Thursday, March 29, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Chile, Argentina, Mexico

The Year Of The Puppet takes us to all corners of the globe. Here's three versions of the song made by South American stars of the 60's.

Chile - Gloria Benavides - Marionetas en la cuerdaSinger and comedienne Gloria Benavides, born in 1952, was a child star rising in the early 60's, mainly with Spanish versions of worldwide hits like Norman (Sue Thompson) and Amor por teléfono (Telephone lover, Connie Francis). She was a part of La Nueva Ola Chilena, the generation of young rock'n'roll and pop stars of Chile in the 50's and 60's.

She made her actual radio debut at the age of three in the popular Uncle Alex Club (Club del Tio Alejandro).
Her teenager career was mainly musical, but she finally focussed more on acting and comedy, resulting in the mid 80's show 'La show de Gloria', a regular TV show with comedy and music. Benavides is still regarded as one of the biggest comedy stars of Chile.

Gloria Benavides also recorded No Tengo Edad Par Amar Te (Non Ho l'Eta, Italy's 1964 winner) and Primo O Poi from the 1965 San Remo contest (10th)

Violeta Rivas is a hugely popular singer in Argentina in the from the 60's to today.
You can read all about Violeta Rivas at her homepage (in Spanish)

Here is her Eurocovers Discography (all songs in Spanish)

Dios como te amo (Italy 1966, Dio come ti amo by Domenico Modugno)
- b-side to Ninguno me puede juzgar (RCA Victor 31A-084)
- EP Canciones del Festival de San Remo 1966 (RCA Victor)
with 4 San Remo 1966 songs
- also on LP with the same title with 12 San Remo 1966 songs (RCA Víctor AVL 3650)

Merci Cherie (Austria 1966 winner, original by Udo Jürgens)
- 7" single (RCA Victor 31A-0963)
- EP Sin Final (RCA Victor 3AE-3536)

Titere (U.K. 1967 Puppet On A String - Sandie Shaw)
- 7" single (RCA Victor 31A-1100)
- EP Kilimandjaro - (RCA Victor 3AE-3607)

Dios como te amo & Titere can be found 2004 compilation CD 20 Secretos de amor (BMG Argentina)

Mexico - Los Rockin Devil's - Muñeco de cuerdaLos Rockin Devil's were a rock band from Tijuana, Mexico, part of a huge wave of rock'n'roll bands that emerged in the 60's.
At the height of their fame they produced 2 LP's each year (1964-1969) on which they covered all the Rock 'n' roll classics in Spanish but also turned some Eurovision songs into fresh pop hits.

Los Devil's Eurocovers, all in Spanish

No tengo edad para amarte (Italy 1964 winner Non ho l'eta by Gigliola Cingquetti)
- on LP Los Rockin Devils (Orfeon 1964)
Muñeco de cuerda (Puppet on a string)
- on LP Nuevos Hit's de Los Rockin Devil's (Orfeon 1967)
Bum Bang A Bang - (Lulu's co-winner, UK 1969)
- on LP Los Nuevos hits de Los Rockin Devil's (Orfeon 1969)

Bio and Discography can be found on the Los Rockin Devil's website

The Year Of The Puppet celebrates the 40 year anniversary of Sandie Shaw's Eurovision victory with Puppet On A String. Introduction to the series in this Eurocovers post.
Other versions already featured are from France, Singapore (Mandarin-Chinese), Jamaica. Yugoslavia, Estonia, U.K. (Comedy), Iceland, Lithuania, USA (Musical), Spain, Brasil, UK punk, Norway (gloom) Norway, Turkey, Portugal, Basque country Organland, Tirol, Denmark, CzechoSlovakia, Hungary, Russia, Yugoslavia (Slovenia) more to come....

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hey! - Wild Dancing in Vietnam and Uzbekistan

Việt Nam, until yesterday I only knew a bunch of 70's Eurovision songs covered by Vietnamese artists, many French covers including some that weren't even French originally. Songs like L'Amour est bleu (Luxembourg 1967), Après toi (Luxembourg 1972) and Si (Italy 1974) have all gotten the Vietnamese makeover, basically singing the song twice, in French and in Vietnamese, resulting in tedious 6 minute versions that also quite often suffer from a very cheap production.
Of course there are exceptions, the late legendary singer Ngoc Lan is beyond critisism, Elvis Phuong has a very cool name and My Tam's version of Poupée De Cire, Poupée de son (Luxembourg 1965) is superb. (BTW, Poupée must be a popular song in Vietnam, as it's covered at least 7 times).
Some of these will be featured here at Eurocovers in the future.

