The Briarhoppers has new members!

The WBT Briarhoppers Welcomes Zach Lemhouse and Joe Cline!

The WBT Briarhoppers’ Alana Flowers and Tom Warlick are pleased to announce that Zach Lemhouse and Joe Cline have been added to the band.

Fiddlin’ Zach Lemhouse is from the upcountry of South Carolina and has over 20 years of experience with bands such as Whippoorwill String Band, Easy Pickin's Bluegrass Band, Cottonwood Bluegrass Band, The Buford Brothers old time string band, Quarter House, The Dunder Chiefs, and th...e Truck Stop Preachers, and has opened up for and performed with musicians such as Russell Moore and Third Tyme Out, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Jack Lawrence and country music legend Tim McGraw. Zach is also a teacher within the York County (SC) School System,

Charlottean Joe Cline joins the band as their singer and guitarist, and will assist with mandolin and bass. He has a long history in Charlotte country music; he spent over thirty-five years as guitarist and lead singer of the Kilocycle Kowboys, one of the area’s seminal bluegrass bands that opened for Riders In The Sky and backed county music legends Lulu Belle and Scotty on numerous occasions. He also was a member of Magpye, a local Celtic band, Country Matters, The Red Ball Ranch Hands, and the Dirt Creek Band. Joe has been friends with the Briarhoppers since the days of Don White, Whitey and Hogan, and Shannon Grayson. Many will remember Joe as the announcer for several radio shows on WNCW-Spindale and his work during the formative years at Charlotte's Festival in the Park.

The WBT Briarhoppers formed in 1934 and are the world’s longest-continuing bluegrass band, winning the NC Folk Heritage Award, The Artists Music Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and are members of the WBT Radio Hall of Fame. The North Carolina Legislature recognized the band with “NC Resolution 2007-51, House Joint Resolution 2058 Honoring the WBT Briarhoppers.” The band is members of IBMA and The Charlotte Folk Society, and are Merlefest Artists.

Gibson and Warlick also plan to announce one or two more additions to the band in the near future.

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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!