Filed under: Israel
This week’s guest post is by Omer Nuriel. Omer is a longtime record collector specializing in Israeli 60’s beat garage psych music: www.israeli-records.com. In his website he tells the story of rare Israeli record pressings. If you have any interesting records or cassettes that you wish to share from some of the countries that we have yet to hear from – or countries that we need to hear more from – please get in touch.
The I. T. C. Sextet EP is one of the most obscure records released in Israel. Because the Sextet guys are not from Israel, it is very hard to dig here for their roots. There is very little information on this private press release, believed to be a mid-late 60’s release.
The six young men whose songs are recorded on this 4 track EP were part of an international studies program that took place at Ort Natanya in Israel. The program trained the students to be instructors for agro-mechanics, mechanics, carpentry and electro-mechanis. They came from Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast and many other countries.
At their free time after the studies, these students used to sing and play together and out of these unformal jam sessions The I. T. C. Sextet was formed.
The rumor of this colourful and unique group playing at the ORT School spread wings quickly and they had some local success in the Natanyah area.
The EP was recorded when the group members finished their studies just before they left for their native countries.
It was privately released in a small edition (no official number but anything between 200-500 copies is reasonable).
All four tracks on this EP are original compositions: Bailar Cha-Cha-Cha (Alphonse) / Lelo Oyo (Paul) / Rumba Mimi (Alphonse) / If Mama Knows (Mintah & Alphonse).
Group members were:
Alphonse Halet – guitar solo
Atto Luc Valere – rhythm guitar
Barthelemy Bacliabio – singer
Paul Makge – singer
Mintah Osei K. – singer
Georges Paraiso - drums
Filed under: Israel
Military service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is mandatory, with some exceptions, for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18. But unlike most other countries’ armies, the IDF has had performing groups called Lehakot Tsva’iyot (Army Ensembles) since the 1950s. These groups, comprising soldiers with talent or performing experience, tour bases and field positions to entertain the troops. Every Israeli musician of the 1960s was a product of this system, including Arik Einstein, Shula Chen, and Shalom Hanoch, to name a few.
Shalom Hanoch (also seen spelled Chanoch and Hanokh) was born in Mishmarot, and stared writing and performing at a young age. By the time he was 19, he had a song recorded by folk duo Hedva and David. In 1966, he began his compulsory military service and joined the Infantry Brigade troupe, the Nahal Band. It was during his time with the Nahal Band that he caught the attention of Arik Einstein, who asked Shalom to write for him.
Around this time, Shalom formed The Three’ngers – or Three Singers – with Benny Amdursky and Hanan Yovel. Their only album from 1969, featured Danny Sandersson of Kaveret (a.k.a. Poogy) on guitar and Aharale Kaminsky on drums. The album also showcased a roster of who’s who of Israeli song writers: Dani Litani, Shimrith Or, Ya’akov Rotblit, Yair Rosenblum, Yaron London and Yehonatan Geffen.
The following year, Hanoch teamed up with Einstein to write two albums – Shablul (Snail) and Plastelina (Plasticine). The former was billed as an Arik Einstein album, with all compositions by Hanoch; the latter was credited to both. The next year, Shalom moved to England “without connections or a firm grasp of the English language“. He soon found management with Dick James, and recorded the album Shalom with Elton John‘s backing band. In 1973, he returned to Israel to form the band Tamouz. Although that band also only release one album, it was considered a milestone of Israeli Rock and Roll.
After the demise of Tamouz, Shalom Hanoch has remained a solo artist. He continues to record and perform to this day.
Catalog number BAN 14100 on Hed Arzi Ltd. of Israel, released 1969.
Filed under: Israel
Up until 1967, Israeli popular music was largely based on Russian Folk Music, French Chansons, Argentine Tango and more “Easy Listening” fare. But all of that changed after the Six Days War in June of 1967, when students, tourists and volunteers began to arrive in The Holy Land, bringing with them musical equipment, record collections and most importantly hippie culture. The result was an emergence of a number of Beat groups who had their first opportunity to perform in a small but lively discothèque scene.
The Styles were founded the following year in 1968 by Itzhak Klepter (who had played in The Churchills), Avi Karpel (from The Spiders – no relation to The Spiders from either Japan or Singapore) and Meir Israel (The Monks – and no, not The Monks as in “Black Monk Time“). Their first performance was at the 1968 Battle of the Bands, along with The Blue Stars, The Fat & The Thin, The Mosquitoes, The New Stars and Tel Aviv Express. The Styles were the only band to sing in Hebrew at the event, where they took third place. First prize went to The New Stars and their lead singer Uzi Fuchs (a.k.a. Uzi Fux). After leaving The New Stars, Fuchs sang for The Fat & The Thin briefly before joining The Styles in 1969 – thus becoming Uzi & The Styles.
That same year, a British group called Revolver (no relation to the current band by that name) came to Israel on tour. After which their keyboardist Abe Orchover and songwriter Tony Price decided to stay behind and join the band. The two Englishmen were the main influence over the band’s material and soon they recorded Manfred Man‘s “Daytime Nighttime” which became a big hit. They followed that with a three song EP with “Morning Train”, “Someday” and “Where Were You Last Night?” – all of which were hits. Due to the EP’s success, it was licensed as a single to record labels outside of Israel, in Belgium, England, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and the United States.
