The Briarhopper Book Wins An Award!

Tom and Lucy Warlick went down to Morehead City, NC, to accept a 2009 NC Society of Historian's
"Willie Parker Peace History Book Award" for "WBT Briarhoppers: Eight Decades of a Bluegrass Band Made For Radio," (McFarland Publishing).

Since 1941, this society has given awards for books that promote NC history. Willie Parker Peace was an historian and philanthropist in Henderson, NC, who worked with the Society until her death in 1963.

There were a total of 777 entries for awards in 2009; the Briarhopper book was one of the few selected for several awards.

Judges commented on the book, "We were deep into the text of this book before we realized we were supposed to be judging it! The well-researched text is enhanced with some vintage photographs and visuals that take the reader on a trip down memory lane. There aren't many books one can say that about....don't be surprised to find that you're tapping your foot to the rhythm of the Briarhoppers 'revived,' and feeling at home with each member...a must for anyone interested in bluegrass."

The drive was a long one to Morehead City, but there are now new fans of the WBT Briarhoppers!

1 comment:

wwwwbtbriahoppersblo said...

Tom & Lucy thanks for keeping the memories alive. This is a great honor one we will always cherris. The fans of the Briarhoppers can go to the books for the history of the band and the musicians that made the music in our state of North Carolina, from the 30's until 2008. I am proud to call you Tom Briaopper--Fiddlin' Dwight Moody Briarhopper

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!