Howard and David Bellamy • Photo courtesy of Bellamy Brothers

In the Know: Howard Bellamy Of The Bellamy Brothers Talks Horses, Hits And Home On The Ranch

The chart-topping Bellamy Brothers have played to audiences around the world for more than 40 years, belting out songs like Let Your Love Flow, If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body and, of course, Redneck Girl. Brothers Howard and David Bellamy are bringing the show to the National Cutting Horse Association Summer Spectacular, where they will headline a concert at 8 p.m., Friday, July 28, in Will Rogers Auditorium.

Tickets cost $19-$49 and are available through Ticketmaster. The opening act is Jason Cassidy. Proceeds benefit the National Cutting Horse Youth Association’s scholarship fund and the Horsemen For Christ Bible Camp.

Howard Bellamy told Quarter Horse News that he and David will feel right at home among all the cutters. They’ve owned a few cutting horses over the years and still ride Quarter Horses on their 200-acre cattle ranch in Darby, Florida.

They’re currently writing a book about their career and rural upbringing.

Bellamy recently spoke with Quarter Horse News about his younger years on cattle ranches and life-long love for good horses, especially Quarter Horses:

QHN: What’s your experience with cutting? I see you once were in a partnership that owned cutting mare, Smart Little Jena, who won about $3,000 for the group, according to Equi-Stat. Have you ever been to the NCHA Summer Spectacular or the other big events?

Bellamy: We have. We’ve owned cutting horses, and we’ve done celebrity cuttings throughout our career. We’re not spring chickens anymore, so we don’t compete in events as much anymore. And, we’re also traveling so much.

QHN: Tell me about the ranch. You raise Brahman cattle, I understand.

Bellamy: It’s quite rural. Tampa is trying to move our way, but we’re still in the boonies and prefer it.

We were raised up with the old Cracker Horses – the old Spanish gaited horses that Florida had. Basically, they’re Florida’s mustang. We were raised up with that, because the woods were so wild around here in those days. I can’t remember a time in my life we haven’t had a horse of some kind or another. As soon as I turned onto Quarter Horses, I never went back. That was a long, long time ago.

QHN: You mostly own ranch horses now. Do you have any favorite bloodlines?

Bellamy: Now, my horses are Zan Parr Barr-blooded horses and it goes way back to several, of course, of the great lines. I think my best horse I ever had was an old Poco (Bueno)-bred horse and a mare, at that. Just that magical one.

I’m sure there must’ve been 10,000 people that had a horse named “Poco,” but I just remember her response to everything. You were ready; she was ready. It was just one of those things.

QHN: You have so many hit songs. Which of them means the most to you?

Bellamy: We really like “You Ain’t Just ‘Whistling Dixie” a lot. It’s kind of autobiographical from where we came from and, of course, they like it in Texas, too. That’s a song you don’t ever get away without doing in Texas. And, it’s a different type of song for us. It’s more of a historical type of song.

Sometimes I think, as artists, you like some of the more obscure songs that nobody ever heard, that’s just kind of the way it is. We have a song called When I’m Away From You” that I think is one of our better songs.

There’s quite a list, and we’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to do different kinds (of music) within the genre of country. We’ve done a little social commentary. We’ve done a little reggae music. We’ve been fortunate to do traditional country. Of course, “Let Your Love Flow” was a pop-rock hit, so we’ve kind of stretched the boundaries a little bit and gotten away with it.

QHN: Which of your songs gets the biggest reaction from the crowds?

Bellamy: It kind of depends on where you are. We cover a pretty big radius. “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body,” “Let Your Love Flow”…If you’re in Texas, “Redneck Girl” is hard to compete with and, oddly enough, around the world, even when people don’t know what a redneck girl is, they’ll like it. I’ve never really quite understood the appeal of that song, because it’s not like genius lyrics, but there’s something (about it).

QHN: You and your brother, David, have toured together for more than 40 years to countries all over the world and are still hitting the road hard after all these years. Any advice for our youth competitors and their families who are on the road chasing World championships?

Bellamy: Advice is a really hard thing to give, but I will say it all depends on your passion. If you have a passion, if you’re driven and that’s the thing that you enjoy – do it.

That’s the same with us. It was a passion. It still is a passion. A lot of acts, they do their thing and retire or announce retirements and all of that…We’re not much good at anything else, so this is what we do.

If you have that passion, that fire, just follow it.