Lucille Thompson Passes

Lucille Thompson, wife of legendary WBT Broadcaster and Briarhopper Buddy H.A. Thompson, passed away on February 25, 2009. John Hancock and Keith Larson both commented wonderfully on her, H.A., and the BT family that exists. From John Hancock's website, you can pass along your thoughts to H.A. Thompson, c/o John Hancock, WBT Radio, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208.

From H.A.:
LUCILLE THOMPSON: Tuesday, February 25, 2009 my beloved wife Lucille, mother, and grandmother died in our apartment shortly after 10pm. She was 75 and had been very ill with pancreatic cancer that developed rapidly. An apparent blood clot that traveled to her heart or lungs was the doctors diagnosis. The medics came and tried valiantly but it wasn't to be. The 3 children and I leaned on each other while we looked at Lucille's pictures around the walls. We were married 49 years and lived 41 of those years in our favorite town of Charlotte. Lucy made a mark with a successful art career. She won Best in Show in 1974 with the Guild of Charlotte Artists. Lucille left a legacy of hundreds of works of art and sold many of them over her lifetime. Saturday she wanted fried chicken for lunch so we went to the famous Price's Chicken Coop, picked up our treat and went to Freedom Park and had a picnic reminiscing about the dozens of art shows at the annual Festival in the Park. She was a spark with a French heritage who wore fancy hats, clothes, loved travel, music, good food and good jokes. (Mine weren't always good and she didn't hesitate to say so) We celebrate her great life, but also your friendship and love. Thank you for your cards, letters, and phone calls. Goodbye Lucille… loving partner, a caring mother, and a perfect grandmother.
The obituary will appear in Sunday's Observer and a memorial service will be held Saturday, March 7th, 10:30am in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Charlotte.
God Bless us all,
H.A. Thompson

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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!