Kirsti Sparboe was an established star in her native Norway. Launching her in Germany was part of a move to give her an international profile.
She was born on 7 December 1946 in the Arctic town of Tromso. She began a run of hits at home in 1964 with Frankie Boy and No og for alltid, and represented Norway at the Eurovision song contest three times, in 1965, 1967 and 1969, though without success (she amassed a combined total of just four points from her three attempts).
Interestingly, her first German recording was made in communist East Berlin in December 1967. The eerie Zwei Augen was unquestionably her classiest recording. Given the common use of
Stasi spies, its tale of a girl being watched was all too apt. It was the only one of her German releases to carry her surname.
Subsequent West German material followed a more traditional Schlager vein. After dropping her surname, her first success came with Du darfst nicht weinen, which made Germany’s top 30 in the summer of 1968. The follow up, Von mir aus kann es regnen, made the top 40.
She is best remembered for next single, the infectiously catchy Ein Student aus Uppsala, which spent over three months on the German charts in the spring of 1969, reaching number 15.
Napoleon und Josephine gave her another hit in July that year, though fans prefer to flip the disc over for Eins, zwei, drei, a translation of her Eurovision entry Oj, oj, oj, så glad jeg skal bli.
Die treuen Husaren proved her last top 40 hit, in November 1969.
In 1970 she took part in the German final to choose an entry for that year’s Eurovision song contest, with Pierre der Clochard, but lost out to Katja Ebstein.
She released a few more singles in Germany, but when they flopped she concentrated her efforts back in Scandinavia.