The famous Duos and Trios of Israeli music

צמדים ושלשיו

by Oded Gordon

Many Israeli singers start their career as part of a group, especially when the Military groups enjoy (or at least enjoyed) a huge reputation.

The main advantage of singing in a group is vocal harmony, however, disadvantages are usually cost, logistics, and mobility.

The solution, Duos and Trios! Harmony without too many complications, simple!

So for the sing-a-long evening of “LASHIR BEYAHAD” I have compiled a short list of the better known duos and trios who played a major role shaping Israeli music.


Who remembers the duo called SILVAN AND YAIR?  Formed in Paris by singer/song-writer Yair Klinger and French born Silvan Margee, they became a one-hit-wonder during the Israeli Song Festival 1973, but had a distinct flair about them.

Another famous duo of the 60’s was the Ofarim,  Esther Zaid and Avi Reichshtat. They had a string of hits in Israel and then achieved a number one hit in the UK with the song Cinderella Rockerfeller, (the first Israeli singers to do so).

Following the success of Cinderella Rockerfeller, the Ofarim moved to Europe and settled in Germany. That decision did not sit well in Israel and an “un-official” boycott was carried out by radio stations who refused to play their songs. During the 70’s they went their own way. Esther still enjoys moderate success as a solo artist, but Avi went through a tough drug rehabilitation and is out of the music business altogether.

In 1958 Ed Sullivan came to Israel looking for young performers to be included in his special show celebrating ten years of the state of Israel.  The finalists were Ran Eliran and Nehama Hendel. The name Ran presented no problem to English speakers, not so Nehama…so her name was changed to Nama and they became known as Ran and Nama.

Following their appearance in the “Ed Sullivan Show” with the song ANA PANA DODECH, they became very popular in the USA and Canada, yet they failed to make a real impression in Israel.

We started the evening with “ANI HOLEM AL NAOMI”, a huge hit of ex-military group singers Hedva Amrani and David Tal, who were called Hedva and David.  By the time ”ANI HOLEM AL NAOMI”  was recorded , they already had a minor success, however, they sang their hit song in an International competition in Tokyo and became mega-stars in Japan practically over night…To my knowledge this is the first ,and perhaps, the only Israeli song ever to be translated into Japanese. Hedva and David were never able to repeat the success of their hit song and in 1972 went their own ways. Hedva lives in Los Angeles performing every so often. David died in 1999 after a long heart illness.

The next duo featured was the RE’IM  (friends).  RE’IM are the ones who made the Hassidic music so popular in Israel.  They appeared in all the Hassidic song festivals and since 1969 there is not one Hassidic song they did not perform or record. They worked with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Dudu Fisher and many others. We sang 2 of their popular songs “OSE SHALOM BIMROMAV” and “MI HA- ISH”


Next Duo was the well known and loved DUDAIM, with members Benny Amdorski and Israel Gurion.  The DUDAIM set new standards in Israeli folk music. Just think of it, the time was 1958, only two years after the Sinai Campaign. The dominant music of the time was the military groups with loud fast tempo songs like “YA MISHLATI” and the “HO HO” patriotic songs, and, in the midst of all that, there were these two young guys with an acoustic guitar and soft ballads, or love songs. They were certainly different, and only their huge success proved them right. The DUDAIM kept performing albeit with different line-ups right up to 1994, the year Benny Amdorski passed away. We sang some of their all time favorites, “EREV SHEL SHOSHANIM”,  “NAD ILAN” and “VAYIVEN UZIYAHU.”

We proceeded with the Parvarim, the grand-daddy of all the duos, with a career spanning more than 45 years! Yossi Hurie and Nisim Menachem met at a party in Tel Aviv sometime in 1960. They both had their guitars with them, were jamming together, and realized there was a special chemistry between them. That was the beginning of the unique character of the PARVARIM, a special sound made of a fantastic harmony supported by superb guitar playing.

To list all their songs would take far too much time, suffice to say that a large CD collection was made available in recent years. In 1977 Nisim Menachem became religious and left the music field all together. His place was taken by Ori Harpaz, a brilliant guitar player with a distinct Latin American influence. The great Mati Caspi joined forces with the PARVARIM, contributing arrangements to some of their later songs, and the PARVARIM continue to charm us with their magic till today. We sang the following songs: “TILBESHI LAVAN”,  “AHAVA PSHUTA”,  “TZIPORIM NODEDOT”,  “TIUL LAILI” 

Last of the duos for our evening was Ilan Ve'ilanit.  Hanna Drezner and Shlomo Tzach started working together as HANNA VE-SHLOMO in the mid 60’s.  Following an offer to tour Europe, they changed the name to ILAN VE-ILANIT, and became one of the most successful male/female teams. It was pointed out that ILANIT is actually a tree frog…but obviously it made no impact since, at the height of their career, 9 sets of twins in Israel were called ILAN VE-ILANIT…                                                                                                                  

During the prime time of the Israeli Song Festival between 1967 and 1973 ILAN VE-ILANIT had a large number of hit songs, however, in 1973 Shlomo  went to work “behind the stage” getting involved with artist management while Hanna (still called ILANIT) continued as a solo artist.  We sang their first hit song “LEKOL ADAM KOCHAV”, and continued with other known songs such as “BASHANA HABA’A”, “VESHUV ITCHEM”, and  “BEIKVOTAICH”


Presented by Oded Gordon of “LASHIR BEYAHAD”

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