Thursday, March 31, 2016

FLASHBACK: GALI ATARI & MILK AND HONEY WIN EUROVISION ON MARCH 31, 1979

Today, back in 1979 Israel won for the second time in a row the Eurovision song contest at homeground, in the International Convention Center in Jerusalem. The song was originally offered for Habini group who turned it down (but would represent Israel in 1981). Israel also turned down the opportunity to host the 1980 contest (and Haag in the Netherlands took the job). 19 countries participated while Turkey withdraw, due to the pressure from Arab countries. They even had selected their song Seviyorum and had been drawn in the running order as 11th. 
It was a close run with Spain's Su cancion, the rule for the minimum age didn't exist at the time and stage was filled with kids. Spain was the last to vote and leading, with Israel one point behind. Spain however awarded Israel 10 points and thus handed over the victory and Betty Missiego played a good sport. The 1973 winner Anne Marie David was back, this time for France and finished third. It was also a rich year of returning artists as also Xandra (NET), Anita Skorgan (NOR) and Peter, Sue & Marc (SWI) were present.
The winning song has become an evergreen and a modern Jewish standard known also in the US. There are countless cover versions in various languages, like this one


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