(live here) – You said ‘the singing group’ – You said Efi Netzer • The man who is the soundtrack of our lives.
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A musical axiom
A musical axiom is that Efi Netzer is the soundtrack of our lives in Israel. Here it is possible to quote the former president of the country, Mr. Shimon Peres, who congratulated him on winning the “Mefal Haim” award on behalf of AM and the municipality of Haifa:
“The imprint of your poetry is evident throughout the development of culture and creativity in Israel. The enterprise of the many songs, the singing groups and the addition of songs that became the assets of the Hebrew singer’s iron sheep.”
Those who enter Efi Netzer’s residence are immediately enveloped in a wave of floral fragrances, colorful wreaths adorn the house starting at the door, and a spirit and peace and harmony combined with great sympathy and warmth embraces and caresses every corner.
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From the ancestors of the Hebrew singer
Efi Netzer is an Israeli composer and one of the fathers of public singing in Israel. In the sixties and seventies, his songs were sung by many singers in Israel.
Hayekah and Aharon
His parents, pioneers of the “Gordoniya movement”, immigrated to Israel in 1931 from Bessarabia (a historical region in Eastern Europe, which was alternately under Romanian, Ottoman and Russian rule. Today, this region is largely included in the territory of the Republic of Moldova).
Initially, the parents settled in Kibbutz Masada, from where they moved to Haifa. At that time, the family lived in a shack in the “Givat Ma’ayan” neighborhood (Hadar Alyon, a place that is now Rehovot Rashi-Ramban).
In 1934, a son was born, named Ephraim Shtamer, to his parents Hayekah and Aharon. He also had a brother who was 9 years younger than him, but he died in his 60s.
The choir singer
Already at Ammi A school, Ephraim excelled in the Bible, playing the bagpipes, drumming and singing. He was so good at it, that’s why he was crowned as the soloist of the school choir, and he was like that in all his school years, from the second grade to the eighth grade. From that time he fondly remembers his teachers , Rama Samsonov and Naomi Pelagi, as well as the Bible teacher Aharon, a Holocaust survivor who was on the Exodus ship from which he jumped and reached the beach in Haifa by swimming.
‘Friedman arranged my life’
Efi testifies that during his studies in high school, “the teacher Levov Friedman arranged my life”. Aryeh Friedman-Lovov, David Ben-Gurion’s brother-in-law, was an Israeli singer, educator and businessman, a tenor singer, one of the pioneers of popular Hebrew singing and public singing in Israel. Levov was a singing teacher and conductor of choirs in Haifa and one of the founders of the Music Institute in Haifa and a member of its board. As a teacher he extended his patronage to the student Efi and even placed him as a soloist in the synagogue choir, without his friends in the “Hashomer Ha’Tsa’ir” movement knowing this…
The first accordion
With puberty and the changes in the vocal cords, Netzer’s father collected a huge amount (as much as a monthly salary), and bought his son an accordion for his birthday. As an autodidact, Effie sat on the bathroom rail with the door closed, practiced, practiced and played for hours and hours. The best of all happened in the youth movement, where she began her career as a dancer in folk dance evenings and as a public singing center.
Diesel machine specialist
In the evenings he attended the Vocational School at the Samat and in the mornings he worked at the ‘Egged’ garage. In fact, Effie holds a second class diesel machinery specialist degree. This is also the reason why he aspired to serve in the army as a mechanical officer. But his will is separate and the IDF’s will is separate. The army stationed him as an accordionist in the Howi team. He taught poetry and songs in front of an audience of 400-500 soldiers. As a man of tremendous ambition, Netzer advanced through the military ranks and completed his mandatory service at the rank of sergeant major with the “Clock Sergeant” compilation.
“Music is Loft Gashpatan”
After his release from the IDF, his parents wanted him to study mechanics at the Technion and for him to have a regular job, because “music is Loft Gashpatan” (a job that fades with the wind). At first he worked in the mornings as a diesel mechanic at an Egged garage, and at the same time played the accordion in the evenings, in folk dance classes. To study music at the “Oranim Seminary”, where he also began to compose, when he was 20 years old. He wrote the melody of his first song for the dance competition of the “Shomeria”, while the words to the song “Hora Neorim” were written by his friend, Avraham ben Ze’ev.
The meeting at the Marcus camp in Carmel is French
When Ben Ze’ev left the Golan Gate, he enlisted in the military and was stationed at the Markus Camp in Carmel French in Haifa, which was then a base for receiving new immigrants and training instructors for the Education Corps and the youth movements, where he worked as a cook. At that time, it was the mid-1950s, Netzer played dances and taught songs in the exact same camp. In 1957, Efi was looking for someone to write words for him to a tune he composed for a dance, so he was told that there was a guy working in the camp kitchen who wrote songs and his name was Avraham.
As mentioned, the meeting between Netzer and Laban Ze’ev gave rise to Netzer’s first poem “Hora Neorim”. The relationship between Ben Ze’ev and Netzer continued for several years and produced additional songs, including “Shubach Yunim” in 1961, and “I and My Songs” at the 1964 Singer Festival. Likewise, “Ballad for the Nurse”, composed by Netzer to the words of Dan Almagor – a song that won first place at the festival The singer and chorus in 1969. Over the years Netzer wrote the best anthems for many IDF units.
A musical municipal employee
For 35 years, Netzer was the musical director of the Haifa municipality. Mr. Aryeh Gural, the mayor at the time, provided a special permit in which it was stated that as a municipal employee, he must complete the quota of working hours – but in his free time he could engage in composing, music and dancing.
A coin of the tongue was born: ‘the singing group’
In addition to writing songs and melodies, Netzer created and founded numerous singing groups. At first he thought of calling the group of ministers the name “Efi Netzer and his gang”, but the connotation did not agree with his ear… At that time the singers of the “Company de la Chanson” appeared in Israel, from here Netzer got the idea and subsequently the coin of the language “singing group” for the group of ministers.
‘The House of Rothschild’
In 1960, the first singing group was born in Israel, the “Rothschild House Group” in the establishment of Netzer. Boys and girls sang in the group who later became big names in Israeli singing, such as Chava Elberstein, Edna Lev, Jordana Arzi and Moshe Detz, who later, as we know, developed extensive musical careers of their own.
in the workroom
Even today, after so many years of activity, Netzer manages 3 singing groups. Another thing he is very proud of is the transfer of poetry in public from written poetry pages to designed slides. At first he would project slides decorated with drawings by the art teacher. These were taken by a photographer in the center of Carmel and then shown to the singing audience. Today, Efi sits completely supine and focused in his study in front of his personal computer and creates magnificent works that are brilliantly projected in his presentations at the singing evenings of the various singing groups.
The best Hebrew singer
Here it is worth noting that in addition to his book of songs, Netzer also published 5 books of songs, each of which contains about 200 songs by the best Hebrew singers. These books contain both the words and the melody of the notes and chords for playing these songs.
Today Netzer lives in the Carmelia neighborhood. He moved to his current apartment about two years ago, after he felt that his previous home, where he lived with his late wife Ilana, was too large for him, and climbing the many stairs several times a day began to make it a little difficult for him. His two children, Ron (56) And Shiri (50) lives near him. By the way, he notes that “Shiri – after the song “I and Shiri”, which was sung in 1964 by Shoshana Demari and the Sherid Trio”.
6 grandsons, 3 sons for each of his children. The most famous of his grandchildren in the field of music is his grandson Ido Netzer, the member of the electronic group ‘Triangle’ and he is one of the creators of the song that was chosen to represent Israel in Eurovision 2021.
Pleasant colors and many decorations decorate the rooms of the house. In many corners hang photographs, certificates and tributes, posters and many awards won by Netzer. Although the architectural design of the house was done by its previous residents, it is very fond of Netzer. He does not miss his previous spacious apartment, except for a longing for a view of the sea, the mountain and the forest.
Three corners are especially loved by him. The first of which is the piano corner. In addition to the wall piano in the study – the living room is decorated with a white grand piano. With light steps he approaches the keys and immediately the sounds of many fast songs run to them and are played in the living space.
In the study is the library which contains, among other books, his writings as well as special family photographs. According to him, the most important thing in this room is the computer station. With great agility he proudly presents the new song slide show he is currently creating. Effie controls the computer taps just like a young man.
“Long Live Netflix”
In addition to creating new presentations, musical management of the singing groups, arrangements of songs and performances, in his spare time Efi likes to solve logic puzzles, and play the piano for fun. As a “cinema patient”, when night falls, he relaxes in the corner of the television and enjoys watching movies, or as he put it: “Long live Netflix”.
A rich past and a look to the future
Netzer wishes for himself to continue performing as long as possible, and hopes that he will not get to the point where he needs help or, God forbid, mercy. In the same breath, he wishes that we will all return to the times before the corona epidemic, where we can sing, dance and be happy, without fear.
Netzer hopes for the disappearance of polarization in the nation, and believes that this can be done through unifying things, the most prominent of which is singing in public. For him, any music, of any kind (only on condition that it is of high quality and pleasant to his ears), has the power to do this.
Effie and friends
Efi renewed his singing club “Singing with Efi Netzer and the friends”, and at the beginning of this September, the singing club “Habita” will return to the “Krieger Hall”, with a unique and extensive program that will take place throughout the whole of the next year. May we all be able to sing, be happy and smile.