Homer Drye to the Carolinas Country/Bluegrass/Gospel Hall of Fame

Homer Drye, aka Homer A. Briarhopper, will be posthumously inducted into the Carolinas Country/Bluegrass/Gospel Hall of Fame later in 2008. The Hall of Fame is currently sited at the Mineral Springs Music Barn, Mineral Springs, NC. Homer started out in the music business in 1936 when he joined the Original WBT Briarhoppers. In 1940/1941, Homer went to Raleigh and started a musical legacy and cemented his position as a consummate entertainer. We will have more data on his induction as the date nears. Congrats to the Drye family, which includes his son Tim (who played drums in his dad's band and who supplied this picture), nephew and musician Larry Mangum, and Homer's sister, Kate Mangum (who taught Randy Travis how to play the gee-tar). An amazing family indeed!
Three people are still thankfully around from Homer's BHopper days: Billie Burton Daniel (Little Billie Briarhopper); Martin Schopp (Tex Martin who also played with the Tennessee Ramblers); and Newell Hathcock (who briefly played fiddle for the BHoppers before following Homer to Raleigh). Fiddlin' Dwight Briarhopper Moody had the pleasure of being in Homer A. Briarhopper's band for many years and had the pleasure to record him on Lamon Records in the 1960s, much of which you can read about in Dwight's book.

1 comment:

Emmly said...

People should read this.

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!