevise - Sinne Eeg

Danish Jazz singer Sinne Eeg has released a new version of the 1963 Eurovision winner Dansevise (Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann, Denmark) on her new album Kun En Drøm. (Released last april on Red Dot Music / EMI)
You can hear the song and others on Sinne Eegs Myspace.

Sinne Eegs version of Dansevise proves again how timeless the song is and although the arrangement is far from the original, Eegs voice remarkably reminds of Grethe Ingmanns original version.

Kun En Drøm is available in Danish (online) record shops now.

More Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann at Eurocovers here.
Dansevise by Laila Kinnunen is hereand by Anne-Lie Rydé here

Eurocovers South Africa - Leandie Lombaard

South Africa is the place to be for Eurocovers these days. Several artists have released albums with one or two coverversions of mostly recent Eurovision songs.

LEANDIE LOMBAARD takes it a bit further.
She is a sixteen year old singer who just released her debut CD Wees Net…. (Don't be….) which includes reworkings of six Eurovision songs.
It's a coherent collection of fresh pop and schlager songs which are well produced. Stand out track is Net Jy (Främling) which surely deserves some airplay on the Afrikaans radio stations and has the potential to be a smash hit in any year.

I need you (English) = I love you mi vida (Spain 2007 - d'Nash)
Duiselig (Afrikaans) = Vertigo (Malta 2007 - Olivia Lewis)
Net jy (Afrikaans) = Främling (Sweden 1983 - Carola)
Mxit (Afrikaans) = Danca Comigo (Portugal 2007 - Sabrina)
Die for you (English) original by Antique, Greece 2001
Dans met my (Afrikaans) = Ven a bailar comigo (Norway 2007 - Guri Schanke)
and as a bonus track there is My Hart Brand which is an Afrikaans version of I Love You Mi Vida

The CD also includes Swedish preselection songs Samba Sambero (as: Karjoedel Kar Jy, in Afrikaans) and Under Your Spell (as: Onthou Jy Nog, Afrikaans/English) and several other songs, 15 tracks in total.

Currently the CD is only available in South Africa only, mainly at Leandie's performances, but I'll see if I can get some more details soon.
UPDATE Now Leandie has her own website where you can listen to excerpts of the songs

Some other recent releases are tenor Jannie Moolmans CD Ek Kom Huistoe which includes Vandag (Le Grand Soir, Belgium 2005), Jaycee Crauses CD Ek Weet with Steeds Verlief (Everything, Greece 2006) and Waar Is Jy (Tornero, Romania 2006) and the earlier mentioned albums by Jennifer Zamudio and Patricia Lewis.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

1966: Tooong Tiki Tong - Fernando, Filippo & Suzie

A classic Eurovision moment: Milly Scott descending the stairs (Youtube) of the Eurovision stage in style, singing her tóóóng ki tong riki tong tong tong intro to the 1966 Dutch entry Fernando & Filippo. A silly tale about one bloke running off to San Antonio to get the girl another bloke was waiting for in Santiago.
But there's true eurovision history in there. Milly Scott was the first black singer ever on the Eurovision stage and it took 11 contests for it to happen. The two measly points Milly collected came from the United Kingdom and Ireland. One each.*
Milly Scott had her own TV shows in the Netherlands in the mid sixties and was asked to compete in the Dutch national final along 4 other artists, who each had 3 songs in the competition. She won the Dutch final by a huge margin, but it seemed Europe wasn't ready for Milly.
Fernando & Filippo was her only chart hit in the Netherlands but she continued as a popular singer on radio & TV. Milly Scott later worked in Sweden, Germany and the U.K..
In the 90's she made a comeback as an actress in the popular TV series Vrouwenvleugel (Womens wing, drama series about a women's prision)
Milly Scott recorded Fernando & Filippo in Dutch, Spanish and English and I know of just a handful of coververions. http://www.millyscott.nl/