But then, by accident, I came across Vũ Điệu Hoang Dã, the song we know as the fabulous Wild Dances by Ruslana, winner for Ukraine in 2004.

The singer, Hồ Quỳnh Hương, from Hanoi, takes the song and, even though the music is similar to the original, gives it a new image (watch the video). There's some really wild hair going on that wouldn't be out of place in one of these concrete hair gel commercials, plus a lot of very wild dancing and guys with spears.

My Vietnamese language skills are letting me down a bit but I found out Hồ Quỳnh Hương released the CD Sao Tình Yêu which features Vũ Điệu Hoang Dã in 2005.
She won some award for best female singer the same year and rightfully so as her version of the mighty Wild Dances is fantastic. 85 million Vietnamese people can't be wrong.

Another surprise cover of Wild Dances is Sevmaganman by Ziyoda. Can't seem to find much info on this singer but for the Eurocovers fans: She's from Uzbekistan. For me it's the first Eurovision cover in Uzbek, but I have to admit, I haven't really investigated their music scene. My knowledge of the Uzbekistan music scene is limited to Yulduz Usmanova.


Ruslana, the original goddess of Wild Dancing has her temple here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Majda Sepe - Marioneta

The Year Of The Puppet continues with a Slovenian version of Puppet On A String by Majda Sepe.
The song Marioneta was recorded way back when in the old Yugoslavia days, 1967 in this case.

Majda Sepe (born Majda Bernard) was a successful singer and also worked as an actress in a few movies and in a popular 60's tv series Mija sou.
She was married to composer and conductor Mojmir Sepe, who wrote two Slovenian entries for Yugoslavia. In 1966 (Brez besed) and in 1970 (Pridi, dala ti bom svet).
For both he also conducted the orchestra. He returned to a changed Eurovision in 1997 and 1998 to wave the baton for the entries of Slovenia.

Majda Sepe almost replaced Eva Sršen as the singer for the 1970 entry, but in the end it was decided that the song suited a young girl better than a married woman. But Pridi, dala ti bom svet was recorded by Majda and released on a cassette in 1973. Needless to say, I'm still looking for that version.
Majda Sepe died in 2006 at the age of 68.

A 1996 Best Of CD Med iskrenimi ljudmi features most of her hits, but not Marioneta, which hasn't appeared on any CD yet (as far as I know)

Majda Sepe - Marioneta (Jugoton EPY3857)

Another version of Puppet On A String from Yugoslavia, Lutka na koncu by Sanjalice is here
I'm still looking for these two versions:
Biserka Spevec - Lutka na koncu - (from Jugoton EPY3836)
Olivera Vuco (Katarina Olivera) - Bosonoga (= barefoot) from 7".
If you can help me with these or any others please drop a comment or e-mail me. Thanks.

The Year Of The Puppet celebrates the 40 year anniversary of Sandie Shaw's Eurovision victory with Puppet On A String. Introduction to the series in this Eurocovers post.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Blog tip: Asian Mission To Eurovision -UPDATED-

Eurovision is everywhere.
Just found this great Eurovision blog: Asian Mission To Eurovision
You must check out their funny Eurovision Phrase Book In Chinese.

related posts: Asian Eurovision coverversions
A Ba Ni Bi from Thailand
Le Dernier qui a parlé - Cantonese version
Puppet On A String from Singapore
Dschinghis Khan - Korean offspring
Indonesian version of Al Di La (Italian Eurovision 1961)

Another recommended site:
The website of composer Jean Paul Cara, the man who brought us L'oiseau et l'enfant (Marie Myriam) features a new coverversion of the French 1977 winner sung in Corsican, by Alain Abad. (l'accelu e u zitellu)

