Monday, May 18, 2020

2020: Storms Don't Last Forever

Update: Check out SuRie's new EP Rye at your favorite digital stores.
It includes a lovely coverversion of Silent Storm (Norway's 2014 entry by Carl Espen) similar to the one performed at SuRie's Lockdown Eurovision Party 2.0. plus four new songs.
Rye Tracks:
1. Silent Storm
2. I Think
3. Lines
4. Easy
5. Rye

Rye EP artwork
SuRie, Eurovision star, put on her loudest glitter dress and gave us a wonderful performance of a stunning selection of Eurovision tunes. A real Eurocovers smorgasbord.
Her Lockdown Eurovision party 2.0 (1.0 was marred by sound gremlins) made me even appreciate songs I didn’t know I liked (Think About Things or Move for example).
It’s a 1 hour acoustic show, now available on Youtube to watch (or just listen while you’re doing those isolation DIY jobs you never knew had to be done).
Thanks SuRie, and to all: stay safe!

SuRie's Facebook has the tracklist here.
SuRie has a website too.
Here's SuRie's page at the Lisbon Collection with all you need to know about her Storm.

SuRie's [ˈdʌz(ə)n] CD 
You can also check out SuRie's 2019 album [ˈdʌz(ə)n] which has coverversions of a slightly different kind. (Prince, Tori Amos, U2, Stevie Wonder to name a few)
The 12-track album is available through all your favorite digitessen but only the CD version has an exclusive recording of her Eurovision entry Storm (as track 13). Yay! for CD's!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sissel - Walk Away

Digital single artwork
Sissel, Sissel Kyrkjebø that is, has released a new digital track in her Reflections project.
Reflections V (5) already. Reflections is a project where the singer will release a song every week for 50 weeks to celebrate her big birthday.
And it's beautiful.

Of course Sissel is a well known classical and crossover singer from Norway (Here’s a nice bio) and you may have spotted her in the interval of the 1986 Eurovision Song Contest.
Or singing the Olympic tune in Lillehammer in 1994.

Walk Away is the English version of the first Eurovision entry for Udo Jürgens (Warum nur warum, Austria 1964, 6th place).
Pre- Merci Cherie, Jürgens’ song was made popular by Matt Monro who scored a worldwide hit with it.
Matt Monro’s own 1964 entry I Love The Little Things did better at Eurovision (2nd)
but didn’t make the charts.

Warum Nur Warum/Walk Away has since been recorded by many other artists like Brenda Lee (who even recorded it in Japanese), Byron Lee and Mighty Sparrow, Virginia
Lee (that’s 3 Lee’s there), Jane Morgan, Julie Rogers, Nancy Wilson, Timi Yuro
and Eurovision stars Alice and Helen Kessler, Michael Ball and Lasse Mårtenson.

Thanks for the tip Mikael!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Liesbeth List, Adieu

Dutch singer and national treasure Liesbeth List has left us.
And as this is Eurocovers, the picture above is her 2nd ever single from 1964, a coverversion of Elle Etait Si Jolie by Alain Barriere, the French Eurovision entry from 1963.
I nicked the picture from Discogs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Rotterdam or anywhere....

Gjon's Tear
Eurovision set sail for Rotterdam 2020, but it wasn't meant to be.
Of course we're all disappointed but it's obvious we have more important matters on our hands now.

Thanks to all the artists and broadcasters who have put so much work in their entries and to the organisation of the Rotterdam event.

Please be safe, wherever you are. Take care of yourself and your loved ones and hopefully we'll meet in Rotterdam in 2021.

The Rotterdam Collection still has all the details on the 2020 songs and versions and will be updated if there's any news.

And I know in the light of the situation it's trivial, but the 2020 CD release will go ahead and is expected to drop on May 8. (More info here)

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Rotterdam Weeks: Someday, Morgen, Y Fori

Above is a lovely coverversion of the Dutch 1968 entry Morgen (Tomorrow), originally by Ronnie Tober.
The coverversion is by The New Faces, a Scottish trio who released a whole range of singles but never made it to the charts.
The band would have been perfect Eurovision material, if you listen to their songs (there's some on Youtube) they're a good mix of 60's beat and cheesy stuff in Puppet On A String style.
Above was uploaded by Mr Charlie Chalk, recommended Youtuber preserving many almost forgotten songs.

