This week in 1983: three million gallons of gasoline burned after tank explosions in Newark, New Jersey; Inmates at Sing-Sing Prison in Ossining, New York, seized 16 officers as hostages; A police officer and seven cultists died during a shootout in Memphis, Tennessee; and two Florida brothers had their 18th hit record.
Howard and David Bellamy are well known in the music business for writing their own hits, but their 1983 nNo. 1 "When I'm Away From You" was an exception.
English songwriter Frankie Miller sent the song to the brothers after Kim Carnes had included it in an album. Howard and David liked the song and called Miller to tell him they wanted to record it. They were in the studio just a few weeks later and recorded the tune.
Their Elektra/Curb single "When I'm Away From You" came on the country music charts Jan. 15, 1983 and was in the No. 1 slot on April 2nd.
The single was their 7th No. 1. The record was produced by Jimmy Bowen.
"When I'm Away From You" was their only No. 1 for the year, although they did produce two more chart singles both written by David Bellamy "I Love Her Mind" which peaked at No. 4 and was on the charts for 17 weeks and "Strong Weakness," which peaked at No. 15 and was on the list for 15 weeks.
The Bellamy Brothers placed 47 songs on the country music charts between 1976 and 2005, including 10 No. 1s of which David wrote all but two.
Their last charted single was a duet version with Dolly Parton of their first No. 1 in 1979 "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body." The duet with Dolly peaked at No. 60.
A lot of successful country music recording artists have the reputation of being just ignorant country folks who just got lucky in the music business. Well, luck might have played a small part in Howard and David's success but the "ignorant country folks" part does not apply to them. They were born in Darby, Florida, and both graduated from The University Of Florida Howard with a degree in veterinary medicine and David with a degree in psychology. They were raised and still live among three generations of their family on their 200 acre Darby, Florida family farm.
Join Doug Davis weekends on KPIG-FM Radio 103.9 and 98.5 from 6 a.m. to noon for "Roots of Country" on Saturdays and "Sunday Country" on Sundays. You can also listen on the internet at Mypigradio.com and on the My Pig Radio Facebook page.