It’s 40 years today since Stockholm 1975!

Today marks the 40th anniversary since the 20th Eurovision Song Contest, held in the Swedish city of Stockholm on 22nd March 1975. Following Abba’s win the previous year the contest came to Sweden for the first time and Turkey made their debut.

Sveriges Radio hosted their first Eurovision Song Contest following their victory the previous year when Abba and Waterloo took the title in Brighton. In 1975 there were a total of 19 countries competing for the grand prix, with Turkey participating for their first time, France and Malta returned after absence while Greece withdrew following their own debut the previous year. 

The Greek decision was taken due to the bad relations between them and Turkey over Cyprus. In The Hague the following year Turkey withdrew as the Greek song was clearly about the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey. Panagia Mou, Panagia Mou translated as Oh Virgin Mary, Virgin Mary. In keeping with the rules of the contest Turkey broadcast the show that year but opted to censor the Greek entry by airing a nationalist Turkish song titled Memleketim or My motherland instead at that time point in the live show. It wasn’t until 1978 when both countries participated in the same contest together.

The contest was also broadcast in non-participating countries Austria, Denmark, Greece and Iceland.

Following the win of Waterloo the previous year more countries submitted songs with English as the main language. The rule amendment in 1973 allowed for countries to use English if they so wished as opposed to their native languages of their country. Once again an entry sung in the English language went on to win the show.

The Participating Countries

Following the order of appearance on the night: The Netherlands, Ireland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Yugoslavia, United Kingdom, Malta, Belgium, Israel, Turkey, Monaco, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Italy.

Turkey’s debut entrant in 1975 was Semiha Yankı with the song Seninle Bir Dakika that translates as One Minute with You. It received 3 points from Monaco on the night and finished 19th of 19 songs performed. Turkey later went on to win the contest just once, in 2003 when Sertab Erener and Everyway That I Can took victory in Riga.

Special mention must go to Germany’s Joy Fleming for the vocal legacy and the memorable green dress worn. She gave it her all and finished in 17th on the night with Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein.

The Show

Staged in the Stockholmsmässan, Stockholm International Fairs and congress centre before an audience of some 4000 people the contest was quite blue in it’s on screen appearance. The set consisted of large blue back-pieces in an angular wave setting akin to the tail wing on an airplane, all in blue with silver trims and stripes throughout with a white stage floor. The orchestra was situated at the front of the stage.

The presenter for the evening was the softly spoken and blue dress wearing Karin Falck who guided proceedings from the opening and then throughout the voting sequence. She came across as quite charming however she was at times a little unsteady in her presentation and she made occasional phrasing mistakes in English or French in her speech which were in my opinion passable as she smiled through and didn’t show the nerves with so many people watching.

The interval act was a pre-prepared film entitled The World of John Bauer, the late Swedish artist.

The voting

This year was the first that the voting was changed to the way it remains to this day giving the top 10 songs in the eyes of the jury votes from 1-8 points, then 10 and top marks 12 points to their favourite. It wasn’t however delivered in ascending order at this time, that wouldn’t come into effect until The Hague contest in 1980.

The winners Teach-in scored a total of 152 points for Ding-a-Dong, garnering six top marks. The United Kingdom’s The Shadows and Let Me Be the One finishing second on 138 points. The entry in 3rd place was Italy’s Wess & Dori Ghezz and the song Era on 115 points. France on their return garnered 91 points for 4th place Nicole Rieu with Et bonjour à toi l’artiste. In 5th Luxembourg, the song Toi performed by Geraldine.

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You can watch the winning song from 40 years ago Ding-a-dong below as well as second place The United Kingdom’s Let Me Be The One and Germany’s Joy Fleming: 

Source: EuroVisionary,, wikipedia, Sveriges Radio, SVT
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