If you click Quelques mp3 and scroll down on the mp3 page there's a link to L'oiseau et l'enfant autour du monde which features several versions of the song, either by the original artist or coverversions.
Interesting is the French-Arabic version by Leila and the USA version which is a modern rnb- light version (No idea who sings it, do you?). You can also find a demo and various videos of the song

The version Chinois is actually not Chinese, but I think it's the Vietnamese version by Khanh Ha and  Thanh Lan - Chan chim tuoi tho.
The site also features versions of Cara's other songs including Humanahum by Tahitian singer Teva Tetuani.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

They Can't Stop The Spring

The merry Irish Dervish seem pretty sure of that in their song for the Helsinki Eurovision Songcontest , but right now, the first day of spring, it's very cold and wet here.
So instead of waiting to see if spring really comes this year I play the happiest song ever to win Eurovision, Ding A Dong. Spring, Summer & Christmas rolled into one, the Teach In winner of 1975 is one of the most ridiculed but one of the most brilliant pop tunes ever.
It's also the most covered Dutch entry with over a 100 versions registered in the 10.000 coverversions project.To prove the songs immortality, here's some coverversions that were made this side of the millennium.

2007: DJ. Maarten made a new version with some horny lyrics for this years carneval and released the song on his cdsingle Ik ben een kikker (I'm a frog) (BERK Music)
2006: Another DJ, DJ Limbu from Estonia roped in Jaanika (not Sillamaa) for a club version.
2005: Asta Pilypaitė from Lithuania recorded a Lithuanian version Din Digi Dong which can be found on a compilation CD Lietus Lietuvoj 5.
2005: Burçin Şen from Turkey revamped the song into Doya Doya 30 years after Teach In won and Turkey made their Eurovision debut. (CD Yalan Ask)

2003: Assorti (Ассорти) (picture below) gave it a shot in the Russian preselection with Keep On Shining in 2005 and their Din Don appeared on their website and various compilations.

Monday, March 19, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Emil Gorovets - Эмиль Горовец

Here's a Russian version of Puppet On A String by Emil Gorovets (or: Gorovec)
In the near future I hope to feature a story at Eurocovers about this Russian- Jewish singer who was born in Ukraine in 1927, moved to the US in 1970 and died in 2001 in New York.

For now here's his Eurovision covers discography, most songs are in Russian but also one from his rare Yiddish LP 'Emil Gorovets sings the worlds songs in Yiddish'

- Austria 1966 - Merci Cherie
Мерси, Шери (Russian) - on Russian Flexi (00019601-2)
A Dank (in Yiddish) - LP (LPG 1003)

- Luxembourg 1967 - L'amour est bleu
Тень и свет (Ten I svet) - on LP Poet
- U.K. 1967 - Puppet On A String
Я не кукла (Ya ne kukla) - on flexi EP Melodija 0001183-4

- U.K. 1968 - Congratulations
Сто поздравлений (Sto Pozdravleniy) - on flexi EP Melodija Д 00025771-2

- Israel 1979 - HallelujahHallelujah (English/Russian) - on CD Luchshie Pesni (1996)

The Russian compilation 2CD Emil Gorovets - Zolotaya kollektsiya retro 2004 features all 60's tracks in Russian.

You can find discographies of Eurovision songs covered by Russian artists at this page from ESCkaz. and at this page from

A good discography of Gorovets' Russian work is here.Details and tracklist on the Yiddish LP are here

The Year Of The Puppet celebrates the 40 year anniversary of Sandie Shaw's Eurovision victory with Puppet On A String. Introduction to the series in this Eurocovers post.
Other versions already featured are from France, Singapore (Mandarin-Chinese), Jamaica. Yugoslavia, Estonia, U.K. (Comedy), Iceland, Lithuania, USA (Musical), Spain, Brasil, UK punk, Norway (gloom) Norway, Turkey, Portugal, Basque country Organland, Tirol, Denmark, CzechoSlovakia, Hungary

Related Eurocovers post: Find a Russian version of If I Had Your Love (Iceland 2005) here

Saturday, March 17, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Hungarian Paprikajancsi

On the Year Of The Puppet calender, this week (March 16) Puppet On A String entered the U.K. charts at number 28. It may not seems seem very spectacular, but 40 years ago things were quite different in chart world. No downloads, no # 1 entries, no fancy limited editions to boost sales. It eventually took Sandie 6 weeks to get to the # 1. spot in the U.K..

