Years ago, when Radio was in it’s infancy, every station had it’s own band of “Local Yokels” broadcasting songs like; “You went away and left me dear; but I’ll try to get you back somehow,” “Cabin in the Mountains,” or “I’m crying myself to sleep over you.”
Most of these programs were usually sponsored by local merchants or over the counter patented medicines and health & beauty aides.
“W.B.T.” in Charlotte, North Carolina, was no different. The Station employed one or more announcers to introduce the groups to the listening audiences and to advertise the sponsor’s products. One of the favorite Announcers at W.B.T. was the late Charles Crutchfield, who eventually became General Manager of the popular Radio Station.
Among the many such sponsors was a hair coloring product for men, by the name of ‘COLOR-BACK.’ When the time during the broadcast came for, “We’ll be back after this word from our sponsor;” Mr Crutchfield began praising the products that were ‘paying the bills.’
He was the first to coin the words, “COLOR-HYPHEN-BACK” to describe the wonderful benefits of the product as an aide for men to wrestle with the aging process.
Folks within the reaches of the station awaited breathlessly for the words; “Y’all know what time it is?” “IT’S BRIARHOPPER TIME!;” and later on; a Telephone would ring and the voice of “Jim Patterson” would answer with; “Who’s calling, please?” – “Carolina calling?” – “Put’em on!”
Most members of “THE BRIARHOPPERS” have long since retired from broadcasting as a group; but I understand that a few of them are still “picking & singing,” and I suppose grinning.
The one T.V. program, “CAROLINA CALLING,” that originated by, and starred ARTHUR SMITH and THE CRACKERJACKS, was still being broadcast by one of the Public Broadcasting Television Stations in Charlotte for many years; however, it was with a reduced cast due to the demise of some of the original members.
Most of P. B. S. programs are Sponsor Free; but many of us old ‘geezers’ can still almost hear the voice of Charles Crutchfield; telling us about that ‘innovative product’ called “COLOR-HYPHEN-BACK;” and informing us that the use of it will keep us feeling young forever.
Incidentally: One of the last of the “Old Timers,” who entertained for so many years on Radio Station W.B.T.; passed away in 2014. An icon in the area of Country Music; “Arthur Smith,” is now serenading the Angels with his original creation of “Guitar Boogie.” Dj.
A very popular ‘parlor-game’ for the young, back then; was “Musical Chairs.” Fast forward to the days of those of us who are, “Older Than Dirt.” and witness our attempt to entertain ourselves with a similar game; but with a slight change in the title. Today; the rules are the same; except it is now, referred to as; “Musical Recliners.” Dj.