Jul 6, 2013

127/917 Ulla Wiesner: Paradies, wo bist du? (Germany 1965)

This is a unfortunately usual story. A young competent artist performs well a challenging song on the Eurovision stage making also a terrific recording out of it. However, the juries (or the televoters) don't get the song and it goes nowhere and the artist is never heard of again. Such was the case also for the song performed 127th in the Eurovision history.

The song Paradies wo bist du is a not your usual Eurovision entry of the mid 1960's. The song combines in an unorthodox way German schlager and latin rhythms with an interesting melody line. The song was the first but also the most unconventional of four great Eurovision entries written by well known composer Hans Blum.

The recording of this song is excellent with arrangement and production way ahead of its time. Especially notable is the use of the wordless female vocal which is used  more like an instrument than a backing vocal. Young 24 year old Ulla Wiesner does a immaculate job following the complicated melody line managing to add some personal interpretation in the recording. The arrangement of the live version on Naples Eurovision stage is much more conventional losing the enigmatic ambience of the studio recording.

Still the song in its live version would have deserved better fate. The voting system of the mid 1960's did not do favours for songs like this. Each country gave points to maximum three songs (out of 18) they deemed best, so it was no surprise that a song so different and exotic would not receive any points at all.

For poor Ulla Wiesner the drawn last place in the 10th Eurovision song contest meant abrupt end for her singing career. In the Internet very little (if any) information can be found of her singing activities after the 1965 Eurovision song contest, although the bad result was by no means her fault. The song itself disappeared and the studio recording can be found only on German Eurovision compilations that are currently sold out. I tried in vain to find a link to the studio version on Spotify, YouTube and GrooveShark.

Hans Blum wrote another three entries for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967, 1969 and 1985. With less adventurous songs he managed each time reach the top ten.

My points 3/5 (I make my judgement according to the live version. The studio version of song would easily receive 4 points from me or possibly the full fiver)

p.s. This song was suggested for me by a fellow blogger Tobias Larsson. If you have a song, a decade or a country you want me to write about, please send me a comment or tweet me to mikko_suhonen. I'm looking forward to your contribution.


  1. Hi!

    As far as the studio version of the song goes, you can listen to it here:

    There is also a channel for Ulla Wiesner on YouTube, that tries to gather all of her songs and is looking for help from quality music fans:

    I also updated the english wikipedia site of her with all, currently known to me, songs of her.
    Though it doesn't include: "Ulla Wiesner - Niemandsland" (Erwin Lehn und sein Südfunk-Orchester ; Composer: Klaus Müller)

    Her career after the song contest:
    She was mostly active singing in orchestras/chorus and was one of germanys most busy studio singers. (she did a lot of backing vocals on many popular artists songs)
    She also had some singles released past 1965, with the Maxi-CD "Haut an Haut" from the year 2000 probably being her last music release. (there is rarely info about this)

    Her most beautiful songs are without doubt the ones she sang in the Addy Flor Orchestra. (Dieses Jahr, Sommer in Paris...)

    One of her chorus apperances on TV was on the german show "Musik ist Trumpf" with the Botho-Lucas-Chorus.
    (second from the left)

    1. Thank you very much for your contribution. The studio version is excellent and I'm happy to learn that her career did continue after the disappointing result of the 1965 contest.