Clarence Etters is Back!

Welcome back, Clarence Etters!

This is an oil painting of one of the original 1934 WBT Briarhoppers, Clarence Etters.  Per Billie Burton Daniel, who joined the BHoppers in 1936, she remembered the painting being done in 1939 and she would go to the artist's studio to watch it being done.  Coffey and Thompson Art Gallery in Charlotte called Tom Briarhopper to say they had the painting, would clean it up, and donate it to the WBT Briarhoppers!  We will arrange a formal ceremony with C&T and the WBT Briarhoppers soon, especially if we can get some press coverage!  After exhaustive research and telephone calls, there are no longer any direct relatives of Clarence Etters still living. 

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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!