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Danny Sanderson

He stands as a lifelong contributor to Israeli music, excelling as a guitarist, vocalist, instrumentalist, lyricist, composer, and music producer. Undoubtedly, he is considered one of the pioneers of Israeli rock and roll, having amassed a body of work so extensive that it would require two days to fully explore his creative accomplishments.

(Photo: Vardi Kahana)


1. Sanderson was born on November 30, 1950, in Kfar Bloom to American parents. He spent his early years in Haifa and, at the age of 10, relocated with his family to New York City.


2. During his childhood, Sanderson acquired skills in playing the banjo and guitar, heavily influenced by both familial musical exposure and American culture.


3. At 18, he returned to Israel, joined the army, and served in the Nahal Chorus, where his musical and entertainment talents flourished.


4. Sanderson, along with Gidi Gov, Ephraim Shamir, Alon Olarchik, and Meir Penigstein, forged connections during their service in the Nahal Chorus. Beyond military duties, they performed together in clubs and occasionally collaborated in Sanderson's band, "The Schnitzels."


5. While on a road tour with the Nahal Chorus, Dori Ben Zeev, host of the radio show "From Him to You" on Galey Tzahal, recognized the unique humor of Sanderson and his friends. He proposed featuring their sketches on his show, leading to a regular segment named "Foggy's Corner."


6. In 1970, Sanderson crafted a rock opera titled "Foggy Opera," drawing inspiration from successful rock operas of the time and aiming to link the songs created within "Foggy's Corner." Despite lacking attention from television and radio stations, some opera songs were later integrated into "Kaveret" albums.


7. Post-army service, Sanderson ventured to London to pitch "Foggy Opera" recordings to record companies. Faced with discouragement, he returned to Israel and decided to focus on locally producing the opera.


8. In 1972, Sanderson, assisted by his bandmate and initial organizer Asher Bitansky, assembled Gidi Gov, Yitzhak Klepter, Alon Oleartchik, Meir Penigstein, Ephraim Shamir, and Yoni Rechter to form the band "Kaveret."

(Photo: Monty Abrahamson)


9. The band, renowned for its melodic rock style infused with nonsensical humor and a blend of sketches, achieved significant commercial success, attaining cult status. Active until 1976, they released three studio albums: "Foggy Stories," "Foggy in Pita," and "Crowded in the Ear." Besides co-founding the band, Sanderson played a pivotal role in composing their lyrics and melodies.


10. Following the disbandment of "Kaveret" in 1976, Sanderson authored his inaugural book titled "Public Snoring."


11. In 1978, he took on the role of producer for Jonathan Geffen's show, "Salon Conversations," contributing to the musical arrangement.


12. During the same year, Sanderson, in collaboration with Avraham Deshe (Peshanel), established the band "Gazoz." The band operated as a joint business venture between the two, with all other members employed on a contractual basis. The lineup featured Mazi Cohen and Gidi Gov as vocalists, Moti Dichna as a bassist and vocalist, Danny Peer as a pianist, Meir Pfizer, Gary Reznik, and Ziv Ben on brass instruments, and Shlomo Hammi as the drummer.


13. Musically, the band embraced a strain of soft rock heavily influenced by American rock and roll from the seventies, enriched with elaborate arrangements featuring vocals and brass instruments. Singing responsibilities were shared among Gov, Sanderson, and Mazi Cohen. True to the tradition of "Kaveret," the lyrics often carried humorous themes and wordplay, resulting in several hits, including "Roni," "Mom and Danny," "Spaceship," "Tea makes you dizzy," and "Nine in the Square."


14. The band introduced their songs through a special broadcast on Israeli television, featuring music videos and interspersed sketches. This broadcast was among the early color transmissions in the country and is currently aired on the "Kan 11" channel.


15. Despite earning the title of Band of the Year in charts, the band disbanded immediately after releasing two albums that year: "Trimmed" and "Second Roll."


16. In the midst of "Gazoz" performances, Sanderson and Gov felt a desire for something more aggressive, a bit tougher and rougher in terms of rock n' roll. Following the dissolution of "Gazoz," they went on to establish the band "Doda."

(Photo: Avi Ganor)


17. Sanderson and Gov jointly financed the band, introducing guitarist Yehuda Adar (Sanderson's successor in the Nahal Chorus), along with bassist Alon Nadel and drummer Dovi Kizelstein, both from the show "Osher" (by Jonathan Geffen and Esther Shamir).


