The Bitterroot Valley is in for a treat when country music greats, The Bellamy Brothers, perform here at the Bitterroot Bash benefit concert for the LifeGuard Group and the LifeHouse. The concert will be Sunday, August 8th at 7 p.m. at the Darby Rodeo Grounds.
The Bellamy Brothers have had many hits over their more-than-four-decades career, including “Let Your Love Flow,” “Redneck Girl,” and “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me,” to name just a few.
The Bellamy Brothers – David and Howard – have been on tour in Texas. Howard took some time out to visit with the Star about their long career in country music.
The brothers were born and raised on a ranch in Florida that’s been in the family for 150 years this year. They still live there. “Rural Florida, there’s an agricultural side to Florida that most people don’t know about, that’s the environment we were brought up in,” said Howard. “We grew up there, our dad played music, we always had music in our home. We never had a clue we could make a career of it.”
They sang in church, and as they grew older they got more interested in music. “We matured to a phase where we started making music more seriously. We had bands and played in all kind of places, we cut our teeth that way. Not a lot of money was made. We were doing a lot of cover stuff. But we’d always manage to throw in a couple of our originals.”
In 1974, David wrote a big hit for Jim Stafford, “Spiders and Snakes,” which sold 3 million records. It was the second of four U.S. Top 40 singles released from Stafford’s debut album and also the highest-charting.
Howard and David ended up out in Hollywood. “We followed Jim Stafford out there,” said Howard. They worked with Stafford on the Smothers Brothers show for about three years. They befriended Neil Diamond’s band, “who had some of the same habits.” Howard recalls that one day Dennis St John, the drummer, came over with a demo that Neil’s roadie had written, called “Let Your Love Flow.” They thought it was one of the best songs they’d ever heard. They had just signed with a record label and they talked them into recording it. “It was a perfect gift from heaven,” said Howard, “a magical song for a first song.” The song became an international hit in 20 countries. “It opened up all those doors.”
“Forty-six years later – we’re still at it,” said Howard. “The tough part was following that song, it was so big.” But they did follow it, with another big hit, “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me.”
“We found our ground and we found our sound,” said Howard. The Bellamy Brothers have had around 18-20 number 1 records through the years. That enabled them to travel and tour the world, and they’ve played in 72 countries.
Howard said their latest project, during covid, was to record an album of covers, something they had never done before because they write so much of their own music. He said that’s coming out very soon – within three weeks to a month.
How about retirement? Apparently, there’s no end in sight. “There is no Plan B,” said Howard. “It’s kind of like the Mafia – you don’t own yourself. You do feel an obligation to your fans and all the people that count on you. I never wanted to be this responsible, but here we are.”
The brothers are excited about coming to the Bitterroot to play for LifeGuard. “We love the state of Montana. We will have a full band that travels the world with us. We will do most of our hits.” They plan to be in the state for about five days, but the smoke situation could change that. Howard said that some of their friends from the “Yellowstone” show are planning to come to the concert. He also said it’s easy to remember where this particular concert is taking place (Darby) because the Bellamys live in Darby (Florida).
All proceeds will benefit The LifeGuard Group, a non-profit organization that works to end human trafficking. The LifeGuard Group is creating a LifeHouse in the Bitterroot where former victims can safely rebuild their lives. The opening act at the Bitterroot Bash will be Montana’s Jonathan Aldrich. Tickets are available at Eventbrite or go to Events on The LifeGuard Group Facebook page.