Bill Sevesi on Anzac 2016
Pacific Music icon Bill Sevesi speaks for the first time about his experiences in World War II. This story was one his last recorded interviews before he died at the age of 92. Malo ‘Aupito for everything Bill – manuia lau malaga.
Wilfred Jeffs QSM (28 July 1923 – 23 April 2016), better known by the stage name Bill Sevesi, was a musician and master of the steel guitar who helped popularise Hawaiian-style music in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Tongan-born Sevesi composed more than 200 songs with over 20 albums to his credit during a career spanning six decades.
He began playing the Hawaiian Steel Guitar in 1936, and in later years his band ‘Wilfred Jeffs and the Islanders’ became ‘Bill Sevesi and the Islanders.’ He performed all over the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia and United States.
He recorded some classic favourites such as ‘”Bye Bye Baby Goodbye” (1958) as well as recording artists such as Daphne Walker, The Yandall Sisters and Annie Crummer.