The Cowsills In Books

The Encyclopedia of Rock Obituaries
by Nick Talevski
Omnibus - 1999


Pages 84-85:
Barbara Cowsill
Born July 12, 1928
Died January 31, 1985

Nicknamed "The Singing Mom", Barbara Cowsill was a member of the late-Sixties family, bubble-gum rock group, The Cowsills, joining her five sons and one daughter on a string of pop hits. Evolving out of a rock duo formed by brothers Bill and Bob Cowsill in their hometown of Middletown, Rhode Island, The Cowsills were managed by Barbara's husband, retired naval officer William "Bud" Cowsill. The last to join the group, Barbara Cowsill provided backing vocals but did not play an instrument. After honing a nightclub singing act around the Rhode Island area, The Cowsills moved to New York City to be closer to the music industry. Signing with MGM Records in 1967, the group enjoyed a quick string of chart successes with the million-selling, 'The Rain, The Park & Other Things' (1967), 'We Can Fly' (1968), 'Indian Lake' (1968), and from the rock musical of the same name, 'Hair' (1969). In 1969 The Cowsills became involved with the ABC network, first singing the theme song for the television series, Lover American Style. But when ABC offered the group its own television sitcom, The Cowsills turned down the offer when the network demanded that Shirley Jones play their mother. Instead, ABC launched The Partridge Family. After disbanding the group in 1972, the Cowsill family declared bankruptcy. Several of the group's members turned to drugs or alcohol during the next two decades.
CAUSE: She died in Tempe, Arizona, after a long bout of emphysema. Her death was kept a secret for years, and the cause was not publicized. She died while working the overnight shift at a nursing home. Bud Cowsill died on September 29, 1992, from leukemia.

Page 121:
Wes Farrell
(Wes Fogel)
Born 1940
Died February 29, 1996

A legendary Brill Building songwriter, Wes Farrell co-wrote 'Boys' (The Shirrells/The Beatles), 'My Girl Sloopy' (later retitles as 'Hang One Sloopy'), 'Come On Down To My Boat' and 'Come A Little Bit Closer'. Establishing the West Farrell Organization in the mid-Sixties, he turned to music publishing, production work , and record promotion. Farrell worked with a variety of pop-rock acts including The Everly Brothers, The Cowsills, and, writing most of their music including television them song, The Partridge Family.
CAUSE: Cancer. He died while vacationing in Fisher Island, Florida.

Page 366:
Tony Romeo
Born 1939
Died June 23, 1995

A producer and songwriter, Tony Romeo is best known for his work with Lou Christie, The Cowsills and The Partridge Family. His compositions included 'Indian Lake' (The Cowsills), 'I Think I Love You' (The Partridge Family), 'Blessed Is The Rain' (Brooklyn Bridge) and 'I'm Gonna Make You Mine' (Lou Christie. Also a recording artist, Romeo scored solo hits with 'Go Johnny Go' and 'Carnival Girl'.
CAUSE: Heart attack. He died at his home in Pleasant Valley, New York.

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