Conny van Bergen (Dutch)
- on VA LP Songfestival Successen (Philips 625807)
Mayte Gaos - Fernando Y Felipe (Spanish)
- on 7"
Mayte Gaos was born in Spain but worked as a singer and actress in Mexico from age 15. She scored several hits like El Gran Tomas (Norman), Vete Con Ella (Chapell Of Love) and Susy La Coquetona.
Los Jolly’s - Fernado Y Felipe (Spanish)
- on EP (Columbia SCGE-81146)
Los Jolly's are Los Mismos
Suzie (Swedish) - Fernando och Filippo (see below)
- on EP (Sonet : SXP 4087)
+ instrumental by The Three Jacksons (Accordion)

SUZIE
Suzie (Maria Pereboom, 1946 - 2008) was born in the Netherlands, lived in Sweden and had her biggest career in Germany.

Her biggest hit in Germany was Johnny Komm which was a German translation of her first hit Johnny Loves Me. The single became a millionseller in 1964 after the b-side Du, Du Gehst Vorbei re-charted. Other hits were Max Und Moritz, Ich War Allein and Ich Will Immer Nur Dich (pictured)
In the Netherlands she had two hits only: Johnny Loves Me in 1964 and heartfelt classic De Wereld Is Leeg Zonder Jou in 1966 (which is the Dutch version of Du, Du Gehst Vorbei)

Suzie also recorded Gib Mir Mein Herz Zurück which is a German version of Quel Cœur Vas-Tu Briser?, Switzerlands Eurovision entry from 1967 originally by Géraldine (last with 0 points).
Suzie recorded in Dutch, German, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, Danish and French.
She died in Sweden March 2008 and I'm sad to say her death went by almost unnoticed.




Read more about Suzie at Ready Steady Girls


--
* In 1966 each jury gave 5,3 and 1 point to their top three

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Men In Tights: Yugoslavia 1968, The Troubadours Of Dubrovnik

Here's a few coverversions of the 1968 entry from Yugoslavia: Jedan Dan by The Troubadours of Dubrovnik, Dubrovački Trubaduri to their moms.
The Eurovision performance was much talked about and the boys outfits later featured in the movie Robin Hood - Men In Tights.
In the Yugoslavian national selection the Troubadours represented TV Zagreb (Croatia)
The song ended 8th with 7 points in the (pre-douze poing system) contest in the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The medieval style folkloristic song even went on to be a minor hit in some countries including Netherlands and Belgium.
The Troubadours also recorded an English version of the song titled A Day Or Two, which was released on a flexidisc (Jugoton F-0665) in Yugoslavia and a single in Finland (Star records SW 2002). Both are amongst the rarest Eurovision releases. The original (hit) version was released in several countries on singles and EPs.

Jedan Dan has been covered a few times and I have listed details on the ones I know. But I think there should be more out there, including some from Yugoslavia. So if you have any additions, let me know.

Le Quartet de Lyon - Dim dam dam (French)
- 7"& EP (Canada Disc AZ 4429 / EP Disc AZ EP1211)
Os Keepers - Um dia (Portuguese)
- from EP Eurovisão (pictured below) which also includes La La La and Congratulations
Die Nilsen Brothers - Zeit ist Geld (German)
- from 7" (Populär 3072)
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Die Nilsen Brothers had a #1 hit in Germany 1n 1959 with their German rendition of Tom Dooley which was the #3 best selling single of the year.
Ronnie Lake - Thomas Jan (Dutch)
- b-side to 7" La La La (Spains winner) (Philips JF 333 989)
Ronnie Lake (Roel v.d. Meer) was a featured singer with Chapter II (prev. Young Ones), collectable artists from The Hague beat movement.
Lize Marke - Met Sint Jan (Flemish)
- on LP Lize Marke (1969, REGAL RECORDS 23018)
Lize Marke represented Belgium in the 1965 contest with Als Het Weer Lente Is
+ instrumental versions by Roman Butina (Hammond) and Willy Schobben (Trumpet)


