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Friday, October 23, 2009


In advance of Tuesday's show I thought I'd share some nice little fun facts with you all.

Did you know that, prior to ABBA:

Keyboardist Benny Andersson played in a band called The Hep Stars, known in their homeland as "The Swedish Beatles"? Here they are in 1966--that's Benny, without beard, on the far left:

Guitarist Björn Ulvaeus played in a folk-skiffle (!) band called The Hootenanny Singers and had a European hit in 1964 with "Gabrielle." Here he is second to the right, next to the bassist:

Anni-Frid Princess Reuss of Plauen (née Lyngstad)--the brunette one--started at age 13 singing jazz standards in a big band. According to Wikipedia:
On 3 September 1967, Frida won the Swedish national talent competition, "New Faces", arranged by record company EMI and held at Skansen, Stockholm. The song she chose to sing was "En Ledig Dag" ("A Day Off"). The first prize in this contest was a recording contract with EMI Sweden. Unbeknownst to Lyngstad, the winner of the contest was also expected to appear the same evening in the country's most popular TV show at that time, Hylands Hörna. This happened on the same day Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right side. Driving on that day was discouraged, so most of the nation was watching TV that night. Frida performed her winning song live.

Which is here:

Agnetha Fältskog--the blonde one--started as a solo singer and had a 1968 Swedish hit with "Jag Var Så Kär," which google tells me translates to "I Was So Funny." Okay. She also starred as Mary Magdalene in the 1972 Swedish production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. I can't find any footage of any of this, except for creepy slideshow youtube videos, so I decided to post the most ridiculous one--which, I believe, is this:


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