Skip to content

Celebrate 80 Years of Bluegrass With The Legendary WBT Briarhoppers

August 14, 2014
The Legendary WBT Briarhoppers in a photo by Daniel Coston.

The Legendary Briarhoppers; photo by Daniel Coston.

Did you know that Charlotte once was the hottest place for country and bluegrass musicians to perform?
In the golden age of radio (1920-1950), the programming on WBT (1110 AM) attracted bands and singer-songwriters from near and far.

The WBT Briarhoppers, a group created to satisfy an advertiser’s request, sat at the centerpiece of this bustling music scene. And 80 years later, the world’s longest continuing bluegrass band features a lineup that was hand-picked and trained by original members.

Original WBT Briarhoppers

Click this photo to visit the WBT Memories site to hear historic audio of The WBT Briarhoppers.

The Legendary Briarhoppers will perform Aug. 30 during an 80th Birthday Celebration at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. Tickets begin at $10. Click here to get yours today.

Today, The Briarhoppers’ lineup includes Tom Warlick, Alana Flowers, Hannah Flowers, Dillon Flowers, Ellie Flowers and Donnie Little.

Singer-songwriter Jim Avett (father of those Avett Brothers) will join The Briarhoppers, along with other special guests. WBT’s John Hancock will serve as the emcee. Legendary WBT show hosts H.A. Thompson and Ty Boyd are scheduled to perform historic commercials.

Warlick, The Briarhoppers leader and the band’s historian, can’t wait to celebrate. “When we perform, sometimes we see people crying, not because we sound bad,” Warlick said. “They tell us that you are taking me back home … to my parents’ living room, sitting around the radio.”

Here’s a clip from the current Briarhoppers:

For those who missed the time when families gathered around a radio for their entertainment, The Legendary Briarhoppers provide a glimpse into the past with music that remains vital today in popular bands such as The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Nickel Creek.

Take five minutes to learn about the eight decades of the The Briarhoppers …

Each member has been schooled in the band’s bluegrass tradition and family-friendly style. “When I die, whether I get hit by a bus tomorrow or it’s 70 years from now, I’m passing on the genetics of a culture and playing music for the common man,” said Warlick.

Click here or call 704-372-1000 to get your tickets for The Legendary Briarhoppers 80th Anniversary Celebration, Aug. 30 in McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square.

Click here to visit historian Tom Hanchett’s History South for even more information on The Briarhoppers and Charlotte’s music legacy!

%d bloggers like this: