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Looking Ahead: The Legendary Briarhoppers This Saturday!

August 25, 2014

 

Check out some of The Legendary Briarhoppers on WBTV News on Bounce Friday morning at 8am.

Check out some of The Legendary Briarhoppers members on WBTV News on Bounce, Friday morning at 8 a.m.

The Legendary Briarhoppers are, in fact, quite legendary. The band is the longest continuing bluegrass group in the world, and proud of it. This Saturday, The Legendary Briarhoppers come to the McGlohon Theater stage for one night only. They will be celebrating 80 years and you are invited to the party! CLICK HERE for more info. Read on for a history lesson on this amazing, everlasting band.

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, Crutchfield said “Yes,” which led to the birth of the WBT Briarhoppers. The name comes from WBT announcer Bill Bivens who, during a hunting trip with Crutchfield, was startled by a rabbit jumping out of a thicket, and Bill yelled, “Look at that briarhopper!” At that moment, Crutchfield 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. Since that time, The WBT Briarhoppers’ fans have included 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 musicians to replace those who left the station or died. Today, Tom Warlick, Alana Flowers, Hannah Flowers, Dillon Flowers, Donnie Little and Little Ellie Flowers keep the band alive 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!

Visit BlumenthalArts.org for the latest on upcoming shows!

Read more about the Briarhoppers in this this post.

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