Big Bill Davis!

We heard from Shirley and Faith, the daughter and grand-daughter, respectively, of Big Bill Davis! 

Now we know a bit more about Bill, who was an original WBT Briarhopper member and the band's first bass player.  He retired to the High Point, NC, area and continued to play gigs with his friends at dinner clubs and colleges (where he played classical music).  According to Shirley, Bill retired from the BHoppers because he thought he was nearing retirement age.  However, he never retired from playing as we are told that his last gig was at Salisbury Veterans Hospital when he was 95 years old; he died in 1989 at age 97.

Hopefully we will get more information and pictures of Big Bill Davis, thanks to Shirley and Faith (last names withheld until I get permission to show full names).

No comments:

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!