Daniel Coston Remembers Whitey

Daniel Coston, professional photographer and BHopper Fan -
I saw the Briarhoppers play at my elementary school in 1984. It was
the second live show I had ever seen, up to that point. I grew up
knowing the importance of Whitey Grant and the Briarhoppers, and what
they meant to generations of music lovers. I was thrilled to finally
get the chance to photograph them in 2002, finally getting to
document the music that I had first heard all those years before.

When I first started visiting the Carter Fold in 2003, I spent an
afternoon sitting next to Joe Carter, son of Sara and A. P. Carter,
and talking at length about music. He asked me where I lived, and when
I said Charlotte, NC, he asked, "Do you know the Briarhoppers?" Now,
like Joe, Whitey has gone to rejoin Arval Hogan and the other
Briarhoppers in a song. May Whitey's songs continue to live on, and
may the circle be unbroken.

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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!