Eurovision Song Contest 1959

The Eurovision Song Contest 1959 was the fourth edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Cannes, France, following André Claveau's win at the 1958 contest in Hilversum, Netherlands with the song "Dors, mon amour". It was the first time France hosted the event. The contest was held at Palais des Festivals et des Congrès on Wednesday 11 March 1959, and was hosted by Jacqueline Joubert.[1] It was the first Eurovision Song Contest held in a coastal town and in the Mediterranean Basin.

Eurovision Song Contest 1959
ESC 1959 logo.png
Final11 March 1959
VenuePalais des Festivals et des Congrès
Cannes, France
Presenter(s)Jacqueline Joubert
Musical directorFranck Pourcel
Directed byMarcel Cravenne
Host broadcasterRadiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF)
Interval actFranck Pourcel's Orchestra Edit this at Wikidata
Number of entries11
Debuting countries
Returning countries
Non-returning countries
  • Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959France in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959France in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song ContestA coloured map of the countries of Europe
    About this image
         Participating countries     Countries that participated in the past but not in 1959
Voting systemTen-member juries distributed 10 points among their favourite songs.
Nul pointsNone
Winning song Netherlands
"Een beetje"
1958 ← Eurovision Song Contest → 1960

Eleven countries participated in the contest. Monaco made its debut this year, the United Kingdom returned after a year of absence, and Luxembourg decided not to participate.

The winner was the Netherlands with the song "Een beetje", performed by Teddy Scholten, written by Willy van Hemert and composed by Dick Schallies. This was the Netherlands' second victory in the contest, following their win in 1957 - marking the first time a country had won more than once. Willy van Hemert also wrote the first Dutch winner that year.


Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Cannes – host venue of the 1959 contest.

The event took place in Cannes, France, with the venue being the original building of Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, after France got the right to host this edition of the Eurovision Song Contest for winning its previous 1958 edition with the song "Dors, mon amour" performed by André Claveau. Cannes, a city located on the French Riviera, is a busy tourist destination and known worldwide for hosting the annual Cannes Film Festival, with the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès also hosting the Film Festival. The original building was built in 1949 and was located on the boulevard of Promenade de la Croisette, on the present site of the JW Marriott Cannes.


A new rule was created for this Eurovision, ensuring that no professional publishers or composers were allowed in the national juries. During the voting, Italy gave one point to France, no points to the UK and seven points to the Netherlands placing them just three points ahead of the UK. Later on, France gave only three points to Italy and four points to the Netherlands thus giving them a five-point lead over the UK, who were only one point ahead of France, leaving Italy behind in sixth position, behind Denmark, on nine points. Something that occurred this year, but never again, was that more than the winning entry was performed once again. The third- and second-placed songs, France and United Kingdom respectively, were allowed to sing again at the end of the show, together with the eventual winner, the Netherlands.

Participating countriesEdit

Luxembourg did not return to the competition after its 1958 participation. The United Kingdom returned after missing the previous contest (appearing on the scoreboard as "Grande Bretagne") and finished second for the first time. The UK would go on to have 15 second-place finishes in the country's history in the contest. Monaco made its debut in the contest, but came last.[2]


Each performance had a conductor who conducted the orchestra.[3][4]

Returning artistsEdit

Artist Country Previous year(s)
Birthe Wilke   Denmark 1957 (alongside Gustav Winckler)
Domenico Modugno   Italy 1958


Draw Country Artist Song Language[5][6] Place[7] Points
01   France Jean Philippe "Oui, oui, oui, oui" French 3 15
02   Denmark Birthe Wilke "Uh, jeg ville ønske jeg var dig" Danish 5 12
03   Italy Domenico Modugno "Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)" Italian 6 9
04   Monaco Jacques Pills "Mon ami Pierrot" French 11 1
05   Netherlands Teddy Scholten "Een beetje" Dutch 1 21
06   Germany Alice & Ellen Kessler "Heute Abend wollen wir tanzen geh'n" German 8 5
07   Sweden Brita Borg "Augustin" Swedish 9 4
08    Switzerland Christa Williams "Irgendwoher" German 4 14
09   Austria Ferry Graf "Der K und K Kalypso aus Wien" German 9 4
10   United Kingdom Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson "Sing, Little Birdie" English 2 16
11   Belgium Bob Benny "Hou toch van mij" Dutch 6 9


Voting results[8]
Total score
United Kingdom
France 15 2 1 1 4 2 1 4
Denmark 12 2 2 1 4 1 1 1
Italy 9 1 3 1 1 3
Monaco 1 1
Netherlands 21 3 1 3 2 1 7 4
Germany 5 1 1 1 2
Sweden 4 3 1
Switzerland 14 1 5 1 3 1 1 2
Austria 4 1 2 1
United Kingdom 16 2 2 3 5 2 1 1
Belgium 9 2 3 1 1 2

Broadcasters, commentators and spokespersonsEdit


Listed below is the order in which votes were cast during the 1959 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country.[9]

  1.   BelgiumBert Leysen [nl]
  2.   United KingdomPete Murray
  3.   Austria – Karl Bruck
  4.    SwitzerlandBoris Acquadro [fr]
  5.   SwedenRoland Eiworth [sv]
  6.   GermanyHans-Joachim Rauschenbach [de]
  7.   NetherlandsSiebe van der Zee [nl]
  8.   Monaco – TBC
  9.   ItalyEnzo Tortora
  10.   Denmark – Svend Pedersen
  11.   FranceMarianne Lecène [fr]

Broadcasters and commentatorsEdit

Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language.

Broadcasters and commentators in participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
  Austria ORF Elena Gerhard [9]
  Belgium INR French: Paule Herreman [9]
NIR Dutch: Nic Bal [nl] [9]
  Denmark Danmarks Radio TV Sejr Volmer-Sørensen [9]
  France RTF Claude Darget [fr] [9]
  Germany Deutsches Fernsehen Elena Gerhard [9]
  Italy Programma Nazionale Renato Tagliani [it]
  Monaco Télé Monte Carlo Claude Darget [9]
  Netherlands NTS Piet te Nuyl [9]
  Sweden Sveriges TV and SR P1 Jan Gabrielsson [sv] [9]
   Switzerland TV DRS German: Theodor Haller [de] [9]
TSR French: Claude Darget [9]
  United Kingdom BBC Television Service Tom Sloan [9][4]
BBC Light Programme Pete Murray
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
  Luxembourg Télé-Luxembourg Claude Darget [9]


  1. ^ "Eurovision History – Cannes 1959". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  2. ^ "Cannes 1959".
  3. ^ "And the conductor is..." Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b Roxburgh, Gordon (2012). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume One: The 1950s and 1960s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 184–192. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6.
  5. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1959". The Diggiloo Thrush. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1959". Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Final of Cannes 1959". Eurovision Song Contest. Archived from the original on 27 March 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Results of the Final of Cannes 1959". Eurovision Song Contest. Archived from the original on 27 March 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Eurovision 1959 – Cast and Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 17 July 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 43°33′12″N 7°01′20″E / 43.55333°N 7.02222°E / 43.55333; 7.02222