Dehongliad Cymraeg Y Fori
Welsh Eurovision singer Mary Hopkin recorded the song as Y Fori (Tomorrow).
It first appeared on a 1968 EP Mary Ac Edward, Mary being Mary Hopkin and Edward Edward Morris Jones.
On the EP only the Welsh lyricist was credited  (Geiriau Ann Clee)
When it was released on a compilation LP in 1979, The Welsh World Of Mary Hopkin, the composers credited were Friml / Hooker instead of the original Joop Stokkermans, Theo Stengers (and Clee)
And on a later compilation which was probably not very official, Y Fori was categorized as Trad. (Traditional) oh well.
The recording is a bit odd too, it appears to be fading much too early, at 2 minutes, while Mary is still happily singing along. Edward is not on Y Fori.
Other covers on the EP are Welsh versions of Something Stupid and Guantanamera.
The Mary ac Edward EP
Mary Hopkins' biggest hits were Those Were The Days in 1968 and Goodbye in 1969. She also recorded Spanish, German, Italian and French versions of Those Were The Days. (For you language fans)
In 1969 she performed at the Sanremo contest in Italy. All songs were performed twice of which one rendition was by an international singer. Sergio Endrigo's Lontano Dagli Occhi was performed by our Mary. The song finished 2nd.
Mary Hopkin entered Eurovision for the U.K. in 1970, she ended 2nd with Knock, Knock Who's There? and scored another international millionseller.

Ronnie's first English version single
Ronnie Tober
Ronnie Tober himself recorded several versions of Morgen and indeed Someday (see below)
A re-recording of the English version (recorded in London) was probably aimed at the U.K. market with a more "British" beat sound than the original.
Morgen ended 16th at the contest (out of 17) with only 1 point (thank you Italy).
He scored 9 top 40 hits in the Netherlands but Morgen wasn't one of them.
His 1965 preselection effort Geweldig (Grrreat) did better (it got to #23) and is probably better remembered than Morgen.
See below for all Ronnie's releases and coverversions of Morgen and the Eurovision tunes Ronnie covered himself.

At the end of this page you'll find the Spotify playlist with songs from this post available.

Morgen - Ronnie Tober releases
Netherlands 7" Morgen / Die ouwe pianola (Philips JF 333 966)
Netherlands 7" Someday (1st) / I feel like crying (Philips JF 333 978)
Netherlands 7" Wiederseh'n / Someday (2nd version) (Philips JF 318 967)
U.K. 7" Wiederseh'n / Someday (2nd) (Decca F22769), promo exists
Norway 7" Wiederseh'n / Someday (2nd) (Philips JF 318 967)
Netherlands LP: 15 Jaar Ronnie Tober (Telstar TF 8198 TL) has Morgen (new recording 1978)
Netherlands LP/CD: Zilver (Qualitel 2571/72) has Morgen (new recording 1988)
Netherlands CD: Holland Amerika Story (VA, Qualitel 252) has Morgen (in Medley, 1988)*
* medley also includes Ronnie singing Netherlands 57, 80 and 60 plus his 1965 pre-song Geweldig.

National Song Contest
Ahead of the Dutch National Final (Nationaal Songfestival) an untelevised pre-contest was held in which all four finalists sang three songs. Even though information about this is incomplete the other songs by Ronnie Tober are known to be Die Ouwe Pianola (That old pianola) and Als Ik Speel (When I play). The Pianola song ended up on the original single  Morgen b-side.
All three songs were released on Ronnie's 1968 LP Ronnie's Songparade (Fontana 826 405 QY)

The original Dutch version single
Morgen / Someday - coverversions
Blue Diamonds - Someday
- Netherlands 7"  b-side to Angelina (Netherlands CNR UK 10 002
- Germany 7" b -side to Angelina (Germany Ariola 14101 AT)
- France 7" a-side (France Ducretet Thomson FD 103)  (Thanks Michel-Pierre!)
- South Africa 7"  a-side (South Africa STER CNR 9509)
The New Faces - Someday
- U.K. 7"  (Decca F 12862), promo exists
- Germany 7"  (Decca DL 25 358) in p.s., promo exists
- South Africa 7"  (Decca FM 7429) in p.s.
Mary Hopkin - Y Fori a.k.a. Yfory
- U.K.  EP Mary Ac Edward (Cambrian SEP 420)
Draaiorgel De Arabier (Street organ instrumental)
- Netherlands EP,  in medley  (Philips JF 334510)

