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Post new topic Dutch Influences in Hawaiian Music *With Music*
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Author Topic:  Dutch Influences in Hawaiian Music *With Music*
Ron !

Post Posted 1 Jul 2008 4:15 pm     Reply with quote

Although I am no longer living in The Netherlands and I did sell my soul to Pedal Steel still has a secret spot in my heart.


Not many people know....but the Dutch(Netherlands)people had a great impact in this genre.
Bands like "The Kilima Hawaiians,Rudy Wairata,George The Fretes and The Honolulu Minstrels are just a couple of the long list of bands that originated in The Netherlands.

Rudy Wairata and Henk Braaksma(Honolulu Minstrels)have made me what I am right now.
Both of these super players and of course my dad contributed in my style of playing.My dad played hawaiian guitar in a band called "The Honolulu Hawaiians" in the early 60's with a singer called "Hermien Timmerman".Many Dutch people will recognize her.

Unfortunately is the Dutch Hawaiian scene on it's return after a very successful period.At the bottom of this post you will find several samples of the Dutch Hawaiian Music and how it was played over the years.

The Kilima Hawaiians,
They were a band that hold record in the Guiness Book of records for the longest existing band in history.I am not really sure but some people tell me that they made over 75 records.This band is where Rudy Wairata made his name in The Netherlands.Rudy Wairata played several guitars but was known for using a Fender 8-string.
One song I added is the Famous Kilima Waltz.Who ever played the original song is not known by me but as far as I know were The Kilima Hawaiians the band that came with it years and years ago.The steel player that played the song listed was Coy Pereira.Coy was the steel player that played by far the longest time with The Kilima Hawaiians.
This band had many steel players....just to name a few.
Coy Pereira.
Rudy Wairata.
Frans Doolaard.(inventor of the Stereo Pedal Steel)
These wonderful players are all deceased.

George The Fretes,
Not many people know him in America but believe you me....he was one of the most innovative players that ever walked on this earth.One of the view players that cut a record in Japan.
When you hear him play you immediately will recognize his style from TV.Think SpongeBob Squarepants.They used several tunes played by him.Some say that it was Gary Carpenter but I have to say that it was not Gary but George.
George played a Rick frypan 7-strings.George was known for his high pitched voice.That probably did cost him his life because it leaves tremendous amounts of pressure on the brains when sung that way.

The Honolulu Minstrels(former Honolulu 77),
Henk Braaksma plays in this superband.Henk is probably the fastest picker out there.When I left The Netherlands Henk played a Gibson lapsteel(6-string).However I have not really an idea what he is using now.
When you hear this sample listen to the rhythm guitar who also plays the bass part at the same time.Henk played his first cd using only a 6 string lapsteel(Gibson) and a Fender Twin...nothing more nothing less.Not even a volume pedal.

There are so many bands that started in the 60's and 70's that it will take a whole day to write a little review about all of them.I just listed the 4 that I think made the biggest impression in this Hawaiian scene.
Indonesia(de Gordel van Smaragd)could be called the main influence in the Dutch Hawaiian Music.Just give a listen to these samples and write a little comment about what you think the Dutch Hawaiian Music has done for the non-pedal players.


Kohala March

Kilima Waltz


Twelfstreet Rag

Sweet Luana

Honolulu March (Spongebob)

Think Spongebob


My Hula Love

Rudy Wairata and the Kilima Hawaiians

Rudy Wairata and the Kilima Hawaiians


Kaiwahu March

Tickling The Strings

Unfortunately did I have to leave all my Hawaiian cd's, lp's and Ep's in The Netherlands due to the fact that shipping those would have cost me a small fortune.The amount of those is pretty extensive.But thanks to my dad I get them here bit by bit.Even the Lp's, Ep's are transformed to cd's.


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AJ Azure

Massachusetts, USA * R.I.P.
Post Posted 1 Jul 2008 5:37 pm     Reply with quote

it feels like it's lacking the swing back beat and is replaced with a polka feel. maybe it's the drums. interesting for sure.
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Ron !

Post Posted 1 Jul 2008 6:07 pm     Reply with quote


Most of these songs are at least 30years old.Some even older.

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George Keoki Lake

Edmonton, AB., Canada
Post Posted 1 Jul 2008 7:11 pm     Reply with quote

Great stuff. Rudi Wairata was booked to play at the AISCG convention many years ago, however he passed away. He was my favourite of all the Dutch players.
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AJ Azure

Massachusetts, USA * R.I.P.
Post Posted 1 Jul 2008 7:14 pm     Reply with quote

Ron, not sure what the age has to do with the feel.
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Bill Creller

Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Post Posted 1 Jul 2008 8:14 pm     Reply with quote

I've always been impressed with George de Fretes, and "Sweet Luana" is nice.
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Johan Jansen

Post Posted 1 Jul 2008 9:23 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Ron,

Frans isn't living anymore???

