Galgalatz @ 25: A Playlist Marked By Controversy. Has Anything Changed?

Galgalatz logo

As we’ve been reporting, Galgalatz radio recently celebrated 25 years on the air. The station has been incredibly successful, with more Israelis tuning in to Galgalatz than to all other Israeli radio stations combined (as reported by a station employee during my visit to the station).

However, the celebration has not been so sweet for some Israeli artists.

A recent article in Yediot Achronot’s “7 Leilot” magazine examined the station’s playlists from 1993 to today. As we reported, “Bo” by Rita, and later Ivri Lider, was the most-played Israeli song in the history of Galgalatz, and Mashina received more airplay than any other Israeli singer or group.

In examining 25 years of playlists, however, the “7 Leilot” article noted that there were some glaring omissions within the results. Women barely cracked the list of the top 20 artists (Yehudit Ravitz at #11, Rita at #17), and not a single Mizrachi song made it into the top 30.

With Mizrachi artists like Eyal Golan and Sarit Hadad enjoying tremendous popularity, and female singers creating a large percentage of Israeli songs,  it’s pretty clear that the Galgalatz playlist does not accurately reflect the musical tastes of the land of Israel.

Galgalatz Responds To the Controversy

Well, Galgalatz officials weren’t too pleased with that report. Things have changed in the past few years, they claimed. And besides, “we don’t pick songs based on genre or gender,” they told Yediot Achronot. “We simply pick good music.”

But Yediot decided to dig deeper. In a follow-up, they isolated the past five years of playlists. Had anything changed?

Nope. Here are their findings from the past five years:

The 20 Most Played Songs on Galgalatz: 2013-2018

Guy V’yahel – Ratzim BaAvir
  1. Guy V’yahel – Ratzim BaAvir
  2. Carolina – Tzel Etz Tamar
  3. Muki – Lev Chofshi
  4. Eli Botner & Yaldei HaChutz – Na’im Achshav
  5. Shlomi Shaban & Chava Alberstein – Targil B’hitorerut
  6. Mercedes Band – BaYom U’vaLaila
  7. Evyatar Banai – Yaffa Kalvana
  8. Avraham Tal – Ani Itach
  9. Idan Haviv – Or Adom
  10. Mosh Ben-Ari – Kmo BaChaim
  11. Alon Eder – Ktzat Ahava Lo Tazik
  12. Tomer Yosef & Ben Hendler – Avarti Rak Kedei Lirot
  13. Idan Haviv – Kmo Kol Yom
  14. HeChatzer HaAchorit – Ma’aneh Koli
  15. Avraham Tal – Shoshana
  16. Muki – Yeled Shel Aba
  17. Roni Dalumi – Stam Shnei Anashim
  18. Yuval Dayan – Al Tomar
  19. Idan Haviv – Mechakeh
  20. Jane Bordeaux – Eich Efshar SheLo

As you can see, the playlist has been overwhelmingly dominated by men, with not one Yam Tichoni song making the cut. That point is further underscored by the list of the most-played artists of the past five years:

The 20 Most Played Artists on Galgalatz: 2013-2018

The Idan Raichel Project – Mima’amakim
  1. Idan Raichel Project
  2. Arik Einstein
  3. Ivri Lider
  4. Evyatar Banai
  5. Dudu Tassa
  6. Avraham Tal
  7. Shlomo Artzi
  8. Barry Sacharof
  9. Mosh Ben-Ari
  10. Guy V’yahel
  11. Mashina
  12. Ehud Banai
  13. Muki
  14. Yehudit Ravitz
  15. Aviv Gefen
  16. Eli Botner & Yaldei HaChutz
  17. Natan Goshen
  18. Yuval Dayan
  19. Rita
  20. Monica Sex

Oh well. It’s clear that Galgalatz management is looking for a certain “sound”, and for the most part, songs by women and Mizrachi artists don’t fit.

If you don’t love the Galgalatz playlist, then may I recommend a fantastic Israeli music podcast you might enjoy? 🙂

Do you enjoy listening to Galgalatz? What’s your favorite Israeli radio station?

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