Ronnie Tober Eurocovers
(All sung in Dutch, all Netherlands releases)
1966 Merci Cherie / Een Hart Is Geen Hart (A heart is no heart)
- The Austrian winner by Udo Jürgens and the U.K. entry A Man Without Love (Kenneth McKellar)
- 7" (Philips 333 511 JF) comes in two sleeve variations
1969 Leve Het Leven (Long live life)
- Spanish 1969 winner Vivo Cantando by Salomé
- on LP Ronnie Tober Successen (Philips 873017 UBY)
1972 Als Het Om De Liefde Gaat (If it's about love) - with Robert Goliembiewski
- Dutch 1972 entry by Sandra and Andres
-  Tack 2 on cdsingle  Naar De Kermis (1995, GayKrant PTS 3636 1395)
1993 Mijn Amerika (My America)
- Coverversion of Mama Corsica, the 1993 French entry by Patrick Fiori
- cdsingle (Koch 346 078)

If you know of any other release or coverversion of Morgen, please let me know.

Ronnie Tober Website and Facebook

Monday, February 17, 2020

Goodbye Pearl Carr (1923 - 2020)

British Eurovision pioneer Pearl Carr has passed away at the age of 98.
With her husband Teddy Johnson she represented the United Kingdom in 1959 with Sing Little Birdie and ended second behind the Dutch Teddy.
Sing Little Birdie became an evergreen even though it only made it to #12 in the U.K. charts. It got to #8 in the Dutch charts and was a popular song in Scandinavian countries.

The oldest tracable record featuring Pearl Carr I could find is Blue For A Boy with Dick James (1951).
Update: No it isn't, Lou Preager's Hang On The Bell Nelly from 1949 features Pearl Carr and Rusty Hurren on vocals.

Later Pearl Carr was a vocalist fore Dave King and the Keynotes. She was a frequent singer and comedian on various radio shows until she met her husband Teddy Johnson.
From then on they continued as a duo, performing on many British TV shows.
A rare record in picture sleeve was the EP Meet Teddy and Pearl which includes the 1957 single Tomorrow Tomorrow.
About a dozen singles followed up to 1965.
They only managed to score one more U.K. top 40 hit: How Wonderful To Know (#23 in 1961)
Teddy Johnson passed away in 2018 also at the age of 98.

Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson participated twice in the U.K. selection for Eurovision, each time with two songs.

Eurovision Song Contest British Final 1959
- Sing Little Birdie (finalist and winner)
- That’s It, That’s Love (semi) unreleased

Eurovision Song Contest British Final 1960
- When The Tide Turns (finalist)
- Pickin' Petals (semi)
Both songs on U.K. 7” HMV 45-POP 697
It was Teddy's brother Bryan Johnson who took the trophy and ended up 2nd in the Eurovision Song Contest with Looking High, High, High.

Sing Little Birdie releases
U.K. 7”   (Columbia 45-DB 4275), promos exist
U.K. 78 rpm   (Columbia DB 4275)
Netherlands 7”     (Columbia 45-DB 4275)
Germany 7”    (Columbia  C 21166)
Norway 7”    (Columbia 45 DD 697) Yellow vinyl
US 7”    (Capitol F 4211) possibly promo only

Sing Little Birdie proved to be a popular tune in Scandinavia, with 11 listed coverversions in Nordic languages. 
Some more Eurocovers post with The Birdie Song: Teddy Scholten, Oslo Weeks, Carla Boni, Festivalfavoriter, Marie Dieke / Ria Solar.

Below is a list of all the coverversions I know of. There's probably more, please let us know.
(It's a picture / scan of a word document, so it will be here forever, click it and it gets bigger and you can download it.)