When and where did he die?
Please info Thanks, Johan
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Don Kona Woods

Hawaiian Kama'aina
Post Posted 2 Jul 2008 7:09 am     Reply with quote


That was a musical treat. I enjoyed it all.

Players of that era seemed to have used a lot of tremolo or oscillation of the bar vs the slower movement of the bar these days.

Aloha, Smile
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Ron Simpson

Illinois, USA
Post Posted 2 Jul 2008 11:14 am     Reply with quote

Aloha Ron,

I recommend that you come out to the Aloha International Steel Guitar Club convention in Winchester, Indiana on July 17-19. Our club president, Dirk Vogel is originally from Dutch Indoneasa. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of Hawaiin music from the Netherlands. You can talk story with him, and hear beautiful music for three wonderful days.

Heni Dewilligan has been out to both the HSGA and the Aloha International conventions in past years. I believe he was very active in Hawaiian music in the Netherlands.

Ron Simpson
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Ron !

Post Posted 2 Jul 2008 1:48 pm     Reply with quote


this is what people tell me over in The I am starting to doubt the source that informs me.I knew that the last time I talked to Frans in "Oudewater" he told me that he had a severe case of MS and that he could not play anymore.A couple years after that someone told me he passed away.
I will check if what I stated earlier is the truth.If not then the post will be edited and an apology will be made.

AJ.....what I was saying is that in the days that the recordings were done not many Hawaiian bands used a drum session on their recordings.Apparently I misunderstood your answer.Sorry for that. are very welcome.Glad you like the Dutch Hawaiian bands.

George....Rudy was my favorite to but George was far more technical then Rudy.I cannot recall the exact date of Rudy's passing but someone here will know I think.

Ron.....I have a big favor from you to ask.Can you please mail me your mail address so that I can get in contact with other Dutch Hawaiian players that are currently living in the USA?Please use the mail through the forum.

Thank you all for the nice replies.

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Michael Lee Allen

Des Plaines Illinois just NW of ChIraq
Post Posted 2 Jul 2008 2:34 pm     Reply with quote


Last edited by Michael Lee Allen on 28 Feb 2011 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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United Kingdom
Post Posted 2 Jul 2008 6:08 pm     Reply with quote

I think you'll find lots of information about current Dutch Groups, Here :- Click
Also Here
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Post Posted 4 Jul 2008 10:42 pm     Dutch/Indonesian Steel players in the USA Reply with quote

I am the only active D.I.steel player her in southern California, that I know of but here are some names of other players: Ed Mayer, Harry van der Voet, Ed Gaglijardi,Tony Valk, Hedy van Heck, Bob Tan, Frank de Water and Fred Bedier. For your information we used to have George, Peter and John de Fretes here in California
I used to play with all brothers and they were top steel players. Unfortunately the De Fretes brothers passed away. First their oldest brother Arie, then George, Peter and John. I only know of those that I have performed with here in California. There may be more in other states. Dirk Vogel may know them.
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Bill Leff

Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Post Posted 5 Jul 2008 8:19 am     Reply with quote

Man, Peter DeFretes really rips it up on this version of Tomi Tomi:

Very Happy Very Happy
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Ron !

Post Posted 5 Jul 2008 11:11 am     Reply with quote

Yup.....not bad.

But unfortunately for Peter do I like Rudy's version more.Take a listen

Rudy Wairata - Tomi Tomi
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Bill Leff

Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Post Posted 5 Jul 2008 11:49 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing that Ron. I love that single-string, Sol Hoopii-inspired playing, and he does it so well.

C#m tuning, correct?
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United Kingdom
Post Posted 5 Jul 2008 11:56 am     Reply with quote

Most Dutch players tended to use the D6 or D9.
that's why the open string bits work so well the first string is a "D"
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Bill Leff

Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Post Posted 5 Jul 2008 12:05 pm     Reply with quote

You're right Bas. I just picked up one of my guitars that was tuned to D and mistakenly thought E. So I'll revise my guess about the tuning and say Bm (aka D6)?
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Alan Brookes

Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post Posted 5 Jul 2008 2:29 pm     Reply with quote

I believe that the Hawaiian Guitar came directly from Dutch Huml players. The huml is played across the knees with a tone bar. This usually presses the strings against the frets, but on a huml with high action it was not at all unusual to use the bar as steel guitarists do. It has been mentioned before in histories of the Hawaiian guitar that the Dutch introduced the Hummel to Hawaii, and Hindus introduced a similar instrument about the same time.

