Willem Frederik Christiaan Demetriou (The Hague, 5 april 1886 – the Hague, april 9, 1944) was a Dutch singer who in the period between the two world wars under the name Willy Derby was one of the most popular artists of Netherlands. His best known songs include: The spot near the mill (there at this mill), Two eyes zoo blue, Peanut Peanut Lekka Lekka and tearjerkers as: Hello Bandoeng, The fiere lowlifes heart, Dream country andwhite roses.
Derby, coming from a working-class family, Hague worked as a singing waiter in Antwerp and New York and on the ferry Hoek van Holland -Harwich before he in 1915, stimulated by his wife Adelaïde de Kuijper, began a serious career in the variety. Initially, he performed together with his brother Lou Bandy on under the name The Bandy Brothers (Bandy is an anglicisation of the syllables That-am.) However, the characters of the brothers soon proved to be too strong to collide to make sense to work; Unlike Lou Willy was known as an amiable man.
Willy changed his stage name in the equally American sounding Derby and fourth in the 1920s and 1930s successes as a singer of light sentimental lyrics, usually by Ferry from Delden or Jacques van Tol. Except the artist he was also owner of a number of Hague record stores. It was therefore for the Derby financial wind, which is good because he came out from the middle of the 1930s both his wife and mistress Teddy Smaintained.
During the Second World War was Derby, thanks to Jacques van Tols covert resistance song On the grebbeberg, known from the outset as an anti-German artist. Using his great popularity he sought at performances borders on what the occupiers regarded as permissible. That he sometimes exceeded those limits is shown by the fact that he both in 1941 and in 1943 was detained in the Scheveningen Prison on charges of anti-German provocation.
Derby's health deteriorated during the war. A short time after Teddy S the love affair with him broke, died Derby on 58-year-old age of a heart attack.