Germany’s first appearance in our chart were multi-ethnic six-piece Süpriz with a song written by the prolific composer Ralph Siegel (see No. 470); Germany’s second appearance is the band that provided the template for Süpriz: multi-ethnic six-piece Dschinghis Khan with a song written by the prolific composer Ralph Siegel.
Watching Dschinghis Khan’s flamboyant dancing frontman leaves no doubt that Siegel’s inspiration for the group was Boney M, the disco creation of his fellow German music-meister Frank Farian. That Boney M had just enjoyed a huge worldwide hit with Rasputin, a song about an exotic, power-crazy, historical figure from the Eastern Steppes further re-enforces that view.
The group comprised Germans Steve Bender and Wolfgang Heichel, Hungarians Leslie Mándoki and Edina Pop together with Wolfgang’s Dutch wife Henriette. The swashbuckling whirling dervish routine was performed by Louis Potgieter from South Africa. Though formed specifically for the 1979 contest they went on to have further success beyond Eurovision, scoring a chart topping hit in Australia with the track Moscow, after it was used by Australian TV as the theme to the 1980 Summer Olympics.
Three of the original line-up attempted a Eurovision comeback in 1986. As Dschinghis Khan Family they competed in the German national final with another Siegel composition Wir Gehör’n Zusammen, which finished runner-up to Über Die Brücke Geh’n by Ingrid Peters.