Howard and David Bellamy grew up in Florida, where their parents had a successful orange grove plantation. Their father was a country swing musician on the side, and the boys grew up in a musical family listening to their father's country music, whil… Read more
Howard and David Bellamy grew up in Florida, where their parents had a successful orange grove plantation. Their father was a country swing musician on the side, and the boys grew up in a musical family listening to their father's country music, while also hearing the rock 'n' roll that their older sister introduced to them and calypso music that the migrant works on their parent's farm would sing while in the fields. The brothers had been influenced heavily by'60s rock and R&B acts such as The Beatles, the Stones, and The Temptations, but had grown up and learned to play in a home steeped heavily in country music.
After attending college at the University of Florida, Howard landed a job playing organ for Percy Sledge and later, Little Anthony & The Imperials. When David got out of school, the two brothers formed a soul band called Jericho, relocating in Atlanta. Eventually, they moved back to Florida, and one of David's songs, "Spiders & Snakes" ended up in the hands of popular country artist, Jim Stafford. Stafford liked the song enough to record it, and the two brothers soon saw success when the song soared to the top of the country charts, and eventually #5 on the pop charts. The success of "Spiders & Snakes" earned them a spot on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and brought them to the attention of the Nashville A&R brass.
The group signed with Curb Records in 1976, and the initial singles were released to little fanfare or success. Then when a roadie for Neil Young named Larry Williams (who had been a friend of Howard's) gave them one of his songs, "Let Your Love Flow," the brothers immediately cut it. Curb, knowing a hit when it heard one, released it, and within a few months the Bellamy Brothers had a #1 song on both the country and pop charts.
Over 40 years and a staggering 50 albums after the group formed, David and Howard are still going strong. Their last effort was a gospel album called Jesus Is Coming.