Eurovision 1964 exclusive footage

Without a doubt, one of the biggest disappointments of long-time Eurovision fans is not having any complete video recordings of the 1964 edition.

The 9th edition of the contest was held at Tivolis Koncertsal in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Saturday 21 March 1964. It was allegedly never recorded in the first place (although a persistent myth says that the tape was destroyed in a fire).

All we had until today was a full audio recording of the radio broadcast by Danish broadcaster DR, as well as a few scattered clips that led to a few reconstructions available on YouTube.

But now, a new exclusive clip has emerged from Reddit

New footage of Eurovision 1964 retrieved from Finnish broadcaster Yle

Reddit user Wisey (u/DYLCWS) posted the video on the r/eurovision subreddit on Monday, December 13. 

In an introductory post, Wisey mentions how they spent months contacting each broadcasting company that aired the contest back in 1964, asking if they had any footage in their archives. 

Most of the companies confirmed they didn’t have any. But with the persistence of a true Eurovision fan, Wisey was finally able to purchase a clip of the actual TV broadcast from Finnish broadcaster Yle’s archives.

In the video, we can see Italy’s Gigliola Cinquetti being presented as the winner of Eurovision 1964. The host of the show, Lotte Wæver, introduces the award presenter, Svend Pedersen. We also see shots of the Grand Prix medal, the audience, and then the clip finishes with a portion of Gigliola singing the winning reprise of her song “Non ho l’età”.

Since the footage was retrieved from broadcaster Yle, we can also hear Finnish commentator Erkki Melakoski in the background. 

The footage, although very short (2:47 minutes), allows us to finally have a glimpse of the aesthetics of Eurovision 1964, as well as production details such as camera angle changes.

Enjoy this piece of history with us:

The lost recording

As many fans know, no complete video recording of the 1964 Eurovision song contest was known to survive, even though a complete audio recording does exist in the form of the DR radio broadcast. 

Back in July, French television conserver INA confirmed to wiwibloggs that they don’t possess a copy of the contest.

A common myth is that the tape was destroyed in a fire in the 1970s. More recent interviews with DR, however, state that the broadcast was never recorded in the first place, allegedly due to no tape machines being available at the studio.

Some fan reconstructions were made using available clips and press photos. YouTube channel ESCstuff released their full reconstruction of the contest in December 2020, using the footage recovered from Germany.

An incredible find and a new hope for more footage

This new clip is not only an absolutely incredible find, but a new hope for Eurovision fans all over the world who always wanted to fully enjoy the 1964 edition in video format.

Wisey commented: “I’m so happy to be a part of the ESC community. I have loved the contest ever since I was a kid, and feel so honoured to be part of the ever growing history of this wonderful contest”.

1956 and 1964 – The missing Eurovision pieces

This isn’t the only new piece of Eurovision footage that fans have recently uncovered.

Along with 1964, there is also no full video recording of the very first Eurovision Song Contest from 1956. But earlier this year, a full video of Switzerland’s Lys Assia performing her winner’s reprise emerged on YouTube. Uploader wieke qwieke notes that the footage was taken by photographer Vincenzo Vicari, who had been hired to photograph the 1956 contest (thus, it’s not TV camera footage).

Previously, fans only had a two-minute version of this performance of “Refrain” that cut sections out. In this full clip we see them starting the reprise over again after Lys becomes overwhelmed with emotion following her victory and stops singing.

Eurovision blog Good Evening Europe also uncovered further photographs taken by Vicari at the contest in 1956. They help give us even more insight into the very first edition of Europe’s most popular song contest.

We truly hope we’ll be able to retrieve even more footage thanks to the effort of the Eurovision fandom. For now, we are grateful to fully enjoy these pearls from the past.

What do you make of this new footage from Eurovision 1964? Does it give you hope that further footage may be found in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Lou
Lou
5 months ago

One of my three fav winners ( 1963 , 1964 and 2017 ) so good!

TheDrMistery
TheDrMistery
5 months ago

Wonderful get. Stage look impressing, host seems competent and Gigliola is amazing as always… when she sings.

TBH, I didn’t believe a single second of footage (excluded a reprise) has existed but I was wrong. Thumbs up, guys.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
5 months ago

Wow, that footage of the reprise is stunning. I finally understand what people felt when they watched the original broadcast. A very special winner indeed.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
5 months ago

As someone who is also a Doctor Who fan, I know the feeling with something missing finally shows up after being lost for sometime. In fact, 1964 contest aired the same day as episode five of the seven part serial Marco Polo which is the earliest lost Doctor Who story, so it’s weird that they’re both connected like that.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
5 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Yep, all true. I wonder which show was watched by more people around the world, at the time. Doctor Who was of course distributed to many broadcasters around the world. The only difference with ESC is that it was a live broadcast.

Erik
Erik
5 months ago

Wondering about the health of that girl though. Her arm does not give the impression of a healthy lifestyle

Vincenzo
Vincenzo
5 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Who are you talking about? If you are talking about Gigliola Cinquetti, she was 17y.o. at the time. She didn’t have the a of a female body builder.

ESC97
ESC97
5 months ago

I got my hopes up that this was a clip of the full contest!
There’s already footage of Gigliola Cinquetti singing the reprise on YouTube, uploaded in 2013. Although this one isn’t full, at least it’s really clear.

James
James
5 months ago

So basically, DR misled people to believe that the show was only meant as a radio broadcast when it’s clear on those few minutes of footage that it was every bit of a televised production that the show was already becoming during the early years, case in point, the contest the year before in London (which fortunately was not a victim of the BBC’s then-practice of wiping tapes for reuse).

John
John
5 months ago

Incredible footage,it brings a tear to your eyes seeing that reprise.To turn up the year Italy won again at last.For me one of the greatest winners.You wont see a better delivery of that type of song.Incredible bit of ESC history.

Yle Fan
Yle Fan
5 months ago

Love how a persistent furry got us this footage

Shannon
Shannon
5 months ago

Thank you Yle!

Im so fab
Im so fab
5 months ago

I saw the original post some days ago since I am a Reddit user. It’s a historical moment for Eurovision and raises hopes for more material to be found.