YARKONI, YAFFA (1925– ), Israeli popular singer. Born in Givatayim, Yarkoni first became known during the War of Independence in the Ḥishtron military troupe, whose repertoire mainly suited the salon, e.g., the tangos "Sheḥarḥoret," "Ḥabibi," and "Al Na Tomar Li Shalom." At the same time, Yarkoni also sang military songs such as "Bab el-Wad." Although these were seen as a break with her previous style, in fact many songs, like "Ha'amini Yom Yavo," shared features of both. Shortly after the war, Yarkoni also became a leading singer of children's songs like "Aggalah im Susah," a song that combines Russian and Oriental influences. Yarkoni also followed folkloristic trends, especially in the masterful recordings with the Emanuel Zamir group. She remained a leading figure in Israeli popular music during the 1950s and 1960s. She performed the winning songs in 1965 and 1966 Israel Song Festival. In the 1970s she participated in several children's song festivals. Around 1970 she had new successes, such as "Keshehayinu Yeladim" (1969) and "Pamela" (1971). After the early 1970s she recorded few new songs but did produce new versions of her old repertoire, many of them collected in a 5-cd compilation of her songs (1998). In 1998, Yarkoni was awarded Israel Prize for her achievements in the field of Hebrew song.
Y. Rotem, "Yaffa Yarkoni" (www.mooma.com).
[Yossi Goldenberg (2nd ed.)]