In 1970 they recorded their first and only album, “Friends“. The album was recorded and sung in entirely in English, and is still considered one of the greatest albums in Israeli music history. But, the band broke up soon after the album was released. In 1990, They played a single reunion show in Israel.
Catalog number 07.769 on Belter of Spain, released 1970.
Filed under: Israel
Shula Chen was born in 1947 in Palestine. Later that same year, the United Nations passed the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Also known as U. N. General Assembly Resolution 181, this was an attempt to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict by partitioning the territory into separate Jewish and Arab states, creating what is now known as Israel.
Shula got her start in the mid-Sixties with the Nahal Army Troupe, along with Shalom Hanoch (who would later go on to form The Churchills with Arik Einstien). Nahal is a youth program in Israel that allows them to combine their compulsory three-year military service with volunteer-type civilian service. Later in 1980, she apparently became an actress and in 2003 a retrospective compact disc called Come Home. But beyond that, there is almost no other information that I have been able to find.
Catalog number S 63372 on CBS Records of Israel. No release date listed.
Filed under: Israel
The Fat & The Thin were from Israel.
Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל), is located on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders with Lebanon in the north, Syria and Jordan in the east, and Egypt on the southwest, and contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. The West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are partially administrated by the Palestinian National Authority, are also adjacent. With a population of about 7.2 million, the majority of whom are Jews, Israel is the world’s only Jewish state. It is also home to Arab Muslims, Christians and Druze, as well as other religious and ethnic minority groups. Jerusalem is the nation’s capital, seat of government, and largest city.
The modern state of Israel has its roots in the Land of Israel, a concept central to Judaism for over three thousand years. After World War I, the League of Nations approved the British Mandate for Palestine with the intent of creating a “national home for the Jewish people”. In 1947, the United Nations approved the partition of the Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The Arab League rejected the plan, but on May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. The new country’s victory in the subsequent Arab-Israeli War expanded the borders of the Jewish state beyond those in the UN Partition Plan. Since then, Israel has been in conflict with many of the neighboring Arab countries, resulting in several major wars and decades of violence. Throughout the conflict, Israel’s boundaries have been subject to dispute, although Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and efforts are being made to reach a permanent accord with the Palestinians.
Uzi Fuchs (a.k.a. Uzi Fux) sang on this song, while Watson T. Browne provided the vocals on the A side. Uzi would later go on to form Uzi & The Styles, while Watson T. Browne would go on to a solo career in various countries across Europe . The only other information that I have been able to find, is that they recorded a a song called “I’m A Travelin’ Man” that was included on the second volume of the “Conquer the World” compilation.
Filed under: Israel
Arik Einstein has had a long career, not only in music but also on the stage and on televison.
He was born in Tel Aviv, to Yaakov Einstein, a theatre performer. He participated in the Young Guard movement and became the Israeli junior champion for high jump. His father urged him to apply for an army band, and Arik was accepted into the Nahal Brigade band.
Upon his release from the IDF in 1959, Einstein joined the Green Onion Band and the Sambation theatre. In 1960, he released his first solo album.
He sang in a band under the pseudonym Ari Goren, and then went on to join the Yarkon Bridge Trio, where he performed with Yehoram Gaon, Beni Amdorsky and later Israel Gurion. As the band became successful, so did Einstein.
In 1968, Einstein released his album Mazal Gdi (lit. Capricorn), which was not very successful. He therefore looked for a new tune, and went on to produce the album Poozi with The Churchills Band, which was considered the first Israeli rock album.
Einstein was part of the critically acclaimed, early 1970s TV series Lool (Chicken Coop), a sketch and song show with an original format and a creative cast. The show had an off-the-wall sense of humor not unlike Monty Python’s Flying Circus. However, it also featured songs written by some of the most prominent poets and performed by some of the best singers Israel has ever produced. In spite of the fact that it had only four parts, it remains a cult-show to this day. The show, as well as movies such as Shablool (Snail), showcased Einstein both as a first line singer and a top comedian.
Einstein continues to write songs and release albums to this day. In 2004, he released Two Guitars, Bass, Drums (שתי גיטרות בס תופים Shtei Gitarot Bas Tupim).
Catalog number MN – 545 Hed Artzi (which translates to “The Echo of My Country”) of Tel Aviv, Israel, released in 1966.
Filed under: Israel
I have not been able to find out much about David, other than what was printed in the liner notes:
When David was born some 24 years ago, the Tel Aviv population was totally in aware of the fact that anew star was to rise at the bright skies of show business.
David’s love for the stage first manifested during Welfare Showprograms while he was serving his country. It was right after leaving the army that David was offered his first contract as a singer in “The End of the World Club” in Elath-on-Red Sea.
His Performance there was a smash and definitely kicked off his career. In less than no time David’s tenor voice gained tremendous popularity throughout Israel.
Furthermore he is an expert showman on a native drum, the TOS DRUM.
“THE ORIENTAL BEAT GOES ON” is based on a Turkish melody, arranged by Ted Powder and put to lyrics by Rafi Nelson.
I read somewhere that the song this is based on is called ”Don’t Marry Abdullah”.
Catalog number: PS015 on Whamm Records, which I believe was from Holland. No release date given.