- Looking for a link to Paprika's -
Sandie Shaw lists as number 383 on the list Vegetarian and Vegan Elite of the World. I didn't know there was such a thing and if you check Morrissey's picture (at 121) there's some fine tuning to be done. Anyway, from Veggie to Veggy is a small step and I take the opportunity here to make a somewhat lame bridge to the Paprika.
Or Paprikajancsi, the Hungarian language version of Puppet On A String.
Paprikajancsi is an early hit for Zsúzsa Koncz, one of the popular singers in Hungary in the 60's and 70s.
From 1970 she also released several albums and 11 singles in German. The singles that were released in the DDR (East Germany) were under her own name, but the West German releases on the United Artists appeared under the name Jana Koncz. is an excellent website about the singer and you should really watch some of the old videoclips there.

A recommended compilation CD is:
Koncz Zsúzsa,: Válogatott kislemezek 1966 - 1984, which includes Paprikajanci and also her biggest hit Mama, kérlek (Hongaroton / Gong)

Here are the lyrics to Paprikajancsi, now sing along

Ó, csak annyit mondj, hogy szeretsz és boldog vagyok
Akkor örömömben máris csak úgy táncolok, mint egy báb, kit tart a húr

Körhinta nálad a szerelem, érzem, hogy milyen szép
De félek, rámtör a veszedelem, s akkor lezuhannék
Ha tudnám, kalandot vársz, másnap messze is jársz

Ó, csak annyit mondj, hogy szeretsz és boldog vagyok
Akkor örömömben máris csak úgy táncolok, mint egy báb, kit tart a húr

Körhintánkon így közel az ég, mi szállunk azon is túl
Ám egy bábunak az is elég, ha bárki zsinórhoz nyúl
Merre visz ez az út, bút vagy örömet nyújt

Ó, csak annyit mondj, hogy szeretsz és boldog vagyok
Akkor örömömben máris csak úgy táncolok, mint egy báb, kit tart a húr

Mint egy paprikajancsi!

Hungarian lyrics by Tardos Péter - Péter Tardos

Koncz Zsúzsa - Paprikajancsi - 7" single Qualiton SP 387
Another version is by Henrietta Dér, a modern version I have no details about.

Hungarian names have the family name first.

Related Eurocovers Post: For some great Hungarian Eurovision covers by Késmárky Marika a.k.a. Dschinghis Khan's Edina Pop, go to this Eurocovers post.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Juliette Gréco - Le temps d'une chanson

La Grand Dame de France, actress and chanteuse Juliette Gréco has released a new album last december. Only 57 years after she released her first record she finally managed to squeeze in a Eurovision cover, especially for us.

The CD, Le temps d'une chanson, features coverversionsof classic French songs, although with a legend of Gréco's stature I prefer to call them interpretations.
She sings Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Leo Ferré and Charles Trenet and a few international songs like Over the rainbow (Judy Garlands evergreen) and Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu), the 1958 Italian Eurovision entry by Domenico Modugno.

Volare is the most successful Eurovision song ever, as well by the original singer as by many covering superstars. The song was covered by the famous and the fabulous like Ella Fitzgerald, David Bowie, Dean Martin, Dalida, Petula Clark, Chubby Checker, Connie Francis, Cliff Richard, Pavarotti, Barry White, Catherine Valente, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and the list goes on. (In fact I now have 920 versions of Volare listed, more about that in future Eurocovers Posts)
The likes of Frank Zappa, U2, Prince and Paul McCartney have been known to perform the song live (and they have appeared on bootleg albums)

I'm very pleased to add Juliette Gréco to this list, even if Volare isn't the greatest moment on the album.

Gréco's velvet voice blends beautifully with the magnificent orchestral arrangements and she really excels in Avec lés temps (Leo Ferré) and Les amants d'un jour.

Get this album now, I'm sure your local shop or amazfnac etcetera has it.
Read more about Juliette Gréco at

related Eurocovers posts: Ginette Reno & Les Parisiennes / Marianne Mille

Sunday, March 11, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Loutka - Yvonne Přenosilová.

