Bill Wolfgramm

aka Bill Wolfegrame, Bill Wolfgramm and His Islanders

After the release of ‘Blue Smoke’ in 1949, with its lilting steel guitar intro played by Jimmy Carter, many of New Zealand’s first pop records were in the Hawaiian style.

Many bands featured a steel guitarist in their line-up, and in the 1950s dancers flocked to venues such as Lou Mati’s Polynesian Club in central Auckland, Lofty Blomfield’s Holiday Inn on Waiheke Island, the Maori Community Centre in Freemans Bay, or the Ngāti Poneke Hall in Wellington.

Bill Wolfgramme with His Islanders - Hawaiian Sunset: Instrumental Favourites of the South Seas, Viking Records, 1973.
Photo credit: Steven Shaw collection
Bill Wolfgramm and Bill Sevesi
Photo credit: Chris Bourke Collection
The Double Sunrise, 2016 - Bill Wolfgramm's grandson, Australian based musician-producer Lance Ferguson of Bamboos and Lanu, hosts a short documentary detailing the influence of Bill Wolfgramm on his own work.
Bill Wolfgramme and his Islanders - Guitar Sounds of the South Pacific, Viking Records, 1973.
Photo credit: Steven Shaw collection
A 1967 EP, with a variation on Bill's name
The 1956 South Seas Rhythm album from Bill Wolfgramm and His Islanders with Daphne Walker was the first long-player released by a New Zealand artist. Side one was instrumental, featuring just Bill Wolfgramm's band, whilst the second side was vocal.
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection

The acclaimed Melbourne-based jazz and soul musician, DJ and vocalist Lance Ferguson is Bill's grandson.

Daphne Walker with Bill Wolfgramm and His Islanders - Kapuana






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