Hillbilly-Music.com—The People. The Music. The History.
Cy Williams
Born:  July 31, 1918
Died:  April 17, 2006
WWVA Original Jamboree
KQV Pittsburgh, PA
WMC Memphis, TN
WWVA Wheeling, WV

About The Artist

Cy Williams, who was born Milo Smik, was the younger brother of better known Doc Williams (Andrew Smik). The nickname "Cy" derived from his prowess as a fiddle player when he was initially known as the "Fiddling Cyclone," later shortened to "Cy" or "Brother Cy."

Cy wrote of his first musical experience in an old guitar instruction book that Doc Williams said put his daughters through college. When he was 13, his dad took him to Pittsburgh and bought him his first fiddle, paying all of $7.50. His dad started teaching him the fundamentals and Cy wrote he knew them well. His dad had played the mandolin and violin in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

When he was 12 years old, he had a paper route with this brother, Doc. He said they kept it for three years and sold about 1,600 papers a week. That meant sometimes he may have been sleepy in chool.

Brother Cy and Sunflower Brother Cy, Doc Williams, Sunflower

For some twenty years, the younger brother was a key member of the Border Riders and often sang harmony on many of their early recordings.

Prior to World War II, at the age of 20 and after a six month engagement, Cy was married to Mary Calvas, known professionally as "Sunflower," but the marriage became a World War II casualty. He served in the U. S. Army from July of 1944 to April 1946. He later married the former Dorothy Lenko on October 9, 1952 in Winchester, VA.

In the late 1950s, Cy gave up music and worked for the U. S. Post Office.

Cy's fiddle work on record is best displayed on the 1954 Border Riders' instrumentals "My Little Home in West Virginia" b/w "Under the Double Eagle." The former tune was composed by Ellis Hall, an old-time fiddler and glass blower from Morgantown, WV, while the latter tune was a patriotic march that originally honored the Hapsburg Empire Double Eagle.

His tenor vocal is best heard on the 1952 sacred duets on which he and Doc sang. In later years Cy often came to Doc's reunion shows and talked congenially to fans, but never played.

Brother Cy

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to express its thanks to Ivan M. Tribe, author of Mountaineer Jamboree — Country Music in West Virginia and other books that can be found on Amazon.com and numerous articles in other publications for providing us with information about this artist.
  • The Simplified By Ear System of Guitar Chords by Doc Williams (1st Printing 1943)

Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

 
Wheeling Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  DW1013 A Glorious Home (w/Doc Williams)
  DW1013 B My Sinner Friend (w/Doc Williams)
  DW1022 A My Little Home In West Virginia
  DW1022 B Under The Double Eagle