Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: The Bellamy Brothers, “Redneck Girl”

“Redneck Girl”

The Bellamy Brothers

Written by David Bellamy


#1 (1 week)

December 11, 1982

Listening to “Redneck Girl,” I was struck by how much better the Bellamy Brothers sounded, as compared to their previous records.

The instrumentation complements their harmonies, with gorgeous steel guitar weaved throughout the track.  The lyric is playful, and the production works with that intent.

Their island chill vibe sounded disconnected on their earlier No. 1 hits, but they sound fully present here.  The laid back vibe sounds intentional now. For the first time, everything comes together and they truly sound like a modern country act, not seventies yacht rock holdovers from another era.

It wasn’t until I pulled the songwriting information for this track that I discovered it was their first single co-produced by Jimmy Bowen.  I already knew about his work with Haggard and Hank Jr. and Twitty, and I knew about the great records to come from Gayle, McEntire, Strait, and the Oaks.

I had no idea that he worked with the Bellamy Brothers, and hearing the difference in quality between this and their earlier singles, there’s a strong case to be made that Jimmy Bowen was the most pivotal industry figure of the decade. 

All that said, it’s still got the hook, “Gimme a gimme a gimme a redneck girl.” So I can only go so high.

“Redneck Girl” gets a B+

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I wonder . . .

    Could that scoffingly-alluded-to song hook (which I quite like, btw) have been inspired by ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” released just two years earlier?

  2. Kevin, I completely agree with your assessment of producer Jimmy Bowen. He made huge differences in the way some artists sounded. The quality went way up when he became involved.

    If I’m not mistaken, Bowen was the first producer to record country records on digital. This is a great song by a talented brotherly duo.

  3. …perhaps it was the “first comes love than comes marriage” line that kept this tune of the bellamies from storming the christian country charts too.

    • There are so many easy reasons to despise and mock The Bellamy Brothers. Just look at the photograph Kevin included of their “Strong Weakness” album. It’s all lewd wetness and wild innuendo, it’s like girls gone wild and bro country somehow traveled back to the eighties.

      And yet, the duo still has its needle buried in their signature good time party groove that has aged so much better than the music of TG Sheppard which was similarly themed and promoted.

      The Bellamy Brothers always retained a spirit of fun and freedom that steered them clear of creepy hazards or career dead-ends. In many ways, they were hard to be taken seriously but i think that was by careful design. We hear that when Bowen cleans up and sorts out their sound while still preserving their identity and musical momentum.

      These guys were having fun, and I for one, was happy to live vicariously through them as a kid and gladly sing about redneck girls driving daddy’s pick up truck!

      • …total pros the bros. had an interview with david bellamy ahead of a concert in switzerland a few years ago. we talked on phone at a seriously ungodly hour (at his end of the line) shortly after a show of theirs somewhere in the us. before corona they still sounded great live in every department. perhaps, slightly formulaic their shows, but what can you do, when the set list comprises of one hit after another. nice problem, if you can have it.

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