H                                                                                                                                                    1







Representatives Kiser;  Alexander, Black, Carney, Cunningham, Earle, Gulley, McMahan, Rhodes, Saunders, and Vinson.

Referred to:

Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

May 11, 2006

A JOINT RESOLUTION acknowledging the importance of the musical group known as the briarhoppers, which provided family entertainment from the studios of charlotte's wbt radio, and honoring the memory of former briarhopper members and the group's founder.

Whereas, in 1935, Charles Crutchfield, a radio announcer for Charlotte radio station WBT, formed a musical group known as the Briarhoppers (WBT Briarhoppers) to satisfy a potential advertiser, Consolidated Drug Trade Company of Chicago; and

Whereas, the Briarhoppers performed bluegrass and country music and became a very popular group attracting scores of fans; and

Whereas, the first group of Briarhoppers were a Tin-Pan Alley musical group that lasted from 1935 to 1941; and

Whereas, the Briarhoppers became a string band in 1941 and, with the exception of a short period of inactivity, have continuously performed as a group, earning the title of the longest performing bluegrass and country ensemble still active in the music field today; and

Whereas, many legendary musicians performed as a member of the Briarhoppers, including Charles Crutchfield, Johnny McAllister, Big Bill Davis, Don White, Billie Burton Daniels, Eleanor Bryan Fields, Jane Bartlett, Clarence Etters, Mildred and Floyd, the Oklahoma Sweethearts, Fred Kirby, Claude Casey, Roy "Whitey" Grant, Arval Hogan, Nat Richardson, Sam Poplin, Homer Christopher, Shannon Grayson, Fiddlin' Hank Warren, the Tennessee Ramblers, Homer "Pappy" Sherrill, Dwight Moody, David Deese, and David Moody; and

Whereas, many talented artists appeared on the Briarhopper family entertainment show, including the Original Carter Family, Bill and Charlie Monroe, Uncle Dave Macon, Roy Acuff, and Little Jimmy Dickens, and classical musicians Jose Iturbi and David Rubinoff; and

Whereas, the Briarhoppers entertained the troops during World War II and polio victims during the 1940s and performed on Public Radio's "Prairie Home Companion" and at the 1984 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee; and

Whereas, the Briarhoppers participated in programs throughout the North Carolina school system under the State-funded project "The Original Briarhoppers School Program"; and

Whereas, over the years, the Briarhoppers have been recognized for their contributions to the cultural and musical heritage of North Carolina and have received the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 2003 and the Brown-Hudson Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society in 2002; and

Whereas, the Briarhoppers were featured in an exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte and in "The Charlotte Country Music Story", produced by the North Carolina Folk Society and Spirit Square in Charlotte; and

Whereas, the Briarhoppers are the subject of a new book written by Thomas and Lucy Warlick, which covers their history; and

Whereas, only a few members of the early Briarhopper family survive today, including Billie Burton Daniel, a resident of Wilmington and a 70-year member of the group, Eleanor Bryan Fields, a member of the 1941 string band, and Roy "Whitey" Grant, a Briarhopper since 1939; and

Whereas, the Briarhoppers deserve a heartfelt thanks for entertaining the citizens of North Carolina and the world for more than 70 years; Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

SECTION 1.  The General Assembly expresses its appreciation and gratitude to the Briarhoppers for their contributions to the State's cultural heritage.

SECTION 2.  The General Assembly honors the memory of Charles Crutchfield, founder of the Briarhoppers, as well as the other former members of the Briarhoppers who have died.

SECTION 3.  The Secretary of State shall transmit a copy of this resolution to the family of Charles Crutchfield, WBT/WBTV of Charlotte, the Levine Museum of the New South, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

SECTION 4.  This resolution is effective upon ratification.