Editorials & Opinion

Xtra’s pick of the 50s & 60s

We delve back into the archives for a Monday morning, with a view on the classic early years of Eurovision from Simon.

Italy 1966: Domenico Modugno – Dio, Come Ti Amo (17th place)

Many a Eurovision fan looks at its early years with rose-tinted glasses. Eurovision may have gathered greater support from the music industry at that time, but there was not the greatest variation in musical styles in the ’50s and ’60s. Dominico Modugno’s iconic ‘Nel blue dipinto di blu’ (Volare)’ from 1958 is somewhat typical of the period, with its crooning-meets-pop orchestral sound.
Dominico Modugno took to the stage in 1966 to represent Italy in what was a performance ahead of its time, although this was, to an extent, not planned.
Every act in Eurovision’s first decade (including Dominico’s efforts in ’58 and ’59) had at least partially used the live orchestra provided at the venue. In 1966 rehearsals, Dominico became frustrated with the orchestra and conductor, and insisted on his own musical accompaniment. This meant electric guitar, acoustic piano, and it brought early synthesised sounds to Eurovision viewers’ (and listeners’) ears.
The jurors weren’t impressed though! The author and performer of megahit ‘Volare’ was this time sent packing back to Italy with ‘nul points’ and was never to return again.

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