The year 2019 was a big year for Israel Hour Radio. Although we launched our new web site at the end of 2018, this was the first full year of its existence, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve become a major online presence for Israeli music news and information – in English.
Over the past year, MyIsraeliMusic.com became THE place to find Israeli concerts in the US and Canada, shared some insightful concert reviews, launched a (temporarily suspended) regular show on YouTube, posted a new podcast every single week of the year, invited our listeners to present their dream Israeli playlist on the radio, announced our first-ever musical tour of Israel, and kept you up to date with tons of Israeli music news, viral videos, hot new releases, and much more.
With the year coming to a close, we thought it would be a good time to recap our most popular content of the year. So without further ado, here is our countdown of the top 10 most-read posts on MyIsraeliMusic.com in 2019.
#10: Ishay Ribo & Nathan Goshen Concerts in New York, L.A., Miami (March/April 2019)
When I first heard about this show, I was intrigued by this interesting pairing. I also wondered, do these guys have enough fans in the USA to fill an auditorium? Boy, was I in for a surprise. When I went to see this show in New York, I was blown away by the enthusiasm of the audience – especially for Ishay Ribo. People of all walks of life were going crazy over him, singing along (loudly) with every word. After the show, both men surprised the audience by hanging out in the lobby – a scene that quickly turned to pandemonium once everyone realized they were there. Here’s my video recap of the concert.
Back in February, the Israeli government commissioned a new Israeli music app designed to help more people discover the joys of Israeli music. And so, “Shiri” was born. Shiri is a Hebrew-language app that asks for your three favorite artists, then plays music from those artists as well as others you might enjoy. The app enjoyed a tremendous amount of publicity when it was first released, and the developers are constantly adding new songs and artists to broaden its collection. For the Hebrew-challenged, we released our own guide to installing and using the Shiri app.
Last December, Galgalatz radio celebrated 25 years as Israel’s most popular music radio station. To mark the occasion, they released their list of the 30 most-played Israeli songs on the station. The winner? Due to the fact that it was released twice by two very popular singers, “Bo” by Rita (1988) and later Ivri Lider (2002). But despite the celebration, their playlists have been marked by controversy over the years. Read more to bring yourself up to speed.
If you’re a regular listener to Israel Hour Radio, chances are you’re always up to date with the latest and greatest in Israeli music. But for others, we wanted to make sure they didn’t miss anything either. There were so many great new songs coming out of Israel this summer that deserved to be highlighted in a post of their own. With thanks to Google for sending us lots of traffic, it became one of our most popular posts of the year.
Plain and simple, Omer Adam was the undisputed king of Israeli music in 2018. But the year brought us many other amazing songs that deserved to be heard. For many people, a search for “Israeli music” on Google brought them to our year-end Israeli music roundup for 2018. Featuring songs by Eden Ben Zaken, Rita, Stephane Legar, Shlomo Artzi, and many more, this post (featured on The Times of Israel as well) offers insights into the best Israeli music of 2018 – while temporarily excluding Mr. Adam, the 800 lb. gorilla of Israeli music.
In the early days of 2019, four of the absolute biggest Israeli music stars of today treated Israeli music fans to a new blockbuster song. We called it an “Israeli music dream team”, and our readers and listeners agreed. So did the Israeli public, apparently. This song played on Israeli radio more than any other in 2019.
In summer 2019, Omer Adam made history by filling all 50,000 seats at HaYarkon Park in Tel Aviv. While it’s not unusual to sell-out a show there, for a show there, it IS unusual for so many to come see an Israeli singer. See, that venue usually hosts international artists, like Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Jennifer Lopez, and others. But Omer’s sold out show at Park HaYarkon brought him to a new level in the world of Israeli entertainment. To celebrate, Kan Gimmel radio asked listeners to vote for their favorite songs by Omer Adam, and counted them down on the air. We shared the list with you, generating one of the biggest posts of 2019.
If you’ve read this far, you already know how popular Ishay Ribo was in 2019. Well, his incredible new song “Seder HaAvoda” – released in advance of this year’s High Holiday season – brought his popularity to an entirely new level. It also raised the profile of a new genre in Israeli music: songs that sound secular but contain religious Jewish themes. This song, detailing the service of the High Priest on Yom Kippur, was incredibly well-received throughout Israeli society, and doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.
My favorite song of 2019 has got to be the brilliant “HaIvrit HaChadasha” by Hatikva 6. This creative, fun new song, released on the eve of Yom HaAtzmaut 2019, lists the many English words that have become part of the Hebrew lexicon. From “jetlag” to “handbag”, from “relocation” to “start-up nation”…this new song will be stuck in your head (in a good way) for the foreseeable future.
#1: “This Is My Home, This Is My Heart”: 35 Israeli Singers Record a Song In Honor Of Israel’s 71st Birthday
We all grew up listening to those patriotic Israeli songs that made everyone feel good about the state of Israel. But those songs were made a long time ago, and these days, Israeli music is pretty much about love and partying, right? Not exactly. In April, Idan Raichel partnered with Galgalatz to bring us “Shevet Achim VaAchayot” – a tribe of brothers and sisters. This “We Are the World” type song brought together 35 top Israeli singers to collaborate on a love song to Eretz Yisrael, and it’s been a mainstay on Israeli radio ever since. It was also – by far – our most read post in 2019!
What was your favorite Israeli musical memory of 2019?
Now it’s your turn. What Israeli song said it best in 2019? Which Israeli artists do you most admire? What 2019 song can you not stop listening to? Let us know, and get ready for another great year of Israeli music in 2020. Happy New Year!