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The Country Classics Salutes Pete Byam
Since I write for The Country Classics, and host a fan club on Facebook called The Country Classics, when I visited Pete Byam’s website and saw that he calls himself “A Country Classic” I started reading. Fans of traditional country music have a treat in store as you learn more about Hall Of Fame member Pete Byam.
Pete is a dedicated artist, and this article details the time, dedication, and effort required of the music business. There is only one line in the text below about a huge honor bestowed upon Pete Byam, so I’ll expand on it here.
In a ceremony at the VFW club in Sioux Falls, S.D., attended by about 800 people, Byam was inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame. The induction comes during Byam’s 50th year in the country music entertainment industry. “It’s an honor that they would pick me. I never expected it,” Byam said
Now let’s get to know more about Pete Byam
Pete Byam is a native of Windom, Minnesota, where he lived most of his life. He now resides in the Black Hills of South Dakota, south of Deadwood. During his years in Windom, Pete was not only a well-known auctioneer and real estate broker he was also a part-time country entertainer. In 1990, with his move to Branson, Mo., Pete fulfilled his dreams of pursuing and devoting his career to country music full-time.
Since then, Pete has been entertaining audiences in his native Minnesota, as well as in Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, North Carolina, Tennessee, North and South Dakota, and Canada.
His singing and comedy routines have earned him many devoted fans wherever he has performed and continues to promote the music of the country legends. Pete was recently inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.
For the past 20 years, Pete has entertained both local and winter visitors in the Valley of the Sun at Jo/Jo’s (10 years) Arizona Joe’s (16 years), American Legion Post #27 (10 years), Now entertains at Spirits (a lounge in East Mesa) (5 years), East Mesa Eagles (in Apache Junction) and Mesa-Buckhorn Elks, a new night spot in Apache Junction The Hitching Post, as well as in many RV resorts in the area.
In the spring, Pete returns to native Minnesota and South Dakota, where he has entertained in Deadwood at the Tin Lizzie Casino the Rosebud Casino (near Valentine, NE), and Lodestar Casino (in Fort Thompson, SD), Hart Ranch and American Legion (Rapid City, SD), and Chute Roosters (Hill City, SD).
From July 4th weekend until late Labor Day, Pete entertains at THE GASLIGHT RESTAURANT AND SALOON IN Rockerville, SD, where he also hosts an Arizona Snowbird Reunion each August.
Pete has been the opening act on shows with well-known country entertainers Tom T. Hall, Jerry Reed, Ronnie McDowell, Johnny Paycheck, Doug Supernaw, Johnny Rodriguez, Freddy Fender, Billy “Crash” Craddock, Dave Dudley and Holly Dunn.
Guests who have appeared on Pete’s shows include Luther Nallie, David Bradley & Dale Warren members and a former member of the Sons of the Pioneers, Jennifer Wilson (of Jennifer in the Morning Show), the late Dave Dudley (former Grand Ole Opry Star – who recorded the 1963 hit “Six Days On The Road” and the late Charlie Ryan (performer and writer of the all-time hit, “Hot Rod Lincoln.”
If not in Arizona or South Dakota, you may have seen Pete while he was living and performing in Branson at Mel Tillis’ Mole Hole Lounge, Crockey’s, Pzazz, Tommy’s, The Old English Inn, Beverly’s, The Loft (at the old Roy Clark Theater), Key Largo (in Springfield, Mo.) or The Eagle Clubs (in Shell Knob and Cape Fair, Missouri.).
Pete’s family consists of two sons, Ben and Paul and their wives, his brother Corky, all of whom live in Minnesota, and his sister Betty – now living in North Carolina.
Pete credits his sister Betty for his life-long musical interest and ability. From his very early childhood, Betty (a self-taught musician) encouraged Pete to join her at the piano – teaching and singing with him the songs of the day.
Pete’s active interest and great desire to become an auctioneer stemmed from his brother Corky, who attended the Reich World Wide College of Auctioneering in 1957 and LeRoy Van Dyke. Pete served for three years as a member of the Board of Directors, Minnesota State Association of Auctioneers.
Pete is also a Viet-Nam era U.S. Air Force Veteran, Member of the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, a 42 year member of the American Legion, Elks & Fraternal Order of Eagles.
As with all Hall of Fame members I’m filing this article in our “Honors” category where it belongs.