Official Bio...Who We Are!

In 1934, a potential advertiser called WBT's Charles Crutchfield to ask if the station had a hillbilly band to help advertise its products. Telling a fib, Crutch said "Yes," which led to the birth of the WBT Briarhoppers. The name comes from WBT announcer Bill Bivens who, during a hunting trip with Crutch, was startled by a rabbit jumping out of a thicket, and Bill yelled, "Look at that briarhopper!" At that moment, Crutch found the name for his hillbilly band.

The original band members were Johnny McAllister, Big Bill Davis, Don White, Thorpe Westerfield, Clarence Etters, and Jane Bartlett. The last original 1934 Briarhopper, Don White, died in 2003. Billie Burton Daniel, who joined the group in 1936, is happy and well in Wilmington, NC. Since that time, The WBT Briarhoppers' fans are/were Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs (who filled in on banjo a few times), Curly Seckler, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and many other entertainment stars.

In keeping with the tradition, the band kept going through the years by adding new musicians to those who left the station or who died. Today, Tom Warlick leads the band with their stage show including the old Briarhopper songs, new songs, and the original scripted commercials of Peruna, Kolor-Bak, Zymole Trokeys, and Radio Girl Perfume!  The band is proud to be the longest-continuing bluegrass band in the world.

The band has won the NC Folk Award, The Brown-Hudson Award, The NC Historians Award, The Artist Music Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and have been honored with a NC Assembly declaration of their work in NC and the region, a Mecklenburg County Declaration of "Briarhopper Day," and are members of the WBT Radio Hall of Fame.

Enjoy this site and learn about the WBT Briarhoppers' storied past and the bright future that is ahead. Don't turn that dial...Hit's Briarhopper Time!


Contact Information

Booking Information and Media Photo/Interview Requests:

Tom Warlick

350 Griggs Road

Clover, SC  29710


The Official WBT Briarhoppers' Website:

The Official WBT Briarhoppers' Publisher Information:

Official Photo for Media Use

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2002 NC Brown-Hudson Award

2003 NC Folk Heritage Award

2007 WBT Radio Hall of Fame

2007 - NC Resolution 2007-51, House Joint Resolution 2058 Honoring the WBT Briarhoppers

2009 Willie Parker Peace Award from NC Society of Historians

2011 Paul Green Award from NC Society of Historians

2012 Bluegrass Band of the Year Nomination -  Artists Music Guild, Nashville

2012 Lifetime Achievement Award  - Artists Music Guild, Nashville

2013 North Carolina Bluegrass Pavilion Award - Merlefest and The Mast Inn

2013 Performer at the IBMA World of Bluegrass - Band Sponsored by Merlefest

2013 Featured Act - Romare Bearden Park Grand Opening, Charlotte NC

2014 - Merlefest Artist

2017 - Merlefest Artist

WBT Briarhopper History In Less Than Five Minutes!

 The band's history since 1934 in less than five minutes!

Thank You For Checking Us Out!

We hope the material we have will answer your questions and will more than convince you the WBT Briarhoppers is an excellent choice for your festival, stage, or private event.