18. In 1980, the band released a self-titled studio album, featuring hits like "Hot Lydia," "Lost Evening," "Quiet Quiet," and "A Thousand Firefighters."


19. The audience did not embrace "Doda's" musical style, prompting Sanderson to incorporate more songs from "Kaveret" and "Gazoz" into their performances. This led to disagreements between Gov and Sanderson, ultimately resulting in Gov's departure and the subsequent disbandment.


20. Despite recording songs for a second album, these were shelved. A decade later, Gov himself recorded one of them, "In a Green Field," for his album "No More Day."


21. In 1982, Sanderson released his first solo album, "Natural Size," featuring singles like "I Fought," "Surfboard," "Reason to Live," and "Maybe Lela." Alon Hillel on drums and Alon Nadel on bass contributed to the album's recording.


22. The first reunion show of "Kaveret" took place in 1984.


23. That same year, Sanderson released his second album, "Innocent," yielding singles such as "Remote Control," "Shepherd's Song," "Thinking About You," and "What's Your Devine."


24. In 1987, Sanderson's third album, "Wise about Little Ones," was released. The singles included "With the Aunt and Uncle" (accompanied by a high-budget music video directed by Motti Kirschenbaum), "Do Not Move Away," "The Sense of Touch," "Wedding," and "Light."


25. In 1990, the second reunion show of "Kaveret" occurred.


26. During the same year, Sanderson released his fourth album, "Jumping for a Second," featuring singles like "She and I," "Be Realistic," "The Gray House," "She's Sick," and notably the hit "It's All for You," a collaboration with Mazi Cohen.


27. In 1994, Sanderson co-produced his fifth album, "Dead to Cry 2," with Alon Olearchik. The album included singles such as "The Chair Is Too Low," "Far Far Away," and "Yes No Yes." That year, Sanderson also ventured into stand-up comedy.


28. From 1995 to 1996, Sanderson hosted a television show on Channel 1, featuring various musicians who performed both individually and collectively with him.


29. In 1997, Sanderson released his sixth album, "The Unknown," widely acclaimed by critics, including Yoav Kutner, as his best work. The album embraced a classic rock 'n' roll style from the 1960s, with its theme song accompanied by high-budget music videos, becoming a major hit in Israeli rock during the 1990s. Other notable tracks on the album included "His Forever" and "I Told Her to Come."


30. In 1998, the third reunion show of "Kaveret" took place.


31. In 2001, Sanderson released his seventh album, a unique project titled "History of Water - Songs for Others." This album featured entirely new songs composed by Sanderson for other singers, created through collaborative arrangements and production with those artists. Sanderson himself performed in just one song on the album ("Quiet Life" by Mazi Cohen).


32. In 2005, Sanderson unveiled his eighth album, "Congo Blue," which he recorded and produced in collaboration with Ran Shem-Tov.


33. In 2006, Sanderson received the Lifetime Achievement Award for an author from ACUM.


34. In 2009, Sanderson released his ninth album, "Nothing Will Separate," differing from his previous solo albums as it included contributions from band members, such as Tamar Eisenman, Kfir Ben Lish, Yotam Ben Horin, and Keren Malka. The album's first two singles, "You Are Alone" sung by Sanderson and "If in Life Not Loved" sung by Ben Horin, received extensive airplay on radio stations.


35. In 2012, a musical titled "I Gave Her My Life," based on Sanderson's songs, graced the stage at the Habima Theater. Directed by Maor Zaguri, the musical portrayed the story of Yoram Zuckerman (Idan Alterman), a single man from Tel Aviv desperate for his life. While incorporating Sanderson's classic songs, the musical offered new interpretations and connections to familiar tunes.


36. In 2013, the fourth reunion show of "Kaveret" took place.


37. In celebration of the reunion, the band released a compilation called "Kaveret in a Box," featuring recordings that Sanderson had kept over the years. Additionally, in November of that year, the single "Hence the Road" was released on the radio.


38. In 2017, Sanderson's tenth album, "Hence the Road," emerged. Unlike previous albums, the songs on this album showcased a more personal and private side of Sanderson, featuring fewer humorous and plotted compositions.


39. Sanderson became a widower in 2005 after the passing of his wife Naomi Sanderson. His children include director Adam Sanderson and actress Dina Sanderson. Since 2008, he has been in a relationship with actress Anat Atzmon.


40. In 2021, Sanderson was honored with the EMI Lifetime Achievement Award.


Listen to a special playlist we assembled for Danny Sanderson


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