Tielman Brothers

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Tielman Brothers
The Tielman Brothers in 1968
The Tielman Brothers in 1968
Background information
Years active1947–1976
LabelsImperial Records, Ariola, Negram, Delta, Golden 12, Philips, EMI, Killroy, Dino
Past membersAndy Tielman
Reggy Tielman
Ponthon Tielman
Loulou Tielman
Jane Tielman
Franky Luyten
Alphonse Faverey
Hans Bax
Robby Latuperisa
George de Fretes
Benny Heynen
Leo Masengi
Maurice de la Croix
Harry Koster
Dolf De Vries
Ilse Uchtmann
Eddy Chatelin
Frans Sahupala
Harry Berg
Erik "Ricky" Van Eldik
Alex Van Haasen
Robby Van Haasen
Guus Van Haasen
Sonja Bautz
Frans Vitalis
Max Tahalele
Wim Noya
Cornelis Nanlohy
WebsiteTielman Brothers

The Tielman Brothers was the first Dutch-Indonesian band to successfully venture into the international music scene in the 1950s. They were one of the pioneers of rock and roll in The Netherlands, and are credited with releasing the first Dutch rock and roll single, "Rock Little Baby of Mine" in 1958. The band became famous in Europe for playing a kind of rock and roll later called Indorock, a fusion of Indonesian and Western music with roots in Kroncong. At the height of their career, in the 1950s and early 1960s, the band was hailed as one of the greatest live-acts in Europe.


The founders of the band are the children of Herman Tielman from Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Eastern Indonesia and Flora Lorine Hess: Andy (vocals, guitar), Reggy (guitar), Ponthon (bass) and Loulou Tielman (drums). They grew up in Indonesia, where they first performed under the names Timor Brothers and the Four T's.[1] Although not the first band, the Tielman Brothers were at the forefront of what was later called the Indorock scene.[2]


In 1956, The Tielman Brothers moved to The Netherlands, first to Breda, later to The Hague. Their performances were noted because of their spectacular stage act, which included guitar tossing.[3]

In 1958 the band were part of the Dutch pavilion at the Brussels World Fair. They were the relief band. While the Hawaiian band took a break, the Tielman brothers were supposed to be on for just 15 minutes but took advantage of the opportunity. While on stage they excited the audience with their stage antics while tossing instruments to each other and playing the bass with their teeth etc.[4] Their energetic stage performance drew the attention of international concert promoters, and the band was booked to play for several concerts in German night clubs, including on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg.[3]

After the World Fair, The Tielman Brothers were signed by the Belgian record label Fernap Records to record their first single, a song called "Rock Little Baby of Mine". This is considered to be the first Dutch rock 'n' roll record released in 1958.[3][5] In 1959, the band was signed to Imperial Records.[1]


In 1960, an additional guitarist joined the band, Frank Luyten. In Germany, the band grew out to be a popular live act. The band received there a fee of 20,000 guilders to perform for a month, and Ariola released records especially for the German market.[1] In their wake many more indorock bands started to perform in Germany. The Tielman Brothers also performed in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy and Sweden. In The Netherlands, they were less successful, mainly performing in their hometown The Hague. The band got little attention from the Dutch media: a performance on the TV program Avro Weekend Show in January 1960 was criticized because they incorporated a Mozart melody (Piano Sonata No. 16) in the song "18th Century Rock".[3]

At the beginning of 1964, Andy and Reggy were involved in a serious car accident in Germany. It marked the start of many line-up changes, with Andy Tielman as the only permanent member. Luyten en Alfons Faverey left the Tielman Brothers in 1964 to form the rhythm & blues band The Time Breakers.[1] In 1966, The Tielman Brothers were joined by George de Fretes, who was with them for a short period of time.[6][7] Other musicians that were with the band for a short period of time include Rob Latuparissa (drums), Hans Bax (guitar), Roy udy Piroeli (guitar) and Leo Masengi (saxophone).

At the end of 1967, the Tielman Brothers released the single "Little Bird", which would become their biggest hit in The Netherlands. The single reached No. 7 in the Dutch Top 40.[8]

Later years[edit]

In later years, the Tielman Brothers moved to Australia. The move possibly came about from what they felt was racism and them not getting due credit for their efforts in the music business.[9] The band members would occasionally return to Europe for performances. In 1983, Andy Tielman disbanded the band.[1]

In 1990, The Tielman Brothers got together for a reunion concert. Reggy and Ponthon were not present.[1]

In March 2014 the last remaining member, Reggy Tielman, died aged 80. His brothers Andy (in 2011),[10] Ponthon (2000) and Loulou (1994) preceded him.[11]



  • "Rock Little Baby of Mine" (1958)
  • “Record Hop” (1959)
  • "18th Century Rock" (1960)[12]
  • "I Can't Forget You" (1961)
  • "Tahiti Jungle" (1962)
  • "Exodus" (1965)
  • "Hello Caterina" (1965)
  • "Little lovely lady" (1965)
  • "Maria" (1965) NED: No. 20[13]
  • "No One But You" (1965)
  • "White Christmas" (1965)
  • "Wanderer ohne Ziel" (1966)
  • "Michelle" (1966)
  • "You Got Too Much Going For You" (1966)
  • "Little Bird" (1967) NED: No. 7[13]
  • "Nina Don't Go" (1968)
  • "Manolita" (Andy Tielman) (1970)
  • "Say A Simple Word" (Andy Tielman) (1971)
  • "Poor People" (feat. Andy Tielman) (1972) NED: Tip[13]
  • "With Your Help (Oh Mighty Father)" (Andy Tielman) (1972)
  • "Hey Hey (Rock 'n' Roll Is In)" (1973)
  • "Goodbye Mama" (Andy Tielman & The Tielman Brothers) (1975)
  • "Rip It Up" (1976)
  • "Gypsy Mama" (Andy Tielman) (1980)
  • "Jesus" (Andy Tielman & The Tielman Brothers) (1980)
  • "Cheryl Moana Marie" (Andy Tielman) (1981)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Tielman Brothers Muziekencyclopedie. Retrieved 26 September 2018. (in Dutch)
  2. ^ in Driwan Music Record Cybernuseun The Legend George De Fretes Music Record
  3. ^ a b c d Van der Plas, Jan (2003). Nederpop met hart en ziel. p.20-21. ISBN 90-215-3854-7(in Dutch)
  4. ^ American Studies in a Moment of Danger George Lipsitz Page 310
  5. ^ "De eerste Nederlandse rock-'n-rollsingle", in: Koopman, Tiemen (2008). 50 jaar Nederpop. Dé 50 gebeurtenissen in 50 jaar nederpop., Stichting 50 Jaar Nederpop.
  6. ^ Bluesharmonica.nl Hawaiian muziek met o.a de Kilima Hawaiians en George de Fretes, DEEL 2:
  7. ^ The Power Of Indonesia The Tielman Brothers, The greatest Indorock legend
  8. ^ Tielman Brothers - Little Bird, Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  9. ^ American Studies in a Moment of Danger George Lipsitz Page 310
  10. ^ Gitarist Andy Tielman (75) overleden - Nu.nl (in Dutch)
  11. ^ Laatste Tielman Brother (80) overleden - AD (in Dutch)
  12. ^ "Tielman Brothers". Dutch Charts.
  13. ^ a b c "The Tielman Brothers". Top 40.