Hanokh, Shalom

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HANOKH, SHALOM (1946– ), Israeli rock singer-song-writer, among the most influential figures in Israeli rock since the 1970s. After teaming up with iconographic singer Arik *Einstein in 1967 he produced an extensive volume of work, ranging from blues-inflected songs to high-energy rock and gentle ballads.

Hanokh was born in kibbutz Mishmarot and spent much of his formative musical years writing songs with fellow kibbutz member singer-songwriter Meir Ariel. After being brought up on classical music, musicals, gospel, blues, folk music, and French chansons, Hanokh discovered the Beatles. When he was 18 a song he wrote called Stav ("Fall") was recorded by top singing duo of the time, Hedva and David.

Hanokh joined the idf at the age of 19 and was eventually accepted into the Naḥal army band, although not as a soloist. During his military service Hanokh also found time to appear in civilian shows with performers such as Ḥanan Yovel, Menaḥem Silverman, and Eli Magen. In 1967, Hanokh wrote a satirical number called Jacques Aboutboul, together with Yossi Pollak. It was this effort that brought him to the attention of Einstein, already an established star in the Israeli pop world. Shortly after hearing Hanokh perform Jacques Aboutboul Einstein recorded four Hanokh compositions and one of the important duos in the annals of Israeli rock was born.

After his release from the army in 1968, Hanokh left his kibbutz, moved to Tel Aviv, and began a highly productive period during which he wrote the music for hits by numerous top performers, such as Yossi *Banai, Ili Gurelitzki, and Ḥanan Yovel. More importantly, he also wrote the music for Prague with which Einstein won the 1969 Israeli Song Festival. Between 1969 and 1970 Hanokh collaborated with Einstein on two albums, Shablul and Plastelina, appeared in the movie Shablul, and took part alongside Einstein in two episodes of the satirical program Lul. Hanokh then spent three years trying to develop an international career in London but failed and returned to Israel in 1973. He resumed his partnership with Einstein before his Israeli rock career took off in earnest with the formation of the country's first rock band, Tammuz.

In 1977 Hanokh released a melancholy album called Adam Betokh Atzmo, before returning to his original high-energy rock style. Further collaborations with Einstein ensued and, by the end of the 1970s, Hanokh was the top rock performer in Israel. In 1984 Hanokh released Meḥakim le-Mashi'aḥ ("Waiting for the Messiah"), his most successful album to date, and although his career had a few ups and downs in the interim, Hanokh remained the premier rock artist in Israel.

[Barry Davis (2nd ed.)]