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1934 - 1975



Kilima Hawaiians

Most popular Dutch Hawaiian band featuring Bill and Mary Buijsman.
Full biography


Bill Buijsman   gitaar
Mary Buijsman   ukulele, zang
Luut Buijsman   gitaar, zang
Coy Pereira   lapsteel
Frans Van Oirschot   gitaar, pedalsteel
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Former members

Vic Spangenberg   lapsteel
Frans Doolaard   pedalsteel
Wim van Herpen   basgitaar

Mentioned in the biography of

1972   Don Rosenbaum
1999   Jules Deelder
2006   Trespassers W

Biography Kilima Hawaiians

Most popular Dutch Hawaiian band featuring Bill and Mary Buijsman.

1934 - 1939

Hawaiian music reaches the Netherlands in the '20s via the Dutch East Indies. The music features the Hawaiian steelguitar and soon becomes very popular. Bill Buijsman from Rotterdam decides to form a Hawaiian band called Kilima Hawaiians. Originally a trio, Kilima Hawaiians have their first radio performance on June 26, 1934. The other bandmembers include Smoke van der Elst and Willem Ruivenkamp.

1940 - 1945

When the war breaks out, it is forbidden to play or listen to jazz music. As a consequence, Hawaiian music becomes even more popular. Because it is also forbidden to sing (or speak) English, the bands are forced to sing in Dutch. The Kilima Hawaiians are the pioneers of 'Nederhawaiian', or the Dutch Hawaiian sound. Mary Buijsman, Bill's wife, becomes the band's singer.

1945 - 1949

After the war and during the struggle to keep the East Indies within the Dutch Kingdom, Nederhawaiian is at its most popular. Shortly after the war there are over 600 Hawaiian bands which all perform at a regular basis. The Kilima Hawaiians are the most popular of all Hawaiian bands. Jo de Gast, the band's Hawaiian guitarist during the war, is replaced by Theo Ehrlicher in 1945. The Kilima Hawaiians start playing cowboy, South African songs and songs from the Dutch East Indies. Bill Buijsman also releases singles under the name Bill Kilima & His Singing And Swinging Cowboys.

Bill Kilima & His Singing And Swinging Cowboys

1950 - 1957

The Kilima Hawaiians, and 'Nederhawaiian' in general, are past their peak.

1958 - 2000

Theo Ehrlicher is replaced by Rudi Wairata. In 1959 the band celebrates its 25th anniversary. Wairata leaves the band after 18 months and because of the popularity of rock 'n 'roll and beat music the Kilima Hawaiians popularity reaches an all-time low. The band still performs live however. Until 1964 steelguitarist Frans Doolaard is part of the band. In the late '60s and early '70s the band starts recording again but they aren't very successful. In the following decades several compilation albums are released. Coy Pereira releases a solo album called Sweet Sweet Steel Guitar Series No. 9 in 1983. Bill Buijsman dies in 1991. His brother Luut and Van Oirschot can be heard on the CD The Spirit Of Aloha which is released on the Top Records label in the late '90s.

Coy Pereira


Mary Buijsman dies at the age of 86.


Singer/guitarist Luut Buijsman dies at the age of 79 in his hometown Rotterdam.


Coy Pereira (85) dies on April 12. Vic Spangenberg (84) and Theo Ehrlicher (88) are still going strong. Ehrlicher still teaches guitar from his home in The Hague.


On 11 July Theo Ehrlicher dies at the age of 91 in his hometown The Hague.

Discography Kilima Hawaiians

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Kilima Hawaiians

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