‘Sixteenth Lamb’ quintet reunite for the first time

Now, over 40 years on, the Hakeves Hashiha Asar gang are back together for the first time, with Gov, Broza, Ravitz, Geffen and Rechter reuniting to record “Pnina.”

YONI RECHTER (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Practically anyone growing up in this country from the early 1980s on would, in all likelihood, have listened to Hakeves Hashiha Asar (The Sixteenth Lamb). The landmark children’s album, which was released in November 1978, fed off the book of the same name written by celebrated novelist, playwright and songwriter Yehonatan Geffen.
Thousands of today’s Israeli grownups had their evolving musical and storytelling consciousness informed by the delightful tunes on the record – performed by Geffen, Gidi Gov, David Broza, Yehudit Ravitz and Yonnie Rechter – which explained how songs come into being, spun a yarn about the Green Man, expounded on the pleasures of eating chocolate, and helped to assuage childhood fears of thunder and lightning. The record spawned a bunch of smash hits, like “Gan Sagur” (Closed Kindergarten) and “Hayalda Hachee Yaffa Bagan” (The Prettiest Girl in the Kindergarten), and still gets spun on record players, CD players, You Tube, Spotify and any other audio means going today.
Now, over 40 years on, the Hakeves Hashiha Asar gang are back together for the first time, with Gov, Broza, Ravitz, Geffen and Rechter reuniting to record “Pnina.” The new number is one of the tracks on Rechter’s latest album, Yonnie Giraffe, which is due out in the next few days.
There are numerous cross references to the 1970s classic, including the title of the new release which naturally conjures up memories of track 5 on Hakeves Hashiha Asar, which extols the benefits of the giraffe’s long neck and how, for example, that enables it to forecast rain long before more height challenged animals and human beings even get a whiff of approaching precipitation.
Rechter has a history of putting out ostensibly children-oriented material, collaborating with Arik Einstein on his 1989 record “Hayittee Paam Yeled” (I Was Once A Child), with Geffen writing the lyrics to 5 of the 12 cuts on Hakeves.
Rechter, who has been one of the country’s most prolific and feted singer songwriters for close to half a century, first came to note as a member of seminal Israeli rock-pop band Kaveret. Kaveret enjoyed several one-time comebacks itself over the years, and Rechter cites frontman Danny Sanderson in explaining his motives for reuniting with Gov, Broza, Geffen and Ravitz on “Pnina.”
“Sanderson once said that we all went through a formative experience with Kaveret. With Hakeves it was also a kind of experience that was etched into all of us, but we didn’t have a project [to do together]. Here, I said to them, I am making a record and I want to have a candy in it – a Hakeves song. Everyone was up for it straightaway and we had something to go for.”
Pnina is currently available on YouTube as a beautifully crafted fun animated video clip by cartoonists-animators Rani and Avishag Levanon (aka Glandon and Isabella), with trademark Hakeves close harmony and an alluring score by Rechter.
A Seventeenth Lamb anyone?