Malta Song Festival 1960
Victor Aquilina and Marlene Lauri hosted the event, which was produced by the Żgħażagħ Ħaddiema Nsara (ŻĦN). Each evening's proceedings started at 6:30pm and ended at 9:15pm. The final night was broadcast live on the Rediffusion cable radio service. Recorded excepts from the festival were also broadcast on RAI TV and BBC General Overseas Service.
Live music and musical accompaniment was provided by two orchestras. The first consisted of 16 musician under the direction of Giarlando Valente while the other was a 7-piece band led by Dominic Vella. Stage design was by Charles Cassano.
A variety show was presented during the vote counting.
During a press conference, which took place on 30 October 1960 at the Anglo-Maltese League Club on Merchant Street in Malta, ŻĦN president Alfred Cassar explained that the Malta Song Festival would follow the model established for such contests by the Sanremo Festival.
A souvenir programme was available for sale several days before the event, selling for 6 pence. Tickets were available from the venue, the ŻĦN Head Quarters, and Cassar & Cooper. Discounted tickets were available for ŻĦN members.
These were the members of the ŻĦN organising committee:
- Alfred Cassar (president)
- Mildred Pace (secretary)
- Joseph Vassallo (treasurer)
- Salvino Busuttil (external representative)
- Piju Spiteri (member)
This board administered a budget of £600 put forward by the ŻĦN for the organization of this event.
54 songs were submitted to the ŻĦN Head Quarters in Blata l-Bajda ahead of the contest. Following a preliminary elimination stage, 20 songs were selected to be performed during the semifinals at the Radio City in November.
There were two semifinals; one on Thursday and the other on Friday evening. 10 songs were performed during each semifinal. Out of these 20 songs only 10 made it to the final on Saturday.
Qualifying songs from the first semifinal:
- Vola Uccellino (Joe Grech) sung by Joe Grech
- Primavera in Fiore sung by Terry L. Bencini and Franz Frendo
- Con te Mariella Mia sung by Victoria Briffa
- L'Amore se tu sung by Valerio Valente
- The Homesick Lad sung by Nunzio Galdes
Qualifying songs from the second semifinal:
- L-Għada tal-Festa...ma' Vitorin (Joseph Ciappara) sung by Frans Fenech
- Dolce Canzone
- Se Guardo il Cielo
- Torna da me
Out of the 10 songs selected for the final, eight were in Italian, one was in English and another was in Maltese.
Rediffusion provided prizes for the songwriters of top three songs, starting at £30 for the winner and moving down to £10 for third place.
The singer of the winning song received a trophy from the Screen and Radio Times magazine. All singers and songwriters received a certificate of participation.
- 1st place: Vola Uccellino (Joe Grech) sung by Joe Grech - 86 points
- 2nd place: Primavera in Fiore (Inez Lombardo / Ġorġ Zammit) sung by Terry L. Bencini and Franz Frendo - 47 points
- 3rd place: Polpa (Paul Portelli) sung by Iris Vella - 42 points
L-Għada tal-Festa...ma' Vitorin (Joseph Ciappara) sung by Frans Fenech placed 4th with 41 points.
Terry L. Bencini won a trophy for best singer.
Prizes were presented by the famous Maltese tenor Oreste Kirkop
Voting during the semifinals was divided as follows:
- 50% expert jury,
- 25% members of the press
- 25% public votes
Voting for the Final
Voting for the final was set up this way:
- 50% expert jury,
- 25% members of the press & theatre audience
- 25% televoting from Rediffusion subscribers
Malta Song Festival editions * Malta Song Festival - 1960s: 1960 - 1961 - 1962 - 1963 - 1964 - 1965 - 1966 - 1967 - 1968 - 1969 * Malta Song Festival - 1970s: 1970 - 1971 - 1972 - 1973 - 1974 - 1975 - 1976 - 1977 - 1978 - 1979 * Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija - 1980s: 1980 - 1981 - 1982 - 1983 - 1984 - 1985 - 1986 - 1987 - 1988 - 1989 * Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija - 1990s: 1990 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999 * Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija - 2000s: 2000 - 2001 - 2002 * Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija - 2010s: 2013 -
Malta Eurovision Song Contest editions * Malta Song Festival - 1970s: 1971 - 1972 - 1975 * Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija għall-Ewropa: 1991 - 1992 - 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996 * Malta Song for Europe - 1990s: 1997 - 1998 - 1999 * Malta Song for Europe - 2000s: 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 * Malta EuroSong: 2009 - 2010 * Malta Eurovision Song Contest: 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 -