Filmed: July 1966
Broadcast: Saturday 23 July 1966, 19.25–20.00, Sweden
Release status: Unreleased
Shown in: Sweden
För runt för fyra =Too round for four
Another episode of this programme, featuring both the Hootenanny Singers and The Hep Stars which would appear to be the fist time Benny and Björn appeared on the same TV programme. The other performers were Country Four, Sven Ingvars and Mak les Soeurs.
The Hootenanny Singers performed:
The Hep Stars performed I natt jag drömde for the first time, which had a monumental influence on their career.
The following text is from Benny’s Road To ABBA by Carl Magnus Palm (with permission):
"According to legend it was a television producer who triggered the decision that The Hep Stars should record a song in their mother tongue. The group was invited to appear on a popular show, the only condition being that they did something different: sing in Swedish, for example. Åke Gerhard eagerly supported the suggestion, despite being well aware that it was virtually ”forbidden” for a pop band to sing in any other language than English in those days. Swedish lyrics were considered wimpy, something that only schlager acts and more traditional singers could get away with. The guys themselves were in favour of the suggestion, at least Benny, Svenne and Felle, who were now mostly in charge of the musical direction. Doing a Swedish number could be unusual in a fun way. Other members were less enthusiastic. ”There was quite a lot of discussion before we did it,” Svenne later admitted.
But what song should they perform in the programme? Their repertoire didn’t include anything in Swedish. Åke Gerhard sat down to write something, but none of his suggestions seemed to be right for the group. The only song they could think of was I natt jag drömde, a translation of Ed McCurdy’s folk ballad, Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream. A Swedish version of the song had been released a few years earlier, although it had not been a major hit. ”It sometimes happened at parties that someone would come up to us with an acoustic guitar and say, ’Won’t you sing something for us?’,” Svenne recalls. ”Most of the time they wanted to hear Cadillac or Farmer John, but then we’d explain that we couldn’t do those songs with just a guitar. Instead, we used to perform I natt jag drömde, with either Janne or Benny playing the chords on the guitar.” The decision on what to perform in the television programme was made by default, based on their extremely limited Swedish repertoire. I natt jag drömde was the choice.
The Hep Stars’ appearance in the programme was a success. During the summer tour of 1966 the song was added to the live show and in August it was recorded for single release."
"I natt jag drömde was released during the autumn and met with a promising start in the record shops, entering the sales chart at number seven. But there was a problem: the Swedish lyricist was in a conflict with Swedish radio, and didn’t allow for any of his songs to be aired. Although the record initially didn’t have any backing whatsoever from the radio, it rapidly climbed up the chart. When the lyricist conflict was solved in early 1967 the song became a contender for Svensktoppen. I natt jag drömde was The Hep Stars first song on that chart, remaining at number one for eight weeks and contributing to prolonging the sales success. The record spent 29 weeks on the sales chart – longer than any other Hep Stars release – and although it was never number one, it occupied the number two position for a total of nine weeks. Above all, the potential audience for the band was broadened in one fell swoop: now even grandmothers could listen to The Hep Stars. ”For us this was a major victory, to become accepted by an audience that was completely new to us,” Svenne later acknowledged.
I natt jag drömdewhich had been recorded almost by accident, was The Hep Stars greatest-ever success. The melody was easy to hum along to, and with the cold war raging, the hopeful lyrics about the dream of world peace was exactly right for the times. The song was easy to embrace and no-one found its message too challenging or provocative. Reportedly, I natt jag drömde sold a total of 300,000 copies. Achieving that kind of sales for just one record was simply sensational in Sweden in the Sixties."