The WBT Briarhoppers in the WBT Hall of Fame

The WBT Briarhoppers
Sitting left to right: Whitey Grant; David Deese.
Standing L to R: Tom Warlick, Billie Burton Daniel; Dwight Moody.
Picture taken by Lucy Warlick at WBT's Conference Room
(The BHoppers call it the "Crutchfield Room," but that's just us)

In 2007, the WBT Briarhoppers Band was inducted into the WBT Hall of Fame, along with Arthur Smith, Ty Boyd, and Earle Gluck. On October 27, 2008, the bas-relief bronze plaques were presented to the inductees at WBT, where a grand reception was enjoyed by all. Whitey Grant, David Deese, Dwight Moody, Tom Warlick, and Little Billie Burton Daniel were there for the reception! Yep, the little blonde girl of the 1937-1941 era BHoppers (those members being shown on the plaque) is now 84 years old and going strong (along with her dog, Rambo). Not only was she there, she was interviewed by John Hancock on his radio show that night. We all had a great time. Many thanks to Rick Jackson (WBT GM), Jessica Reeves (the person who really runs WBT according to Rick), John Hancock, and the rest of the WBT team for making us, and especially Billie, feel at home. She said, "thanks for letting me be 'Little Billie Briarhopper' one more time.

David Deese Showing You The Plaque!

Billie and Tom on the John Hancock Show!

Fiddlin' Dwight and John Hancock!

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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!