The Cowsills

The CowsillsFrom: Newport, RI, USA

The Cowsills are a band out of America that specialized in harmonies and the ability to sing and play music at an early age. They formed in the spring of 1965 by brothers Bill, Bob, and Barry. Their brother John joined the band soon after. Originally, Bill and Bob played guitar and Barry was on Drums. John learned how to play the drums, so Barry eventually switched to bass. After finding some success, the brothers were joined by their siblings Susan and Paul, as well as by their mother Barbara. Bob’s twin brother Richard became the band’s road manager. In 1967, the band expanded to its full family membership, with ages ranging from 8 to 19. The Cowsills were the inspiration for the 1970 launch of the television show The Partridge Family.

Things started out for The Cowsills during the 1950s while their father, Bud Cowsill, was stationed in Canton, Ohio as a US Navy recruiter. Billy and Bob taught themselves to play the guitar, developed their musical talent, and performed at school church dances in Stark County, Ohio. Their first television appearance was on the Gene Carroll Show on WEWS in Cleveland. After retiring from the Navy, Bud and his wife managed their children’s career.

The Cowsills were hired as a regular act on Bannisters Wharf in Newport in late 1965. A few singles were released on JODA Records and Philips Records in 1965 and 1966, but they only received modes success. Leonard Stogel took over management of the band soon after, and landed them a deal with MGM records in 1967. Barbara, who had become known to fans as “Mini-Mom” due to her diminutive stature, joined the group just in time for their first album, including the hit single “The Rain, The Park & Other Things.” The song sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold record. After the success of the single, Susan and Paul were added to the fold. In 1968, The Cowsills had another million-selling single with “Indian Lake.” In 1969, they landed another hit and million-seller with their version of the title song from the musical Hair. Between 1968 and 1972, the band played an average of 200 performance dates per year.

Over the years, The Cowsills had a number of breakups and reunions. They formed in 1965 and broke up in 1972. In 1978 they returned until 1980. After another 10 years off, in 1990, the band formed once again, and is still together today. Members that have passed away include Barbara, Bud, Barry, Bill, and Richard.

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1967 album The Cowsills
The Cowsills Album

  • The Rain, The Park & Other Things

From the 1968 album We Can Fly
We Can Fly

  • In Need Of A Friend
  • We Can Fly

From the 1969 single “Hair”
Hair

  • Hair

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