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spain 1961 - Estando Contigo - La Lupe & Antoñita Moreno

Here's a little tribute to the Spanish debut entry already in the Youtube below this post. Estando Contigo by Conchita Bautista ended 8th at the contest back in 1961.
But Estando Contigo really became the evergreen it is today after Marisol adopted the song for the movie Ha llegado un ángel in 1962. You can find more about this Marisol version in Eurocovers post The Kids Are Alright part 1.
Conchita Bautista entered Eurovision again in 1965 with another classic Que Bueno, Que Bueno, but that ended with the dreaded nil poing. But watch Eurocovers for some fab Que Bueno's soon.

La Lupe (1936 - 1992) - Queen of latin soulA latin singer that has always captured my imagination is La Lupe (Lupe Victoria Yolí Raymond). A Salsa singer born in Santiago de Cuba with a typical superstar life and a tragic ending to match.
I first got to know about La Lupe after Dutch radio repeatedly played her totally crazy version of Peggy Lee's Fever as a must hear cult track.
After a while a found a great Best Of CD (including Fever) on Salsa Masters / Sony which still frequents my CD player.

La Lupe's first band was Trio Tropicuba with her then husband Yoyo Reyes but after two years she broke up with her husband and the band split up. By then she was a popular singer in Cuban clubs and her outragious style attracted many fans. But not Fidel Castro I guess, as in 1962 La Lupe emigrated to the USA: "Castro take my club, my money, my car"

In New York she worked with Mongo Santamaria and later with Tito Puente, with whom she recorded her most successful work.

But in the 70's, after she split up with Puente, things went downhill and she moved to Puerto Rico where she could still find work in TV shows and perform at concerts.
When that dried up she returned to New York, but the medical expenses for her 2nd husband had left her broke.
Come the 80's things took several turns for the worst. She was living on benefits, broke her spine in a domestic accident , hanging the curtains and her appartment burnt down.
In 1985 she reunited with with Tito Puente for a performance where she sang from a wheel chair and money was raised to pay for her medical bills.

Legend has it that La Lupe rose from her wheelchair after she was blessed by a evangelical priest. (But maybe she just put on one of her own records).
She turned to religious music and her last 4 albums testified of her love for God and all his miracles.
In 1992 La lupe died in the Bronx, survided by two children and her 2nd husband.

In her recording career La Lupe's musical styles range from popular salsa to local styles from Venezuela (Merengue), Puerto Rico and Venezuela. She wrote many of her songs herself and she covered popular songs like My Way, Unchained Melody, Ciao Amore, Fever (featured below), the Singing Nuns Dominique and the Beatles' Yesterday.
In 1971 La Lupe released the LP La Lupe en Madrid - Volumen 17 (Tico records, SLP-1229) , which seems to be her 17th LP. This includes Estando Contigo, Spains first Eurovision entry.
La Lupe en Madrid was re-issued on CD in the 90's on Fania Records. Most earlier La Lupe records are now very collectable, for the musical content but also for the fabulous artwork and photography.

I recommend you browse YouTube for some La Lupe videos and be amazed. Jean Paul Sartre loved her ('she's a musical animal'), Picasso thought she was a genius and so will you.
La Lupe compilation cds are available from most webshops but if you're lucky (and rich) you can find some goodies in the vinyl shop, latin section.


Antoñita Moreno
And as a bonus here's another Estando Contigo by a legendary singer. At least I get the impression she's legendary (she certainly looks the part,) but I haven't found out much about the singer yet. It's a version by Antoñita Moreno who is an actress and Copla singer from Sevilla, Spain. She was quite famous in the 50's but the rest you'll have to find out for yourself. Some great pictures can be found on this site. Originally released on an EP (Columbia ECGE 71475) (Thanks to Armando for the picture sleeve!)