In 1934, WBT radio announcer Charles Crutchfield formed a spur-of-the-moment musical group to
satisfy a potential sponsor looking for a “hillbilly” radio program to showcase
its products. Known as the WBT Briarhoppers, this group went on to become one of the
longest lasting bluegrass/country ensembles in America, staying on the air until 1951 and
then continuing to perform.
Compiled from firsthand interviews, this work tells the story
of the WBT Briarhoppers, analyzing the band’s history and its connection to the growth
of American radio and radio advertising. Using the Briarhoppers as a common thread,
it examines changes in culture and the group’s contribution to country and bluegrass music.
The work also discusses legendary performers including the Tennessee Ramblers, The Johnson
Family, and Bill and Charlie Monroe. A discography is included.
About the Author
Diane Diekman is the author of
Environmental engineer Tom Warlick is a banjoist and founder of
Bluegrass Thursday Nights and the Clover Barn Dance in Clover, South Carolina.
Lucy Warlick is an artist, potter and poet who was a finalist in
the James Hearst National Poetry Awards. They live in Clover.