The Legend George De Fretes Music Record











The Driwan’s  Cybermuseum


(Museum Duniamaya Dr Iwan)

Showroom :

Fontana Record,Krontjong Nusantara,


George de Fretes

 George Fretes


George Fretes (Bandung (Dutch East Indies), December 23, 1921 – Torrance (California), November 19, 1981) was a Dutch (of Malayan origin) steel guitarist, singer and composer.

The Fretes was born from the marriage of military KNIL Anton Balthasar de Fretes Tersemas and Carolina. As a child he played on bottles of water and listened to the radio to hear music as it was Hoopi Sol, a famous Hawaiian guitarist from the 30s and 40s of last century.

In 1936 won the Fretes with the “Hawaiian Little Boys” (with Vic Spangenberg, Hans de Water, Leo Cress and Guus Shrine) with its first prize, an incentive in a Hawaiian Competition in Batavia. For the first prize he did not qualify because the average age of just fourteen years the band was therefore out of competition to be participated. It gave the “Hawaiian Little Boys” is a performance for NIROM, the Dutch East Indies Radio Broadcasting.

Joyce Aubrey gaat zingen bij het ensemble The Royal Hawaiian Minstrels en Suara Istana o.l.v. haar ex- echtgenoot George de Fretes. Hij is als verstekeling aan boord van de Johan van Barneveldt in de zomer van 1958 naar Nederland gekomen. De kleine Wanda wordt bij de optredens betrokken als hula danseres en bespeelster van percussie instrumenten. Later is zij ook als zangeres actief.

George de Fretes en Suara Istana - Tuney Tunes feb. 1959
Uit de TUNEY TUNES van februari 1959
vlnr: Bill Toma – Joyce Aubrey – Wanda – George de Fretes – Eddie Scipio Blume – Fred Hoogduin

When he was sixteen formed the Fretes the Royal Hawaiian Quintet, which also starred brother Arie. With the now famous Fretes composition Royal Hawaiian Hula won a competition in 1937.

In the spring of 1938 he was on another show in Surabaya voted “Champion of the Archipelago” with his band, which has since been renamed The Royal Hawaiian Minstrels. Under this name provides the band 67 years later still shows.

In Dutch East Indies were the Royal Hawaiian Minstrels until the outbreak of World War II the most popular and most expensive pay band. During the war it was forbidden to play Hawaiian music and changed its name to Suara Istana (voice of the palace) and played successfully krontjong Music.

After the war, their success was so great that it resulted in the fact that the group broke down and sometimes in two places at once occurred. The core were the brothers George, John, Peter and Arie, supplemented with cousin Tony, and the solid Bram Titaley singer Aubrey Joyce (then wife of George), supplemented by other musicians.

Early 50’s divorced George Joyce with their daughter Wanda left for the Netherlands. George came in 1958 as a stowaway on the Johan van Oldebarneveldt with him and his fame had traveled ahead in January for the Winter Producer of Phonogram telegraphed ahead to the ship under contract that he would like to have. On September 1, 1958 George joined the Fretes for the first time in Utrecht, Netherlands, on one day records for traders. In the newly formed Royal Hawaiian Minstrels played alongside George also include Bill Thoma, Wim van der Beek and sang Joyce Aubrey. It was so successful that he was a few weeks later, his own radio show at the AVRO and had the Christmas of 1958 was seen with his own TV show. (The Dutch television existed at that time from a transmitter in black / white exceptions). Tickling the strings he had heard such a difficult song he played blindfolded.

His arrival in the Netherlands caused quite a stir since his student Rudi Wairata – previously the Netherlands had come – though his numbers had been stolen and the plate put in his Amboina Serenaders, where the Fretes wife Joyce Aubrey’s hard singer had been . The judge Rudi exposed as impostor and a long time he could not occur in the Netherlands.

George Fretes was a musical genius. He composed dozens of songs, played many instruments include: trumpet, saxophone, guitar, violin, but was a champion on the steel guitar. His musical oeuvre spans less than 65 LPs.

His business, he could hardly settle well and he was by all and sundry in the Dutch music cheated. The interest in Hawaiian music disappeared early 60s but the influence of George was huge on so-called Indo-rock musicians.

In 1966 he made a tour with the Tielman Brothers, who he knew from India, Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Also in that year he made an LP with the German orchestra of Frank Valdor before the Netherlands for good and to turn his back to the United States to leave.

From 1969 to 1981 he lived in Los Angeles where he was on 19 November of that year would die from a heart attack. He was buried next to his idol Sol Hoopi and they have the same bronze plaque on the grave because George had long ago surpassed his idol and they had room for him beside Sol Hoopi made.

The Royal Hawaiian Minstrels after the death of George just moved on. There was a group of that name in the United States with his brother John in the Netherlands with his brother Peter and his son Roy Fretes, each year at the Pasar Malam in The Hague to play. Wanda was the daughter Fretes sixties well known in the Netherlands as a teen singer. They made records in the Netherlands and Germany and also sang regularly at her father’s band, where they participate in Indonesia, Japan and Hawaii occurred.

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2011

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