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David and Howard Bellamy: Original NatureCoasters

By Diane Bedard Posted on February 5, 2018

Originally published September, 2014 on NatureCoaster.com

The Bellamy Brothers, David and Howard, were born in Pasco County, Florida. Although the Bellamy Brothers have toured in 65 countries around the world and could live anywhere, they still choose to reside on Florida’s Nature Coast at their Darby ranch.

They grew up singing in church, learning to play guitar and various stringed instruments from their father, Homer. Their first musical gig was in 1968 at a benefit concert with Homer in San Antonio, Florida at the Rattlesnake Roundup (now called the Rattlesnake Festival). In the early 1970s they moved to Atlanta to break into a larger music scene.

Homer Bellamy, Howard and David’s father, taught them to play stringed instruments.
David and Howard Bellamy
David and Howard Bellamy at their family ranch in the 1970s

David Bellamy wrote the song, “Spiders and Snakes,” which Jim Stafford recorded in 1975. It was a huge hit and they soon moved to Jim’s house in Los Angeles where they recorded “Let your Love Flow” in 1976 – their first hit – and oh what a hit it was!

“We lived in Los Angeles for the beginning of our career – for the first five years. We didn’t move. We just lived there because all of our recording was going on there, but as soon as we could afford ourselves we moved back to Darby,” Howard explains. “We feel very fortunate that we were brought up in this area and it is old heritage for sure. Our place has been in our family since 1879. We have pretty deep roots here and that’s why we never made the move to Nashville, like most country singers.”

They grew up on a 150 acre ranch in Darby that their great grandfather, Abraham Milton Bellamy and his wife, Susanna, homesteaded in 1870. They also lease a nearby 2500 acre ranch, which is a calf-cow operation.

Their mother, Frances, was a true matriarch of the family, supporting the “boys” throughout their career.

Frances Bellamy, “mom,” is seen here with Loretta Lynn in the early 1980s.

Their newest musical endeavor is entitled Mermaid Cowgirl and the video was filmed at Weeki Wachee Springs and the Nature Coast. It is their second collaboration with Gölä (Marco Pfeuti), a hugely popular Swiss rock musician. “Weeki Wachee has been a magical spot for us since we were kids growing up – not to mention the beautiful girls as mermaids. It’s just a magical spot. We used to canoe the river out to the Gulf there,” Howard reminisces.

The Bellamy Brothers and Gola at Weeki Wachee State Park filming Mermaid Cowgirl

David and Howard Bellamy’s 40th Anniversary is coming up in 2015 and they have been hard at work, recording at their studio in Darby and touring around the world. So far they’ve recorded about 35 songs and toured the world, including Europe, Germany, India, Australia and Qatar.

When asked if retirement was on the radar, Howard replied, “We’ve been fortunate so far. The good Lord has kept us healthy through all this touring and travel. We’ve dealt with bouts of the flu and such on the road, but we’ve kept our will to do this and our passion for music is still there. We’re still quite adventurous.”

Does he plan to continue returning to Pasco County?

Howard and David raise quarter horses on their ranch in Darby.

“We’ve never found any place better that we could relax and chill out than our old home place.”

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