Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

More like Snake, Rattle & Wet

In the end, it came down to just the music.

With an anxious crowd, ankle-deep in rain puddles and waiting for any sign of hope that the Snake, Rattle & Roll Jam would not abruptly end with a sudden downpour, Howard and David Bellamy relied on what they do best to save the day.

"It's the name of the game," Howard Bellamy said as the backstage crew scrambled to find, of all things, a few acoustic guitars so the country duo could perform their set.

Just 90 minutes earlier, a crowd of nearly 10,000 that had gathered for the sixth annual event at the Florida Expo Park on the Florida State Fairgrounds was sent scurrying for shelter as a torrent of rain soaked the event.

Country singer Aaron Tippin was midway through his set when the first drops began to fall. Within minutes, the stage was covered with standing water, an obvious safety hazard, necessitating the cancellation of any further performances over the large sound system.

Mark Chestnutt's regular set was scrubbed (but later rescheduled as a solo set) and as a few thousand remaining fans hung around for an autograph session with the Bellamys and Tippin, the decision was made to make do for the fans that remained.

So, with thousands of dollars in sound and lighting equipment parked uselessly on the stage, the Bellamy Brothers sang over a makeshift PA system many of their favorites, including Old Hippie, If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me) and Let Your Love Flow as the crowd danced in the mud.

"You're the best," David Bellamy told the crowd. "This certainly wouldn't be possible without you."

Later, Chestnutt made it to the stage and, with just an acoustic guitar, charmed his fans with such tunes as What A Way To Make A Living and Too Cold At Home.

Prior to the afternoon's deluge, the audience was treated to a spirited performance by the South Florida group the Mavericks, whose set was highlighted by There Goes My Heart and I Should Have Been True.