5/22/09

Vinyl Dynamite #5: Esther & Abi Ofarim

I'm often asked if it's hard to come up with retro posts day after day. Don't I worry I'll run out of things to talk about? My answer is "Good Lord, no". Today's Vinyl Dynamite post is a perfect example of how the pop culture landscape of the 1960's and 1970's is damn near infinite if you're interested in things off the beaten path (and I mean WAY off the beaten path).

Esther & Abi Ofarim Sing!
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Esther & Abi Ofarim Sing! (1966)

I had no idea who Esther & Abi Ofarim were when I bought their Sing! album for a quarter at a flea market. As it turns out, this Israeli duo were responsible for the 1968 novelty song "Cinderella Rockefella".

The song is bizarre as all hell. Esther yodels most of the lyrics and it makes no sense whatsoever. How in the world this was a number one hit in the UK for THREE WEEKS (!) is beyond my level of comprehension.


I've embedded a music video for "Cinderella Rockefella"- but be warned, it's even stranger than the song. It's directed by Reinhard Hauff, a notable German director known for very serious political films - a "wacky" video for a novelty song seems way out of his realm.

The husband and wife act like fools on the streets of London with Esther prancing around in a rather short skirt. It is just grainy and weird enough to give me the creeps with the sound off.




Sadly, Esther and Abi split in 1970. Esther went on to a successful international solo career. Abi developed a drug and alcohol addiction. He remarried twice both ending in divorce.

10 comments:

  1. You post such cool things up here. That's why you've got such a fantastic blog. Enjoy your weekend.

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  2. That has to be close to the upper limit for a mini. Deep into micro territory! When I first heard that song on my tinny transistor, I thought he was saying "yodel-aye-hee". Like some kind of yodeling.
    Great post Gil!

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  3. You'd have to get up pretty early to film a London that empty these days :) That single had regular radio airplay in the UK all throughout the '70s.

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  4. Thanks for the comments. Seems like Esther is doing well for herself these days, her ex has the Fabio hair thing going in recent photos I've seen.

    The fact that that song could get regular radio airplay in the UK is tangible proof of rampant drug use during the 70s.

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  5. They kinda remind me of Guy & Ralna

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  6. Something about this video reminds me of Sesame Street.Pretty wild stuff though, and a s a fan of Slim Whitman I can cetainly appreciate the yodeling.

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  7. The description of the song meant nothing to me but as soon as the video started I remembered the song. Yikes!

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  8. Actually the Sing LP is one of the best in this duo discography. As for Cinderella Rockefella - it's quiet cute but does not represent what Esther is doing since and nowadays which is mainly poems and folk songs.

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  9. EM - True that. I should've included a track from the Sing LP to better illustrate how they really sounded. Esther normally didn't yodel.

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  10. It gives me the creeps with the sound on.

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