Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson Sing Little Birdie
"Sing, Little Birdie" is the title of the 1959 UK Eurovision entrant which took second place at Eurovision 1959. Performed by husband-and-wife duo Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson, "Sing, Little Birdie" was the first UK Eurovision entrant to be recorded reaching #12 UK.
Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson performed "Sing, Little Birdie" in the first semi-final of Eurovision Song Contest (ESC)/British Finals - the national preliminary round for the UK in Eurovision 1959 - on March 2, 1959: the duo also performed in the second semi-final of ESC/British Finals on March 5, 1959 with the song "That's It, That's Love" making Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson the only act to ever perform two songs in the same multi-artist formatted UK Eurovision pre-selection round, the duo also being double-entered in the national preliminary round for the UK in Eurovision 1960. (Polly Brown would perform two contending songs in the UK pre-selection round for Eurovision 1976 but as distinct acts: herself and as a member of Sweet Dreams.)
"Sing, Little Birdie" was one of six songs - which did not include "That's It, That's Love" - to advance to the ESC/British Finals final held March 7, 1959 at the close of which "Sing, Little Birdie" was announced as the UK entrant at Eurovision 1959; the semi-final and final results for the ESC/British Finals of 1959 were all determined by seven regional panels each comprising fourteen members. At the finals for Eurovision 1959, held at Cannes on March 11, 1959, "Sing, Little Birdie" finished in second place bested only by the Netherlands Eurovision entrant "Een beetje" by Teddy Scholten.
Having failed to participate in the inaugural Eurovision 1956 due to missing the entry deadline, the UK had made a disappointng Eurovision debut at Eurovision 1957 with the UK entrant "All" by Patricia Bredin finishing seventh in a field of ten: no recording had been made of "All" and the UK had not participated in Eurovision 1958. The second place showing of "Sing, Little Birdie" at Eurovision 1959 was the first evidence of the UK being a potent force at Eurovision: four subsequent UK Eurovision entrants would take second place at the contest finals before the UK would score its first Eurovision victory at Eurovision 1967 with "Puppet on a String" by Sandie Shaw.
"Sing, Little Birdie"'s most lasting claim to fame is likely as the answer to a trivia question posed on a sketch called World Forum from Monty Python's Flying Circus, Episode 25. Mao Zedong provided the winning answer, beating out fellow panelists Che Guevara, Vladimir Lenin, and Karl Marx. However, in that episode, the song was incorrectly referred to as the winning song (the winning song).