Sunday, February 1, 2015
Runner up: United Kingdom 1965
It was where pop culture lived, thrived and multiplied. Where fashions and trends popped up like mushrooms in a forest. Everyone knew this and wanted to be associated with this new phenomenon.
Everyone but the BBC executives, it seems. Even though Matt Monro had been set up with a more modern entry the year before, 1965 saw a sharp turn back towards family entertainment.
"I Belong" still had a contemporary feel to it, but Kathy Kirby wasn't really the voice of the pop movement. She was a more mature choice and had they BBC wanted a pop entry performed by somebody the older audiences could embrace, it would have made more sense asking somebody like Alma Cogan.
Kathy still attacks her song bravely and really belts it out, yet it feels like it never reaches its full potential. It wants to be a pop hit, but isn't really.
Things were, however, going to get even worse. The next year, when the Beatles released their groundbreaking and phenomenal "Revolver" album, the UK was represented at the ESC by a middle-aged Scottish tenor wearing a kilt.
A deserved 2nd place?
Yes. The only song in the running that was more contemporary than this one won, and rightly so. In retrospect it also feels good that Kathy Kirby, whose career faded pretty rapidly and always seemed overshadowed by a turbulent and difficult private life, will at least be remembered for almost winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
Kathy Kirby - I Belong (United Kingdom 1965)