Here today Gone tomorrow

#HERE TODAY,GONE TOMORROW: Where are our Eurovision stars now ?

It’s back ! As we are now well into post Eurovision season, we at Eurovision Ireland are continuing our series , Here Today, Gone Tomorrow , where we look at former Eurovision stars and what happened to them following their time representing their country at Eurovision . As this year is Eurovision Ireland’s 10th anniversary, we will be mainly concentrating on past Eurovision stars from Ireland. This week, we will be focusing our attentions on the first ever winner of the ESC for Ireland in 1970 , Dana .Let’s take a look at how she came to Eurovision, her result at the 1970 Contest and what she got up to after Eurovision .

BEFORE EUROVISION

Dana’s real name was Rosemary Brown and her origins are from Derry, Northern Ireland, although she was actually born in London,UK . Her earliest stage activity was when she was 6 years old when she won her first talent contest. The name Dana comes from a nickname she was given by other children in her local community as she used to practice Judo moves. “Dana” is an Irish word meaning bold or mischievous. Dana attended a girls Catholic school in Derry, where her parent’s originated from. Dana ‘s road to Eurovision started just before her 16th birthday ,signing with Rex records . She used her nickname of Dana as her stage name and her first single was the song “Sixteen” . At this point she was still at school studying for A -Levels ( Music and English) . She went on to perform in cabaret clubs and folk clubs in Dublin during weekends.

DANA AT EUROVISION

Dana could have actually represented Ireland the year before her 1970 victory . In 1968,she was recommended by the secretary of Rex records, Phil Mitton to audition in the 1969 Irish National Song Contest, she made it through to the final of that competition but lost out to Muriel Day , with her song “Wages of Love”. Not to be put off by this set back, Dana was persuaded to try again the following year by the producer of the Irish National Song Contest ,Tom Mcgrath . She entered with the song “All Kinds of Everything” and the rest is history ! On Saturday 21st March, at the ESC in Amserdam, Dana, who was then still just 18 and still at school, won the hearts of the international juries winning the contest ahead of the UK’s Mary Hopkin and Germany’s Katja Ebstein, the first of what was to be seven successes for Ireland so far in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest

AFTER EUROVISION

Dana returned to Ireland a national heroine . Her winning song, “All Kinds of Everything ” was already number 1 in the Irish music charts , where it remained for 9 weeks . It also reached the top of the UK charts and had success in Australia , Austria, Germany , Israel,Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand,Singapore,South Africa , Switzerland and Yugoslavia. . Dana went on to record an album “All Kinds of Everything “which included tracks she had written herself.She experienced a slight set back when her follow-up single “I will follow you” failed to make an impression on the charts. However, just when it was thought she may only have been a one hit wonder, her next single , “Who put the Lights out?”reached number 14 in the UK charts in March 1971..

Dana then went on to have mixed success with three unsuccessful singles , with just a number 4 hit “Sunday,Monday,Tuesday” in December 1973. Then a change of record label brought her her next and probably most well known chart hit after “All Kinds of Everything ” , “Please tell him that I said hello”. , which peaked at number 8 in the UK chart in 1975.

After further success in the music world , Dana suffered a major set back in 1976 when she lost her voice and had to have urgent surgery on her left vocal chord to remove a non -malignant growth as well as a small part of the chord itself.Dana had to engage the help of a respected singing teacher to help retrain her vocals and to resume live performances.Besides music, Dana also appeared in pantomimes and appeared in the film “The Flight of the Doves “.

Dana also made a move into politics in the 1990’s ,having been invited by a Christian Community centre in Ireland suggesting she seek election as president of Ireland. She eventually decided to seek nomination as a candidate in the 1997 Irish presidential campaign standing as an Independent under the name Dana Rosemary Scallon. She came third to the eventual winner, Mary Mcleese. She became a US Citizen in 1999 and that same year, won a seat in the European parliament as an Independent.In the Irish General election in 2002 she unsuccessfully contested a seat in Galway West and then lost her European parliament seat in 2004. In 2005, she returned to the world of entertainment , appearing on the Irish broadcaster, RTE’s The Afternoon show ,doing a fitness routine .She tried again for the Irish presidency in 2011 , but came sixth to Labour’s Michael D Higgins. In 2019 , she returned to music again and appeared on various TV shows to promote her new single and album , My Time .The year 2020 , marked 50 years since her victory in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest.

What do you think? Do you remember Dana’s win in 1970 ? Would you like to see her back at the contest in some role? Let us know what you think .

Author : Sarah Rudman

Source and Image Sources : You Tube, Friends of Dana , Irish Nostalgia ,RTE

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