Charles Harvey Crutchfield (1912-1998) was a mainstay at the WBT radio station in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for most of his career. For ten years, from 1935 to 1945, he served as the station's program director. In the early years, he was an announcer with the legendary WBT Briarhoppers, a group of country musicians who broadcast a live program daily on WBT. In 1945, he became acting general manager and eventually became president in 1945. Crutchfield retired in 1977 after 44 years with the Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting Company. The collection consists of correspondence, speeches, articles, an oral history, videos and other material documenting Crutchfield's career as well as the history of WBT.
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4.50 Linear Feet
The Charles Harvey Crutchfield papers span the years 1936 to 1999, with the bulk of the material dated 1972. The collection contains correspondence, speeches and articles written by Crutchfield, files from the Jefferson Standard/Jefferson Pilot Broadcasting Company, and materials from other organizations Crutchfield was affiliated with. Additional material include an oral history transcript and video tapes covering Crutchfield's death and WBTV's 50th anniversary
Charles Harvey Crutchfield (1912-1998) was born in Hope, Arkansas, on July 27, 1912. After attending public schools in Spartanburg, South Carolina, he attended Wofford College in Spartanburg for one year, 1929-1930. His first job in radio was at WSPA in Spartanburg. From 1929 to 1933 he was an announcer and program director for various North and South Carolina radio stations, ending up at Radio WBT in North Carolina from 1933-1935. For ten years, 1935-1945, he was program director. In the early years he was an announcer with the legendary WBT Briarhoppers, a group of country musicians who broadcast a live program daily on WBT. He was appointed acting general manager at WBT in 1945 and subsequently stayed on and became president in 1963. Crutchfield retired in 1977 after 44 years with the Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting Company.
Crutchfield was involved in many other professional activities including a U. S. State Department appointment for a special mission to Greece in 1951. In 1956 he was one of forty-eight businessmen representing the broadcast industry touring the former Soviet Union. In 1962 he visited Radio Free Europe operations in Munich, Germany, as part of the Radio Free Europe 1963 Fund Drive, of which he was North Carolina vice chairman. He was a presidential appointed member of the National Commission on World Population from 1974 to 1975 and served as chairman of the communications Committee for that organization. He also served as secretary-treasurer for the CBS-TV Network Affiliates Advisory Board in 1973.
Crutchfield was married to wife Jacquelin for 66 years, and had two children, a son, Richard, and a daughter, Leslie.
The collection is organized as four series:
This collection contains audiovisual materials. Items that cannot be used in the Special Collections reading room or are too fragile for researchers require that a digital copy be made prior to use. If you would like to access these materials, please contact us prior to your visit.
Charles H. Crutchfield donated his papers to the Library of American Broadcasting (LAB), in January 1978. When the LAB was donated to the University of Maryland in 1994, the Crutchfield papers became part of Special Collections. In March 2000, David Eades of WBT donated additional material relating to Charles Crutchfield.
Materials were placed in acid-free folders and then stored in acid-free boxes. Audio visual materials are stored separately but were integrated intellectually into Series 4 in 2020.