By Tammy Sue Struble
“It’s all about family” seems to be the theme for Pasco High and local residents’ connections with the Bellamy Brothers from Darby. Not surprising, many from the Zephyrhills and Dade City areas have ties to or a story about the Bellamy Brothers, Howard and David, or David’s sons Jesse and Noah — who are also accomplished performers.
“I had a small record store in Zephyrhills back in the 70s called Canopy Records,” recalled Greg First of Dade City. “I remember Frances Bellamy, Howard and David’s mom, used to come in the store all the time. She would bring in 45’s (45 rpm vinyl records) of theirs to sell. It’s neat. She was their biggest promoter back then — then they turned out to be a huge hit!”
First continued, “I worked as a DJ (disc jockey) at WPAS 1400 radio in Zephyrhills, they played country back then. People would call in on the request line for “Let Your Love Flow” all the time.”
The big hit “Let Your Love Flow” went to the top of the pop charts in 1976.
An antique dealer, Janet Heartfill, who has a booth in Zephyrhills at B’s Antiques & Collectibles, lives on Bellamy Brothers Boulevard in the Darby area and says that Frances Bellamy was her godmother.
Josie Tomkow, a third generation Pasco High student, said her grandmother, Judy Clark Nicholson of Dade City, went to school with Howard Bellamy. Nisha Gupta, a student at St. Anthony’s Catholic school in San Antonio said her mom, Cheralyn Gupta, owns San Ann Market & Pizza Pub — and the Bellamys stop by there often. Josie and Nisha were excited they got their photo with Howard and David Bellamy.
The Bellamys are graduates of Pasco High in Dade City: Howard 1964, David 1968, Jesse 1996, and Noah 1998. While the Bellamys are on the road much of the time, they had no problems playing a benefit concert at their alma mater on Friday, April 15. Dr. Dan McBath spearheaded the Spring Pirate Invasion Benefit Concert.
“This is the third benefit the Bellamys have done in my 12 years at Pasco High,” explained Principal Patrick Reedy. “They set a great example of ‘don’t forget where you came from.’ Reedy went on, “It’s a great community. Their mom was a bus driver and worked in the cafeteria.” Frances Bellamy, who passed away in December of 2009, worked at Pasco High for 25 years and volunteered in the school system after retirement.
“They could have done something else with their time off; but, they’re here. It’s just great; it’s just great! We can’t thank them enough,” finished Reedy.
Turnout was good and concertgoers enjoyed perfect weather and a nearly full moon as the skies darkened. A big crowd pleaser was “You Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie.” And, people were dancing on the field and in the bleachers to “Red Neck Girl.”
After “Get Into Reggae Cowboy,” Principal Reedy, Dr. McBath and Jim Ward, the athletic director, took the stage with a special presentation for the Bellamys in appreciation of the generous donation to perform at the fundraising event. All proceeds from the concert will go to help out the Pasco High school system.
Howard and David were presented with a framed, matted photo of them with their mom, a Pasco High letter, and the letters BB. A plaque of sorts — given from their Pasco High family to a Bellamy family that has continued to give and give back to their school — and remember their inspirational mother, Frances.
The presenters and Bellamys joked how Frances kept kids in line on the school bus and in line at home. “She kept us out of jail,” kidded David. Everyone had a little laugh; but, probably a little lump in their throats.
What a proud community network of friends and family — from a ranch in Darby.
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