Swedish singer Siw Malmkvist was an established star in her homeland before she launched herself onto the German market in 1960, aged 24.
She was born on New Year’s Eve 1936 in Landeskrona in Sweden. She scored many hits at home before trying for success in Germany.
In 1961 she scored her first German top ten hit with Danke für die Blumen. Further hits followed, including Mr Casanova and 1999.
She was promoted into the first division of Schlager stars after winning the 1964 Deutsche Schlager-Festspiele contest, with Liebeskummer lohnt sich nicht, which spent ten weeks at number one and sold over a million copies.
She enjoyed a string of hits after her win, with 1965’s Küsse nie nach Mitternacht, Das fünfte Rad am Wagen and 1966’s Sieben Tränen and the highly hummable Frech geküßt ist halb gewonnen.
However, by 1967 she had begun to run out of steam and stopped singing full-time. She even took a day job as an office secretary, but was lured back into the music business in 1968 by Harlekin, with which she won the Deutsche Schlager-Wettbewerb (wearing the most hideous, gaudy outfit ever seen on colour television at that time) for a second time.
It proved her last big hit. Even her appearance as Germany’s entrant in the 1969 Eurovision song contest, with Primaballerina, could not land her in the top ten again. Though she had beaten pre-contest favourite Peggy March to secure her place in the final in Madrid, she lost out to four singers in the final voting that year, including the UK's Lulu.)
Her take on Lynn Anderson’s country-pop hit Rose garden, retitled Liebe wie im Rosengarten, narrowly missed the top 40 in 1971, though it remains popular amongst fans.
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