The Briarhoppers Included Among 2020 NC Music HOF Inductees

Band Member Tom Warlick Joins WBT's Morning News

The Bo Thompson Morning Show
August 06, 2020 - 11:43 am

Bo Thompson spoke to Tom Warlick of the Briarhoppers Thursday on WBT's Morning News. Originally formed as WBT's House Band in 1934, The Briarhoppers are one of the longest-continuing string bands in the country. 

The band is also no stranger to receiving hall of fame recognitation. They were inducted into the WBT Hall of Fame in 2007 as part of the station's third induction class. The "world famous pleasure-plus music makers" rose to popularity in the region and drove record sales nationwide due to the popular program on WBT.

What created the success for The Briarhoppers, and is important to note for the times of the 1930's, was radio stations were prohibited from playing music records on the air. Often time string bands were given the right to preform live in the studio. As many stations used traveling acts, WBT formed the house band as a permanent fixture for the 50,000 watt powerhouse under the direction of announcer Charles Crutchfield. 

"The induction ceremony, which was originally slated for this October, will be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, " according to The NC Music Hall of Fame's website. When an actually ceremony does happen, The Briarhoppers, along with Donald Lawrence, Charles Whitfield, Jermaine Dupri, Michael Mauldin, Tony Brown and Roberta Flack, will be performing at Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, N.C. next year.     

"Of course they're going to have us on first," Warlick said about the ceremony.  "Get the banjos out of the way before they get the Grammy award-winning artist up there to perform." 

With the 2020 class, the NC Music Hall has inducted 114 artists, acts or groups since 1999.   




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