Exploring Albany's inglorious past and dubious future

Pete Williams, the King of Capitaland Country

Pete Williams is (was?) a country vocalist from Schenectady, NY.


He was a member of a road show with Horace Heidt for a farm implement company, a performer on local and network radio for twenty years (1940’s-1960s), and part of a group named The Tumbleweeds for the better part of the 1950’s.

DCD Pete Williams 5

Williams went solo in the early 1960’s, and hosted a weekly TV show on WRGB from 1961-1967, with his backup band, The Ranchers.

Unlike other locally-produced shows, Williams’ show was videotaped Wednesday night for airing Friday or Saturday. The show went color in 1965.

DCD Pete Williams 1

He continued to be a locally popular act through the 1970’s, after his TV show ended. He recorded and released his self-penned songs on several small labels, including Pee-Wee, which he owned, and Scooter, in a partnership with David Allan, another local celebrity in New York’s Capital District.

Pete eventually went into advertising, partnering with Bill Halpin to form Halpin-Williams Advertising, whose office was I believe at 41 State St. in Albany.

DCD Pete Williams 6

(Thanks to Peter Iselin and Robert Schalit for additional information)

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