By Panagiotis Tzanatos, Panagiotis Paplas & Anastasis Tzefrios
The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began with an idea by Sergio Pugliese, of the Italian television, in the channel RAI, and then was approved by Marcel Bezencon of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The contest was based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology.
The first contest took place on 24 May 1956, where seven countries participated. As the Contest progressed, the rules grew increasingly complex and participation augmented to forty countries at the end of the 20th century. As more countries came on board over subsequent decades and technology advanced, the EBU attempted to keep up with national and international trends.
The first winner was Switzerland in 1956 in Lugano. The country with the most wins is Ireland, with 7 wins. After, is Switzerland with 6 wins and Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom with 5 wins. The latest winner is The Netherlands with the song “Arcade” which touched many people with its sad message.
Greece first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 but the country won in 2005, it had only finished in the top five on four occasions. Greece hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 and has never finished last in the competition.
ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish pop band won the contest in 1974 and has enjoyed phenomenal success ever since, despite officially splitting up in 1983.
The most covered Eurovision Song Contest song is Domenico Mudugno‘s Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu, also known as Volare. The song has been covered by famous stars such as Dean Martin, Cliff Richard, David Bowie and many more.
Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest 3 times. In 1980 and 1987 he represented Ireland as performer and won both times, with Hold Me Now and What’s Another Year, in 1992 he wrote Linda Martin’s winning entry Why Me?
In 2014, Valentina Monetta took part for San Marino for the third time in a row and… qualified for the Grand Final! She participated in the 2017 contest for the fourth time!
In 2011, Lena, the winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, decided to defend her title on home ground – something only 2 people have done in the history of the contest.
Until 1998, each act was supported by a live orchestra and every country brought its own conductor. Noel Kelehan conducted the orchestra of 5 winners, in 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993 and 1996. Dutch conductor Dolf van der Linde conducting for a record 7 countries; Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.
Only 3 women conducted the orchestra at the Eurovision Song Contest. Nurit Nirsch conducted the Israeli entries of 1973 and 1978, Monica Dominique conducted the Swedish 1973 entry and Anita Kerr appeared in front of the orchestra for Switzerland in 1985.
German songwriter and composer Ralph Siegel is a true Eurovision addict. He took part a whopping 21 times. He did so most recently in 2014, granting San Marino their first qualification to the Grand Final. His 22nd participation was in 2017, having written the song for San Marino. He won once, in 1982, with the famous Ein Bißchen Frieden.
By George Patronis (A Class)
Rock and roll is a type of music. It was first introduced and evolved in the late 40s and 50s. People who listened to it usually wrote it “Rock & Roll” or “Rock ‘en’ Roll”.
It combined various musical styles suck as jazz, blues and usually rock with country music. Despite the fact it was produced from the 30s, it acquired its name in the 50s. It was evolved mainly at the United States. As the years passed, rock and roll was more often referred to rock songs that combined rock and country or to rock songs only. In the early 40s, its primary music instruments were the piano and the saxophone while after the 50s they were replaced by the electric guitar. The beat was that of a blues song and there was always a backbeat by drums that made the song more vivid. 1 or 2 guitars and the drums were essential for someone to produce “Classic Rock & Roll”. However, Rock and Roll wasn’t just a music genre. It had a big influence on people’s lifestyles, attitude and fashion. It was the origin of the 60s-90s music genre “Rock.”
- One of the first most significant Rock & Roll musicians was Chucky Berry who first introduced his own brand of Rock and Roll. He was a very popular, really talented guitar player and he inspired many artists with his own unique type of playing (his type of playing inspired guitarist Angus Young of AC/DC). He was ranked among the 6 best guitarists of his era. Some of his songs such as “Jonnie B. Good” and “Roll over Beethoven” marked his career.
- Another important first Rock and Roll artist was Jerry Lee Lewis (often called Killer) who made a big success on charts and sung many popular songs of his own and did covers of many other artists.
The most popular Rock and Roll artist was Elvis Presley. He was among the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century and was often called “King of Rock & Roll”. He made a huge success due to his popular songs and live performances. In 1965 his albums “Elvis Presley” and “Elvis” took the first place at charts followed by his next two albums “Loving You” and “Elvis’ Christmas Album” which maintained their place at the top of the charts.
The WHO was a Rock and Roll band. It was formed by Roger Daltrey (singer), Pete Townshend (guitarist), John Entwistle (bass guitarist) and Keith Moon (drummer). Their best album “Who’s Next” made it at the first place at British Charts, 2nd place at French and Netherlands charts and 4th place at U.S.A. charts. They were very popular among British and American bands and influenced a lot people of 60s. Its top track Baba O’ Riley made a huge success.