As promised here's the Czech version of Puppet On A String: Loutka. It's by Yvonne Přenosilová.
The recording is from the 60's but I have no details on the original release. It can be found on a CD titled Superhity století 1960-1969 2 (CZ Universal 0134372), a compilation with Czech 60's hits.

There is also a compilation CD by Yvonne Přenosilová, Roň slzy (Sony), but it does not feature Loutka. It has songs mainly in Czech and some in English, German and Italian, including cover versions of These boots are made for walking (Boty proti lásce), My Colouring Book, I'm sorry (Roň slzy) and A Lovers Concerto (Nikdo netusi).


At 60, Přenosilová is still active in the music business as a country singer.

Yesterday the Czech Republic chose it's first ever Eurovision entry. The song Mála damá by Kabat. It may be a slight shock for the average TV viewer as it's 'serious Lordi without the masks'.

Also see this Eurocovers post for Eurovision covers by Helena Vondráčková , the singer who withdrew from the Czech Eurosong national final this year.

The Year Of The Puppet celebrates the 40 year anniversary of Sandie Shaw's Eurovision victory with Puppet On A String. Introduction to the series in this Eurocovers post.
Other versions already featured are from France, Singapore (Mandarin-Chinese), Jamaica. Yugoslavia, Estonia, U.K. (Comedy), Iceland, Lithuania, USA (Musical), Spain, Brasil, UK punk, Norway (gloom) Norway, Turkey, Portugal Basque country, Organia, Tirol, Denmark

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Free at last, Costume Drama at Eurocovers

This week we are saying our sad goodbye's to John Inman, alias Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries.
The British actor who has done more for 'costume drama' in the classic sitcom Are You Being Served? than any other actor or fashion designer. Always camp but never vulgar, always with a big heart, Mr. Humpries' role in Grace Brothers involved a lot singing and dancing and taking dressing-up to absolute perfection.
My favorite moments are the dancing shows, where the show would finish with a big number all the Grace Brothers employees had practiced hard for, only to be outshined by Mr. Humpries extravagant entrance.

Eurovision 2007: Ukraine picked their entry last night and they chose Verka Serduchka (Верка Сердючка) with the song Dancing Lasha Tumbai. Serduchka is the drag tzarina, owing more to Mrs Doubtfire than to RuPaul. Her song, careless as it may sound, is some sort of finger to Russia. Fabulous is the word of course. and Tanzen!
Serduchka is already the second drag act to be selected for Helsinki as Denmark chose DQ with the song Drama Queen.

But we're at Eurocovers here, so let's get some dragqueens doing coverversions. Eurovision Diva's are of course the perfect subject for any costume change and then there's ABBA, probably imitated more than any Judy, Yma or Shirley.

ABBAlicious (FigJam entertainment) is a show by 9 New York drag acts. Their CD features 14 versions of ABBA songs and Waterloo, featured here, is sung by Edie.
ABBAlicious should not be confused with the New Zealand ABBA tribute band of the same name.

On a more local level there's Wintersport by Amsterdam talkshow host and superstar Sally Bowles (with Claudette Ball in this song). Their wintersports version of the 1969 Spanish winner Vivo Cantando was released on a CD by the Gaiety Bar, where Sally frequented with her shows. (1992, Een avond at the Gaiety)

Paco Clavel may not be a drag queen per se, but has been know to dress up occasionally. One occasion was an exposition in Madrid 'Exposition Eurovision 2000' for which he recorded a special issue cdsingle. The song featured here is a medley of Spanish entries: Eurovision Cañi includes Que Bueno, Que Bueno, La La La, Vivo Cantando & Quien maneja mi barca

related post: If you're really hard and totally non-gay you can find a AC/DC style spandex version of Waterloo in this Eurocovers post.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

L'amour a la Française

Forget about a new president, the French people had far more important voting to do last night. And there was a superbe lot to chose from so and I'm pleased they gave the vote to Les Fatals Picards to represent them in the Helsinki contest in May.
The jumpy rocking pop tune with the great accent is a big departure from the traditional grumpy French chansons of recent years which really only work about once every three times.

