Charles H. Crutchfield - The Father of the Briarhoppers

Charles Crutchfield created the Briarhoppers on March 1, 1934, when he was the bright, young announcer at WBT-Charlotte.

Johnny McAllister - The Second Briarhopper

When Royal Consolidated Drug Company wanted a hillbilly band to promote its products, Charles Crutchfield called on Johnny McAllister to make it happen.  Johnny gathered musicians from the group of WBT musicians and they became the Briarhoppers.  McAllister, aka Dad Briarhopper, led the Briarhopper Family on the radio and came up with the theme song, "Wait Till The Sun Shines, Nellie."  Johnny, born on 10/23/1903, died on March 22, 1967.  He is buried at Calvary Cemetery near Long Island, NY.

Thorpe Westerfield - Original Briarhopper

Thorpe Westerfield was a multi-instrumentalist who played guitar and harmonica combined, like Bob Dylan did.  He joined the military, came back and joined his family's hardware/lumber company.  He was a member of the Charlotte Musicians' Union and continued to perform at special events.

Clarence Etters - Original Briarhopper

Clarence was the piano player for the Original Briarhoppers.  He also played piano for the Carolina Theater in Charlotte and organ for a church in Charlotte.  He also played in Charlotte clubs with a young singer, Billie Burton Daniel, who was also an original Briarhopper.  Etters was known for his style, his knowledge of New York musicals, and his musical standards.

Big Bill Davis - Original Briarhopper

Big Bill Davis played bass and fiddle for the Briarhoppers.  He retired at an early age but continued to perform music in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina.  At the time, he was also a member of the Charlotte Symphony and was the only person who could read music in the Briarhoppers.  He rejoined the Briarhoppers on "The Fred Kirby Show."  He continued to entertain until the year of his death.

Don White (Whytsell) - Original Briarhopper

Don White was an original member of the Briarhoppers, joining in 1934.  He also performed with the Tennessee Ramblers, The Sage Riders, and was a duo with Fred Kirby. 

Clyde McLean - Briarhopper Announcer and Weather Guru

Oct. 20, 1925
Guilford County
North Carolina, USA
Aug. 12, 1987
Mecklenburg County
North Carolina, USA
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.

Marty "Tex Martin" Schopp

Marty Schopp was not only a member of The Briarhoppers but also the Tennessee Ramblers.  He, with the Tennessee Ramblers, were in several Western movies including, "Ride, Ranger, Ride."

Lee Kirby - Briarhopper Announcer

Fred "The Victory Cowboy" Kirby

Fred Kirby.  The Victory Cowboy.  The Singing Cowboy.  The Little Rascals.  Tweetsie Railroad.  Calico.  The Rocking K Ranch.  Thanksgiving Day Parade.  What else can be said?

Garnett "Fiddlin' Hank" Warren

Hank Warren was a fiddler for Doug Poole's (Charlie Poole's son) band, The Swingbillies, The Tennessee Ramblers, and the Briarhoppers.  Hank was also the comedian of the group.

Arval Hogan

Along with Roy "Whitey" Grant, Hogan was a part of the longest-lived country music duo in American history.

Roy "Whitey" Grant

Along with Arval Hogan, Whitey was a part of the longest-lived country music duo in American history.

Grady Cole - Briarhopper Announcer at live concerts

Grady Cole was a famous radio personality on WBT and was one of the emcees during the Briarhoppers' live concerts.

George "Baby Ray" Stewart

George Stewart spent a few months as the lead singer for the Briarhoppers during the mid 1940s.

Fletcher Austin - Briarhopper Announcer

Fletcher Austin was a popular radio personality at WBT and worked as an emcee for the Briarhoppers.

Cecil Campbell

Cecil Campbell is well known as the last band leader for the Tennessee Ramblers but was also a main member of the Briarhoppers with his steel guitar and banjo.

Claude Casey

Claude Casey.  The Lady Killer.  The Ladies Home Journal.  Yodeler.  Movie star.  Radio mogul.  Tennessee Rambler.  Briarhopper.

Charlie Davis

Charlie was the son of Big Bill Davis and was also a member of Bill Davis' Cotton Blossoms.

Roger Davis

Roger, or "Judge," was the son of Big Bill Davis and was also a member of Bill Davis' Cotton Blossoms.

Fiddlin' Dwight Moody

Dwight Moody took over the fiddle chair in 1996 and kept the band going in three different versions, the latest version being Dwight, David Deese, Whitey Grant, and Tom Warlick.  He passed in July 2013, and is with his wife, Cathy, at Hickory Grove UMC, Charlotte, NC, in The Columbarium.

Eleanor Bryan Fields

Eleanor joined the Briarhoppers for one year and was the yodeling sidekick to Claude Casey.  She was in the band in 1944.  She died September 8, 2016, in Goldsboro.  Her ashes were spread in the ocean at her favorite NC beach.

David Deese

David joined the Briarhoppers and was hand-picked by Shannon Grayson to replace Grayson.  David played banjo for J.E. Mainer's band and with Bill Monroe's Boys.   He is buried at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.

Arthur Smith

A star in his own right with The Crackerjacks, Arthur Smith was also a part-time member of the Briarhoppers, performing on their radio show and on the road.  He rests at Magnolia Memorial Gardens, Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC.

Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs was a part-time member of the Briarhoppers as he filled in for Shannon Grayson when Shannon was at other concerts with his band, "The Golden Valley Boys."
Sam Poplin performed with the Briarhoppers playing fiddle and was an expert furniture maker.

Homer "Pappy" Sherrill

Pappy Sherrill is best known for his work with Snuffy Jenkins and the Hired Hands.  However, he was a part-time member of the Briarhoppers when Hank Warren could not perform.  Pappy rests at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Columbia, SC.

Shannon Grayson

Shannon joined the group around 1942.  He developed a three-finger banjo style possibly from DeWitt "Snuffy" Jenkins.  Shannon was playing the bluegrass style of banjo with the Briarhoppers 3 years prior to Earl Scruggs joining Bill Monroe's band.  In fact, Monroe witnessed the Briarhoppers' ensemble at WBT in Charlotte prior to having one himself.  Shannon also was leader of the Golden Valley Boys.