Led Zeppelin was a British band and among the most popular of Rock and Roll history. They were formed by Robert Plant (vocals), Jimmy Page (guitar), John Bonham (drums) and John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboard). Their most popular albums Led Zeppelin IV and Led Zeppelin II had some iconic riffs and contained Rock and Roll, Country and Rock influences. “Led Zeppelin IV” at 1971 (24th on the list of albums ever, made published by Mojo) managed to get 1st place at British and Canadian charts and second place at USA, Australia, Italy, France, Japan and Sweden. It contained some of the bands’ most popular songs such as “Black Dog”, “Rock & Roll” and Stairway to Heaven. “Led Zeppelin II” in 1969 (3rd most influencing album ever by ‘Guitarist’, 6th best album of century by ‘The guitar’) was at top place of charts. More specifically, it managed to get 1st place on British, USA, German, Australian, Canadian and Spanish charts. It contained popular songs such us “Whole Lotta Love”, “On Ramble” and more. Led Zeppelin was one of the most remarkable bands ever and was considered the 2nd best rock band ever.
The Rolling Stones
The “Rolling Stones” are an English band formed in 1962. It consisted by Mick Jagger (vocals), Mick Taylor (guitar), Ian Stewart (piano), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). They made big success at the start and they first set foot on stage with a nickname “The Worlds’ Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band”. They had many successful albums and they made the highlights with “Some Girls” (1978) and “Tattoo You” (1981) being their 2 most sold album. “Some Girls” contains many popular songs such as “Miss You” and “Just my Imagination”. It conquered the 1st place at Canadian and USA charts and amazingly held the title for almost a year.
In addition, “Tattoo You” made also a big success introducing songs like “Start me Up” and “Neighbors” and got the first place on Australian, Canadian, Dutch, French, New Zealand and USA charts .The “Rolling Stones” influenced the people then and they are still popular today. Their icon is unique and well-known all over the world.
By Memeletzoglou Harry (B class)
Parkway Drive is an Australian metalcore band from Byron Bay, New South Wales, formed in 2003. As of 2015, Parkway Drive has released five full-length albums (Killing with a Smile, Horizons, Deep Blue, Atlas and Ire), one EP, two DVDs, a split album and one book, Ten Years of Parkway Drive. The band’s latest four albums have reached the top 10 of the Australian ARIA Charts, with Ire reaching number 1 in October 2015.
Genres: Metalcore, Heavy Metal, Hardcore Punk
Members: Winston McCall (Vocals), Jeff Ling (Lead guitar), Luke Kilpatrick (Rhythm guitar), Ben Gordon (Drums), Jia O’Connor (Bass).
Parkway Drive was formed at the beginning of 2003.The band took their name from the street where their home rehearsal space and live venue, “The Parkway House’, was located. In the 2009 documentary on “Parkway Drive: The DVD” the explains that there was a lack of venues for punk rock and hardcore punk bands to practice and perform and that “Parkway House” was like “a little oasis for us and all our friends’.The group played their first show at the Byron Bay Youth Centre where I Killed The Prom Queen vocalist Michael Crafter, visiting from Adelaide, also first saw the group and gained their interest. The I Killed the Prom Queen / Parkway Drive: Split CD was released June 2003 and both groups toured Australia over the rest of the year.
Then, the band released the Don’t Close Your Eyes EP in 2004 and afterwards Parkway Drive flew to the United States, where they recorded their debut full-length Killing with a Smile with Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz in just two weeks. The album debuted in the Australian Album (ARIA) charts at 39. In 2006 the group toured in Europe, their first time performing overseas, and later returned to North America
Don’t Close Your Eyes EP & Killing With A Smile
Following their return to Adam Dutkiewicz’s studio, Horizons was released on 6 October 2007. The album was generally acclaimed by critics and fans alike; and wasawarded 10/10 It debuted at number 6 on the ARIA Charts.
On 23 March 2010, Parkway Drive entered the studio to begin recording their third album, Deep Blue, with producer Joe Barresi. According to their lead vocalist Winston McCall, this was to be their rawest and heaviest record to date.On 17 April 2010, Parkway Drive officially announced that they finished recording the forthcoming album, and added a studio diary video to their MySpace. On 26 April, vocalist Winston McCall revealed in a video-interview two new song-titles: «Home Is For The Heartless» and «Hollow». Winston stated in the interview that the European tour they’re on now is the last tour they will be on until the release of the new album. In September, the group was nominated for an ARIA Award for Deep Blue in the newly created Best Hard Rock, Heavy Metal Album category and eventually won. It was the first ARIA Award in the band’s history.
