Charles Crutchfield created the Briarhoppers on March 1, 1934, when he was the bright, young announcer at WBT-Charlotte.
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 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 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.
Oct. 20, 1925
North Carolina, USA
Aug. 12, 1987
North Carolina, USA
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.
Along with Roy "Whitey" Grant, Hogan was a part of the longest-lived country music duo in American history.
Grady Cole was a famous radio personality on WBT and was one of the emcees during the Briarhoppers' live concerts.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.