b. Andrew John Smik Jnr., 26 June 1914, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Born to Czechoslovakian parents, Williams is a noted traditionalist who, except for short spells at Memphis (1939) and Frederick (1945), was associated with the Wheeling Jamboree at WWVA Wheeling, West Virginia, for 61 years, after first appearing with his band the Border Riders in 1937. He married Chickie (b. Jessie Wanda Crupe, 13 February 1919, Bethany, West Virginia, USA, d. 18 November 2007) in 1939 and she sang regularly with the band (in later years they were sometimes joined by their three daughters, Barbara, Madeline and Karen, aka Peeper, Pooch and Punkin). Their family show also featured brother Cy Williams (fiddle) and Marion Martin (chordovox). Williams regularly played hundreds of shows a year in the USA and Canada. He also made several trips to the UK, where he proved immensely popular around the country clubs.
Williams has made many recordings for his own Wheeling label and though he never achieved any chart entries, he is associated with such songs as ‘Wheeling Back To Wheeling’, ‘My Old Brown Coat And Me’ and the tear-jerkers ‘Daddy’s Little Angel’ and ‘He Said He Had A Friend’. It has also been claimed that Chickie recorded the original version of ‘Beyond The Sunset’. Williams eventually retired from performing in 2006, at the age of 92. The following year his lifelong partner Chickie passed away.