(The idea of someone picking up a railroad spike (in an area without railways) and running it up the strings of a guitar is nonsense. Try using a railroad spike as a tone bar... I have, it doesn't work !)

Dutch and Swedish huml/hummel players brought that same instrument over to the Americas where it became the Mountain Dulcimer.
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Nic du Toit

Milnerton, Cape, South Africa
Post Posted 5 Jul 2008 8:14 pm     Reply with quote

Here is a link for more information about Rudi Wairata in Dutch.

And another one for George de Fretes.
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David M Brown

California, USA
Post Posted 13 Feb 2017 11:50 am     Reply with quote

old thread and worthwhile...the steel players could play. I'd have loved to hear them with a Hawaiian/Hawaiian-American rhythm section.

Any more information on these Indonesian/Dutch players would be appreciated.
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Wally Pfeifer

Illinois, USA
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 11:16 am     Reply with quote

Very Happy I have dozens and dozens of LPs of Dutch, French, Italian, German, South African Indonesian etc bands and soloists from the 70s and 80s.
I had a very good friend,- Aart Boender,- from the Netherlands that always exchanged records with me. We corresponded for several years until he passed away.
The LPs are all for sale but the cost of shipping is so unbearable that I don't advertise them and they will eventually be burned by my heirs.
Aart knew that I loved windmills and collected windmills (about 150) so he sent me several books & photos on the windmills in Holland etc. I miss Aart very much.
Crying or Very sad
May he Rest In Peace.
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Wally Pfeifer

Illinois, USA
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 1:03 pm     Reply with quote

: Why have all the links to the Dutch & Indonesia players
disappeared from the SGF? Even though I have dozens of them,- I would still like to hear them once in a while.
Maybe others would, too.
Very Happy
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James Kerr

Scotland, UK
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 1:49 pm     Reply with quote

I too am a fan of Indonesian Music and players, I have recorded some myself which you can listen to here. First is Ikona which is Hawaiian and Palau Ambon played as a Medley


Which I believe is their National Anthem.

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Peter Garellick

California, USA
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 11:16 pm     Reply with quote

Hi James,

I enjoyed your take on those songs. Nice playing!

A few notes...the first song title "Palau Ambon" is a bit of a misspelling. That song has a few different names, including "PULAU Ambon," the word pulau in Indonesian and Malay languages meaning "island", and Ambon is of course an island in eastern Indonesia. The song is also often titled "Ambon Manise" (Sweet Ambon) or "Beta Berlayar Jauh" (I sail far away). In any case, it is a well known old folk song from Ambon.

The second song, "Terang Boelan" (or "Terang Bulan" in modern spelling) has a bit of an interesting story behind it. The melody comes from a French song "La Rosalie." Indonesian/Malay lyrics were added in the 1920s-1930s and it became a popular folk song. In 1963 Malaysia adopted the same melody and added patriotic words and it became "Negaraku" (my country), the official national anthem of Malaysia. (NOT Indonesia).

Anyways, I too have a great interest in Indonesia, Hawaiian music in Indonesia, and lap steel in Indonesia. I have been studying and performing traditional Javanese Gamelan music for the last 30 years and spend a few months in Indonesia every year.

I don't have great knowledge about the history of Hawaiian music and lap steel in Indonesia, but I can share some personal anecdotes.

In the last few years, I have done many performances of Hawaiian music in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. For those, I sing lead, and play either my metal body Dobro square neck or my old Supro frypan. I'm backed by a group of friends (locals) who I have taught a bunch of Hawaiian tunes to. The reaction has been very positive, and most folks say they have never seen Hawaiian music performed in Indonesia. Some of the older people remember a famous TV show in the 1970s...but I'll post more on that another time.

I also have been lucky enough to sit in regularly with a great keroncong group, playing lap steel and occasionally singing an Indonesian tune. For those who haven't heard of keroncong music, check it out! It has ukuleles, guitars, a cello, a violin, a flute, and I have heard recordings from the 1940s and 1950s of lap steel being played....keroncong is a curious mix of influences.

Anyway, there doesnt seem to be much lap steel currently being played in Indonesia. I don't believe that anyone other than myself plays lap steel in Yogyakarta, a major city of over 1 million people. Yogyakarta was also once the home of Rudi Wairata and George De Fretes, but that was in the 1930s-1940s.

I know that there are some lap steel players in Ambon, and probably some Ambonese people in Jakarta who play lap steel. I also heard about a church group in Ambon that plays traditional totobuang music with a lap steel player!

I would love to hear from any Hawaiian music or lap steel players in Indonesia, or anyone interested in the topic in general.

I also have some interesting links to share, but it's getting late. Next time Very Happy

Mahalo, terima kasih....thanks everyone!

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