Another Historic Find!

Here is another gem I located in my old files...The Crazy Tennessee Ramblers! From March 1933 to the fall of 1934, Crazy Water Crystals fielded a radio show on WBT which featured local musicians in promoting their product of the same name. In this photo, you will see Harry Blair (top row in the middle) and "Curley" Cecil Campbell (seated to the right), who were also members of the WBT Briarhoppers in the 1930s and 1940s. Too bad we can't have radio shows like that anymore! Also note the banjo player, Fisher Hendley of the Aristrocratic Pigs band...that Gibson he is playing is the one that was sold to Snuffy Jenkins who traded it to Don Reno who then traded it to Earl Scruggs, and Earl plays it today. It is considered the most expensive banjo in the world.

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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!