The King of Israeli Rock

The Fellowship  |  March 9, 2018

Shalom Hanoch

Age: 71

Known for: Known as the King of Israeli rock, Hanoch’s work has influenced modern Israeli music.

About him: Born in the Holy Land in Kibbutz Msihmarot, Shalom Hanoch’s musical talent was obvious from an early age. The other members of the kibbutz were amazed at Shalom’s talent, which was influenced by not just rock music, but classical, Russian folk music, gospel, and the blues. At the age of 12, Shalom received a jazz guitar, and began composing his own music, playing with the kibbutz band.

After joining the IDF, Shalom wrote songs for the army’s musical troupe. After his army service, Shalom began to perform in Tel Aviv. It was there that he met Arik Einstein, who was already a music star in Israel. Einstein asked Shalom to begin writing songs for him. Shalom’s big break happened in 1968 when Einstein recorded an album, Mazal Gdi, solely comprised of songs written by Hanoch.

Two years later, Shalom would join with Einstein and the band The Churchills to create a new Israeli musical sound, one that was influenced by the music they heard coming from England and America. Their album, Shablul, made up entirely of songs written by Shalom, included the well-known tune, “Ma Ata Ose KsheAta Kam Baboker (What Do You Do When You Wake Up in the Morning),” which you can hear in the above video. One innovation heard in this music was the use of popular language in the lyrics, instead of the official and formal language that had been heard in Israeli music up until then.

In the early 1970s, Shalom traveled to London to record a solo album in English. While the album, titled Shalom, sold oout in Israel, it did not do as well internationally. Shalom returned to Israel in 1973, aware that writing in a language other than Hebrew did not suit him.

After returning to the Holy Land, Shalom entertained IDF troops during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. And to this day, he continues to record and perform in his homeland, where he has certainly earned the title “The King of Israeli Rock.”

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.