In an interview with NME, Winston spoke briefly about an upcoming fourth studio album, Atlas. Winston is quoted as saying, «We’ve got ideas for this record that are bigger than anything we’ve done in the past. The vocalist also gave an update on the condition of the band’s guitarist Luke “Pig” Kilpatrick.The guitarist has been forced to play with the band from a wheelchair after a surfing accident, but McCall said he was improving and would be up on his feet for the band’s next tour.
On 10 April, Parkway Drive released a trailer for their new Blu-ray/DVD entitled Home Is For The Heartless with a set release date for 6 July.
Atlas & Home Is For The Heartless
In February 2014, Parkway Drive announced they will be participating in the 2014 Warped Tour on the main stage. On 11 April 2014 they announced that they are working on a new album. On 4 June 2015, Parkway Drive teased a letter for their upcoming fifth studio album; later the same day, the album cover was leaked online in its entirety. The album will be called Ire, and a new single entitled «Vice Grip» with a music video was released to the public on 8 June 2015. The release date of Ire was 25 September. On 20 June, «Vice Grip» peaked at number 88 on the Australian singles chart.
Parkway Drive have, also, released another DVD: Parkway Drive: The DVD(2009) and along with the Home Is For The Heartless DVD (2012) they showed the band while touring and their impressions about each city and country they visited while touring.
By Dennis Skouras and Maria Tsalamida (A class)
What a fine art is that of music… It penetrates and runs through the body, speaks to the soul and leads our feet, hands and head shaking accordingly to the rhythm. Everyone on this planet has a sense of rhythm. For example, how many times have you found yourself tapping your feet, humming or whistling one melodic pattern? All these occurrences are the immediate bearing of having an innate instinct to follow along a repeated sequence of notes, chords or melodic phrases by any possible means such as our voice or our body.
It is an undisputed fact that music is the lingua franca of any society since the beginning of humanity. There is a vast number of reasons why this happens in that music is a blessing in disguise. Little do we know of how much music can offer to the souls of ours.
First of all, it is the sheer entertainment. Almost every gathering you have been to, is accompanied by its musical score. Whether it is a party, a wedding, a depressing situation, or even a friendly meeting the guests are subjected to the emotions conveyed by the suitable music.
Secondly, it uplifts our mood. Listening to music can make our brain release serotonin – a feel-good chemical substance– that alleviates our mood instantly.
Furthermore, music can relieve us from depression and anxiety or even lower our blood pressure. Besides that, music can help us improve our productivity. The fact that our stress is diminishing, is prompting us to think more clearly.
By Aggeliki Tzola (A class)
In the early 1980s, a glib advertising campaign began to appear before every Christmas. It featured a beautifully wrapped album and the slogan “Give the Gift of Music”.
The implication was that buying your friends or relations a record was the obvious answer to the annual present-choosing dilemma. But as anybody who has spent the weeks up to Christmas desperately trying to fathom the musical preferences of a cousin or sister-in-law can tell you, that is simply not true. Buy someone the right album, and you could enrich their life. Buy someone the wrong album and it is hard not to notice the look of disappointment as they lift the wrapping paper.
There are two rules about buying albums as a Christmas present. First, steer clear of the novelty purchase and second, avoid anything too difficult. Such albums will get played twice, laughed at once then never touched again. Christmas is about easy-access entertainment, not challenging art. Other than that is a minefield. The truth is that people’s tastes are personal and frequently difficult to guess.
By Nick Fotopoulos (B Class)
The percussion & string orchestra was founded by Thanasis Tsipinakis in 1985. The orchestra has given more than 50 concerts not only in Greece but also in other countries all over the world such as Spain, France, Japan and others. Many important composers have written music for the orchestra including Dimitris Lagios, Giorgos Andreou, Giannis Markopoulos and many more. The orchestra has recorded 9 records:
- «Zakinthines Serenades«, which includes pieces written by the composer Tzortzis Kostis (1988)
- «Works of Percussion Orchestra«, D. Lagios (1989)
- Pieces by Kiriakos Tzortzinakis – Gerasimos Voutsinas (1990)
- «Greek Serenades» (1990)
- «Cracks«, D. Lagios (1992)
- «Small Nocturnal Musics«, N. Mavroudis (1992)
- «From Theatre and Cinema«, Mikis Theodorakis (1998)
- «5 COUNTRIES – 5 COMPOSERS» (2000), Antonius Streichart, Yasuo Kuwahara, Robert Schulz, John Goodin and Yiorgos Andreou
- «Swallows of Rain» (2000), Yiorgos Andreou, poetry by Dionisis Karatzas