The First Edition of The Golden Stag Festival – 1968

The Golden Stag

First organized at the beginning of March 1968 (March 5th – March 10th) at the request of the Romanian Government, The Golden Stag Festival was supposed to be a copy of San Remo Festival. The idea belonged to the ex-dictator Nicoale Ceausescu, who was eager to show the Western world that Romania was a free country.

The first edition took place at the Dramatic Theatre in Brasov, under the direct lead of Tudor Vornicu and Ilie Manescu, but people should know the one who decided to locate the event in Brasov, was Ceausescu. He wanted to present a communist country at its best. Being the most important touristic town, with quite a history to tell to the world, Brasov won the competition.

Romanian Television was in charge with all the organizational stuff: selecting the candidates, inviting the stars to sing in the hors-concurs shows, selecting the jury. In addition they prepared the stage and established the rules. Only pop singers and bands with references from National Televisions had been enrolled in the competition. They had to sing a re-mixed version of a Romanian song and a melody from their own repertoire.

The Festival, under the leadership of the General Secretary, Radu Gheciu, made a rather good job. On March 4th, 28 competitors and 15 stars were waiting for The Golden Stag to open.

The first edition of The Golden Stag Festival was opened at the Dramatic Theatre on 5th of March 1968 by Constantin Draghici, a famous Romanian singer and composer at that time. During the five nights the audience was attracted by many excellent and experienced singers like Jean Claude Pascal, Bobby Solo, Amalia Rodriguez or Rika Zarai.

On 7th of March a special magazine, containing interviews with the stars and biographies of the competitors, was edited by the Romanian Television in five Interantional languages (Romanian, French, English, Russian and German).

Critics from all around the world said the presentation and the design used on the stage was great.

The Golden Stag Trophy was awarded to Jacques Hustin from Belgium.

The first edition of The Golden Stag Festival ended on 10th of March, at the Carpati Restaurant (nowadys – Aro Palace Restaurant), with a dinner party for the singers, the stars, the jury and the journalists.

1968 Stars

In the hors concours-shows the audience met Los Machucambos, Gica Petrescu, Hugues Aufray, Caterina Casseli, Edith Pieha, Amalia Rodriguez, Rika Zarai, Rita Pavone, Maria Mitiieva, Bobby Solo, and Jean Claude Pascal

Bobby Solo

bobby soloBobby Solo was born Roberto Statti to a working-class family, in Rome on March 18, 1945. He is said to be one of those singers who have been inspired by The King of Rock’n’Roll and has adapted Elvis Presley’s style to the Italian music scene, back in the mid ’60s.

He began playing as a trumpeter in boys band while he was teenager, and kept going with his hobby after graduating high school. With the support of his friends, Bobby began his solo career as a singer. He had his debut in 1964 at the prestigious San Remo music Festival, where he sang a song composed by himself that was to become a part of musical history: Una lacrima sul viso. The following year he launched his career at the San Remo Festival with the hit 1965 single Se piangi, se ridi.

More great songs followed, including Siesta, Domenica d’Agosto and Una granita di limone.

After a short period of decadence Bobby regained his rightful place at the top of the charts. The song that took him back in top in 1978 was his first chart-topper Una lacrima sul viso, re-recorded in a fast Disco version. More successes for Bobby followed: Gelosia, Non posso perderti (1981) and Tu stai (1982).

Competitors

March 6, 1968

MAFALDA SOFIA – PORTUGAL
MARGARITA RADINSKA – BULGARIA
URSZULA SZIPINSKA – POLAND
MARIA RUNG – FINLAND
ANCA AGEMOLU – ROMANIA
JACQUES HUSTIN – BELGIUM
KATTY KOVACS – HUNGARY
RODDY MC. NEIL – SCOTLAND

March 7, 1968

KALINKA – BELGIUM
NINA BRODSKAIA – U.R.S.S.
INGO GRAF – R.D.G.
IORDANKA HRISTOVA – BULGARIA
MARIKA LICHTER – AUSTRIA
MICHEL – SPAIN

March 8, 1968

IO ROLAND – SWITZERLAND
RENE MARTIN – R.D.G.
PATRICIA CAHILL – IRELAND
DAN SPATARU – ROMANIA
GABY NOVAC – YUGOSLAVIA
ERIC THOMACE – LUXEMBOURG
GUY MARDEL – FRANCE

March 9, 1968

MARGARETA PISLARU – ROMANIA
NANA GUALDI – R.F.G.
NIKY HILTON – ENGLAND
JOSEF LAUFER – CZECHOSLOVAKIA
GERDA BERNDORF – AUSTRIA
ADELA MAFFINA – ITALY

Winners

The Golden Stag Trophy
JACQUES HUSTIN – BELGIUM

Second Prize and the Silver Stag Trophy
JOSEF LAUFER – CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Third Prize and the Bronze Stag Trophy
KALINKA – BELGIUM

Special Prizes awarded by the Jury
URSZULA SZIPINSKA – POLAND
MARION RUNG – FINLAND
MARGARETA PASLARU – ROMANIA