The Jean Luc Picard link is not the first intergalactic connection for a French entry.
A memorable choice from France was back in 1999 when they picked that spaced out woman Nayah who had ties with the Raelian cult and caused a bit of a stir. Spaceships would come for her (remember it was 1999) and make her the queen of the Universe, or at least win the Galactivision Song Contest.
Je veux donner ma voix was the song, and the greatest thing it did back then was score a # 100 hit (one week) in the French charts. And it scared away the aliens.

Still Nayah's Voix was heard as far as Tahiti and Canada where coverversions of the song were made.

First up there's Maruia from Tahiti. Don't know much about her except she has made quite a few CDs with Polynesian pop mixed with coverversions of ABBA et les chansons pop. She also recorded a version of the Swedish 1999 winner Take me to your heaven. (Find that in this Eurocovers post)
Ginette Reno does a great job on the song and makes it actually quite good.
The Canadian singer was one of the most popular artists in Quebec in the 60's and 70's and even had a fling with the BBC after she won the Yamaha Tokyo Song Festival representing England.
Je veux donner ma voix is on the first CD of a series collecting her work mixed with new and unreleased recordings.
She also recorded a version of Udo Jürgens 1964 entry Warum, nur warum better known as Walk away. (Dis-moi pourquoi)
Read more about her at

Je veux donner ma voix - Maruia - CD Te Ora Hau (Vol. 11) (1999)
Take me to your heaven - Maruia - CD Te Ora Hau (Vol. 11) (1999)
Dis-moi pourqoui - Ginette Reno - LP Ginette en amour (Apex, ALF-1580, 1965)
Je veux donner ma voix - Ginette Reno - CD Mademoiselle Reno (Melon-Miel, 2004)

Related posts: French versions of Sandie Shaws Puppet on a string can be found in this Eurocovers post.
Le dernier qui a parlé (France 1991) in Cantonese is here.
A Lithuanian version of the French 1993 song Mama Corsica is here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Denmark - Lille Marionet

The Danish version of Puppet On A String was recorded by Grethe Sønck.

Singer and actress Grethe Sønck (born Grethe Ingeborg Nielsen Hald) has been in the entertainment business for over 60 years and has released over 50 singles.
She never went to Eurovision but sang in the Danish national final (Dansk Melodi Grand Prix) on several occasions.
1960 - Trækbasun og vaskebræt (3rd place)
1961 - Hjemme hos os (w.Raquel Rastenni, last)
1963 - Verden er en gammal bekendt (7th)
1964 - Ugler i mosen (With Gustav Winckler)

Lille Marionet was released on a 7"single (EMI Columbia) and can also be found on the CD Tak for alle kys.

She also recorded a Danish version of Norways first Eurovision song Voi Voi from 1960 (Sonet EP) and the other famous Puppet Song: Poupée de cire, poupée de son (Luxembourgs winner from 1965 by France Gall / Serge Gainsbourg) titled Lille Dukke. (on LP Favoritter 1.) (in Danish)


Related Eurocovers post: Grethe & Jørgen Ingmanns Eurovision coverversions

Eurocovers Blog Tip: Phil Musical's Lounge Corner features a lovely cheesy LP by Alfredo Domenech y su Conjunto: Exitos del 67. It features versions of 1967 hits including Puppet On A String and Hablemos Del Amor. Definitely worth checking out.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Has anybody seen my dachshund?

The Year Of The Puppet continues with this seminal version from Tirol, Austria.
Some versions don't need further explanation. So for this utterly fantastic coverversion by Sepp Viellechner I present you this picture and I will mention another of his unforgettable evergreens: Zum jodeln,da brauch i mein Dackel da. (For jodelling I need to have my dachshund around)

The Year Of The Puppet celebrates the 40 year anniversary of Sandie Shaw's Eurovision victory with Puppet On A String. Introduction to the series in this Eurocovers post.
Other versions already featured are from France, Singapore (Mandarin-Chinese), Jamaica. Yugoslavia, Estonia, U.K. (Comedy), Iceland, Lithuania, USA (Musical), Spain, Brasil, UK punk, Norway (gloom) Norway, Turkey, Portugal Basque country, Organia.