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Rotterdam weeks: A Dream Come True for Cilla Black fans

Cilla Black, British institution, I guess she needs no introduction to most Eurocovers readers.
Below (at the end of this post) you can hear her lovely coverversion of the Dutch 1984 entry Ik Hou Van Jou as A Dream Come True. (It's Rotterdam weeks after all).
Cilla Black released her version of the Dutch classic in 1993 on her album Through The Years. (CD, LP and MC)
A Dream Come True also ended up as the b-side of the single Heart And Soul (recorded with Dusty Springfield). (7"inch and cdsingle)

You're Sensational!
The legendary singer, TVshow host and all round showbizz star passed away in 2015.
Now, for the first time, an unreleased song is released. On Valentines day!
You're Sensational was recorded in the early 70's and only recently uncovered. The track is remixed by Matt Pop.
There are two versions: An extended remix and a radio edit.
It's a digital only single (sadly no cdsingle) but let's all buy it or stream it and get Cilla back to #1. (I'm talking to you Brits here, make it happen!).

You're Sensational at iTunes, Amazon
and a link to all digitessen

A nice bit of Eurovision trivia about Cilla Black, who of course would have been the dream representative for the U.K.. In fact (or: allegedly, to be safe) she was asked if she was interested to do Eurovision in 1968. Cilla didn't think it was a good idea to have another female singer after Sandie Shaw's victory and she declined.
She ended up hosting the Song For Europe contest that year with Cliff Richard in her BBC TV Show Cilla and Cliff ended up with Congratulations and a 2nd place in the London Eurovision.

I Can't Go On Living Without You
In 1969 it was Lulu's turn to do A Song For Europe. One of the six songs she performed was I Can't Go On Living Without You written by then little known songwriter duo Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Hard to believe now, but the song came last.
Cilla Black recorded the song for her LP  Sweet Inspiration (1970) and it was released as a single in Venezuela, New Zealand and as a b-side in Japan.

Links and sources
Cilla Black Website and FB
Matt Pop FB and more Matt Pop at Eurocovers
More Ik Hou Van Jou coverversions posts

Monday, February 10, 2020

La Strada Per Rotterdam: Diodato's Piove

Here's a lovely videoclip of Piove by Diodato, the 2020 Eurovision singer for Italy.

Piove a.k.a. Ciao Ciao Bambina was 2nd the Sanremo winner for Domenico Modugno and also his 2nd Eurovision entry. The song ended (only) 6th in the contest and was another worldwide hit after the Grammy winning 1958 entry Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare).

Diodato's Piove is taken from the 2014 album A Ritrovar Bellezza including coverversions of several Sanremo and other Italian classics.

Diodato will perform Fai Rumore in the Rotterdam contest. You can read all about that and full Sanremo 2020 release stuff and more Diodato info here at the Rotterdam Collection.

Find more: Piove at the 10.000 coverversions project and other related Eurocovers posts.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Rotterdam weeks: Una Salsa Para Amsterdam

40 years ago the Eurovision Song Contest was held in The Hague, Netherlands. Not because the Dutch had won but because Israel ran out of steam after two victories.
The Dutch entry, Amsterdam by Maggie MacNeal did well and ended 5th.
On the "Is it a classic meter" it scores about 8 I guess, it's one of those tunes many people can still sing along to after 40 years.
It has been covered a few times and remarkably half of those are in Finnish.
Here's one I didn't know about yet even though it's almost 20 years old.

Gerardo Rosales a.k.a. Señor Tambo is from Venezuela but he moved to the Netherlands in 1993.
He has recorded over 20 albums and worked as a percussionist for many artists and orchestras. Live and in the studio.

This track is from the CD La Salsa Es Mi Vida which was recorded in New York and released on the Dutch Jazz label Javaanse Jongens Tracks in 2001. (and even on SACD, I know some of you like that)
Vocals are by Astrid "La Holandesa" (Astrid Pulles)
It's a Salsa style Amsterdam for the dancefloor and I love it and so will you.

Gerardo Rosales website

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Rotterdam Weeks: Cristina Jorio - Come una volta

Italian coverversion of the first Dutch winner Net Als Toen by Corry Brokken (1957)
Originally released on a 78rpm (La Voce Del Padrone HN 3821)
Cristina Jorio only uses the refrain for her version, which is repeated as an instrumental part before she sings it again.

Find about more about the original song and singer Corry Brokken here at Eurocovers.
The updated 2016 post includes release info on Corry Brokken's own versions and a list of coverversions.

2020 The Rotterdam Collection is here