A Note from the Newest Member of the BHoppers, Sunshine Briarhopper

Alana Flowers, Banjoist for the WBT Briarhoppers and  a WBT producer -
Although I never had the privilege of meeting Whitey, I feel a loss in my heart because of the amazing tradition that is and has been since 1934, and that I am so unworthy to be a part. But, I am very humbled when I look at the WBT Hall of Fame every day (another privilege of mine) and see OUR heritage- MY heritage. And, being a lover of history makes me especially grateful to be a member of this station and this group- and the first "Lady Person Briarhopper" (as Tom, aka "Curly" Briarhopper, calls it) in 70 years. (insert tearful smile here :*-) .  I want to thank you, WBT and the WBT Briarhoppers, those who are living and those that have left us behind, for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Whitey will be missed, as we all can attest.

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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!