When the Briarhoppers Were Introduced to the World!

We found on a website the first article and photo of the Briarhoppers!  Billie Burton Daniel said she remembered that Radio Mirror magazine did an article on them but could not remember the date.  Well, in the April 1937 edition, here you go!  How neat!

Billie sent us an email about the day the photo was taken:

I remember so well the day this picture was taken. They sent me Duke Photographies (sp.), and made me up with this brown Macromatic makeup. I looked HORRIBLE!!!! and think I look just hideous in this picture. He took several pictures, and two were better than this. (all were pretty bad). He made my eyebrows black as coal, and my skin was chocolate brown, and in person I looked even worse. This was a wonderful write up, though, and was in Radio Mirror. Thank you SO much, I didn't think I'd ever see this again.

We also found out there was another member of the Briarhoppers we did not know about George "Baby Ray" Stewart was a musician with the band, Baby Ray and His Country Cousins.  He was hired as the lead singer in 1943 per another Radio Mirror article.  He must not have stayed too long, but we will add him to the roster!  If you know anything about George Stewart, please send us a message!

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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!