Story Behind the Song: Bellamy Brothers, ‘Let Your Love Flow’
In 1976, the Bellamy Brothers got a taste of megastardom thanks to their very first single as a duo, "Let Your Love Flow." Written by Larry Williams, a roadie for Neil Diamond, the song became a smash across the globe following its release.
"Let Your Love Flow" was released in January of 1976, and by that spring, it had become a No. 1 hit in the U.S., as well as in Austria, Canada, Germany, South Africa and Switzerland. Although it didn't reach the top spot, it also charted high in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
Truly, "Let Your Love Flow" is the Bellamy Brothers' signature song, and an enduring one at that. When David Bellamy spoke with The Boot to share the story behind the song in 2009, the tune had recently experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to a bank commercial.
Read on to hear the story of "Let Your Love Flow," in David Bellamy's own words.
I moved to Los Angeles and started cutting demos with Neil Diamond's band. Neil's drummer, Dennis St. John, told me that one of Neil's roadies, Larry Williams, had written a song that sounded like something we would do. He sent a copy of the song to our producer, Phil Gernhard.
The next day, I went to Phil's office and listened to it. I called [my brother] Howard and said, "I've got to play you this song!" And when he heard it, he had the same reaction that I did.
We went back in with Neil's band and cut the song. We got the right key, the band hooked it right away, and we probably didn't do more than two or three takes on the whole session. It was the perfect song for us and became the key to our career.
There were a couple guys from Holland who were in town when the single was released, and our record company gave it to them to take home, and they also sent it to Germany. It went to No. 1 in the U.S. on May 8, , and it was the No. 1 song in Germany the end of April, where it stayed at No. 1 for eight weeks. It also took off in Japan, South Africa and Australia. We spent a lot of time flying back and forth to promote it!
[In the late 2010s, the song was] a hit in Europe again because of a Barclays bank commercial that used it. This friend of ours in England called us and told us the radio stations had started playing it again because of the bank commercial, and it ended up back at No. 18 on the pop charts there. Then it was featured on a Mother's Day-themed project, 101 Housework Songs, which reached the top spot on the Top 40 Compilation Album chart.
The song is one of those universal tunes, melodically and lyrically. Larry wrote a perfect, three-and-a-half-minute song that was magical.
We hear a lot of stories from people all over the world: [In 2009], a guy came up after the show and told us "Let Your Love Flow" was part of the soundtrack of his life. At this point in our career, we've toured 55 or 56 countries, and we've played that song in every one of them! We're just happy that it's one of those songs that hung in there.
We've been blessed to have a lot of hits, but that one kicked everything off. "Let Your Love Flow" is still the reason we can tour worldwide today.
This story was originally written by Vernell Hackett, and revised by Angela Stefano.
10 Essential Albums for Your Country Music Education