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
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.
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!
Booking Information and Media Photo/Interview Requests:
350 Griggs Road
Clover, SC 29710
The Official WBT Briarhoppers' Website:
The Official WBT Briarhoppers' Publisher Information:
Official Photo for Media Use
See Us On Facebook!
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
Posted by The WBT Briarhoppers at 10:25 AM
The band's history since 1934 in less than five minutes!
Posted by The WBT Briarhoppers at 10:16 AM