“Arik Einstein is more than the greatest Israeli singer. Arik is the real Israel itself” – with these words starts his bio on Mooma, the wonderful database in Hebrew - and you can’t put it better!!! 

The following is my humble attempt to translate it into English while keeping it shorter than the Hebrew version.  Please bear with me, it won't be as fast as I wish.


Arik Einstein is more than the greatest Israeli singer. Arik is the real Israel itself. Though he was only a 9 year old child when State of  Israel has been proclaimed, it seems his voice and his songs have been with us forever and ever – since The Small Land Of Israel through wars and happy times, ups and downs, for better for worse. He has been producing wonderful albums for more than 30 years, and he is always interesting and current. He knows how to incorporate new talents and knows how to keep his unique style. In his works he recreates reality or responds to it, with a one of a kind vision of a world which is funny and sometimes sad, but first of all filled with love. Love to his family and friends, places, memories, songs and old stories… 

In more than 40 years of his career Arik recorded about 500 songs: with Army Choir, Green Onion, The Yarkon Bridge Trio, High Windows, in various productions, movies and concerts, no less than 34 albums where he cooperated with different artists.

 * * * 

Arik Einsten was born on January the 3rd in 1939. When he was young he loved to sing but his main interest was sports. He was a Minor League champion in high-jumping. When it was time to go to the Army his father Yakob, a theatre actor, inspired Arik to try and get into the most important part of Israeli entertainment back then, the Army Choir. Among his examiners were Hayim Topol and Uri Zohar when he sang and played etude, and he was accepted. He served together with Yehoram Gaon. Einstein sang in various programs and got his first solo parts.  

In 1959, when his service was over, he played and sang in Satirical Theatre and in the last program of the group Green Onion. One could hear his voice on the songs like “Lipa the Horseman”. 

In 1960 Arik released his first record, consisting of four songs.  During this period he was singing in a Young Group with Nehama Hendel, Yosi Fost and Shayke Levi under the pseudonym Ari Goren. As a singer and actor, he took a part in concert programs like Small Tel-Aviv and starred in a movie “Nini” by his father’s side – they played father and son. At that period he also got married to Alona.  In 1964 he joined Benny Amdurski and Yehoram Gaon. They formed The Yarkon Bridge Trio, where he stayed until 1966 (later on with Israel Gurion who replaced Gaon). This group was the biggest success in Israeli pop music in the sixties.  A lot of songs from their two albums (and even some of those that didn’t make it to the recording studio) became classic Hebrew songs. Einstein, though, saw this period as a bit less meaningful; for him it was a happy time, but not a time of much artistic value. He was listening to rock music, to The Beatles – and the Trio’s music was closer to French chansons and Russian ballads than to a new wave safe for the musical arrangements of Itzhak Greczany, full of modern jazz tendencies. It was pretty different from the mainstream of Israeli music where Army Choirs were still reigning. Pop was considered rather a joke. For instance, the Trio recorded “From Me To You” by The Beatles as a parody much as they did with “Shake” when they appeared in the movie “Dalia and the Sailors”. 

In the Trio period Arik was busy with recording as a solo artist and starring in movies. Not only did he play in Effrayim Kishon’s 1964 movie  “Sallah Shabati” but he also recorded a song for the soundtrack, “For Me And For You”, with Geula Noni. He took a part in the Israel Wessler movie “Dreamboat”.  With the Trio he sang at the Festival of Song in 1964, but not only that: he was also singing solo with an orchestra under the direction of Greczany. 

Arik came in first at the 1965 festival while The Trio came in second and third with two different songs.  He was successful in 1966, too. His solo, "Fall Song", received first place while second place went to the Trio.

The first solo 

In 1966 Arik released his first solo album, Sing for You. It consisted mainly of music, lyrics and translations by Dafna Eilat, with influences of jazz and South-American rhythms. The hits were “This Night”, “Don’t Cry Girl” and “Drumming Rain”. Modern musical instruments were used in some songs, such as electric guitar. 

A one-time-only duo album of Arik and Jaffa Jarkoni was produced in the same year. They recorded four songs together: “Fall Night”, which they each sang on their own before at the Song Festival, “It Happened Only This Time”, “If I Were” and “Yesterday” by The Beatles under the Hebrew name “Rak Etmol’”. 

The same year Arik recorded with “The Einsteins”:  David Keribushi on organ and modern instruments, Eli Mizrahi on drums, Shmulik Aruh  on bass and Richard Peretz on electric guitar. They performed a cover of “Do You Want To Know A Secret” with Hebrew lyrics and renamed “Luck”, two American folk songs, “Lemon Tree” and “The House of The Rising Sun” with newly produced lyrics by Lea Naor. “An Evening of Roses”, originally by Dor Hadar, got a jazz flavour and some add-ons by Arik. 

In the end of 1967 Benny Amdurski produced two singles for Arik. The first one, with musical arrangement by Alex Weiss, a cross between pop and jazz, was called I Feel like a King, with a song by the same name by Arik. It also included “Not Once in Summer” from Song Festival , “This Pain” from the repertoire of The Yarkon Bridge Trio and “Jerusalem of Gold” by Naomi Shemer. 

The second single had a great impact on Arik’s career. It was his first collaboration with the young and talented Shalom Hanoch whom he had just met at this time. Shalom’s music appeared in the songs “Hagar”, “Eyelashes” and “Suddenly Without You”. 

These songs, except for “Jerusalem of Gold”, formed the 1988 compilation album, The Old and The New, which came out in August of that year. "White City”, “The Little Hours of The Night”, “The Fall Wind” by The Nahal Band and “Chocolate Soldier” by High Windows made it to the album as well. Benny Amdurski produced this album without Arik knowing about it since at the time he was busy producing a really new album with CBC, Capricorn.