Photo Signed By Eleanor Bryan Fields

WBT Briarhopper Eleanor Bryan Fields was on the Briarhopper Show for only one year, but became a fan favorite. She could "out yodel Patsy Montana" (that's what Claude Casey said in an interview) and played a Gibson Jumbo guitar. Whilst writing the BHopper book, Tom and Lucy Briarhopper Warlick communicated a lot with her and her son, Doc Childre (a famous author in California). Doc had his mother autograph this picture for us. This is the picture that is on the book's cover. Fields married Grand Ole Opry star Lew "Doc" Childre (The Boy from Alabam'), who was a duet partner with Dave "Stringbean" Akeman. Fields and Childre divorced; Fields moved back to NC in the 1940s and continued to entertain on local radio stations and live music shows. We are glad to know that Eleanor enjoyed the book!

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The Legendary Briarhoppers!

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 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 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, Alana Flowers and Tom Warlick head 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! Enjoy this site and learn about the Briarhoppers' storied past and the bright future that is ahead. Don't turn that dial...Hit's Briarhopper Time!