The Cowsills In Books

Flip's Groovy Guide To The Groops
by Editors of Flip Magazine
Signet Books July 1968




Freckles, laughter, a Munster mansion, and a mini-mommy are all part of the singing family known as The Cowsills.

There was no beginning for this group, unless you count the birth of each member of the family, for music has always been a part of their lives. It wasn't until 1967 that they decided to share it with the rest of the world.

Head of the Cowsill corporation and household is Bud Cowsill, "Papa Cowsill," who says love is the key in raising a family such as theirs.

By his side is their mini-mommy, Barbara, who sings harmony and tries to keep the whole gang in line. She's possibly the grooviest mommy ever and it shows in her groovy kids, Bill, Barry, Bob, John, and the baby-Cowsill, Susan.

When their busy schedule permits they return to their Munster mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Ivy covers the wall, windows are broken and the screens hang at all sorts of odd angles.

Inside the three-story, 22-room mansion is the home of a very active family. A large living room contains only one large sofa, two chairs and a TV set that is never off as long as anyone's at home. Meals are cooked on a 1917 gas stove that Mrs. Cowsill swears needs a prayer to light! The would-be library houses a Ping-Pong table and the should-be dining room holds a pool table. The house has seven bathrooms, one shower and very little water pressure. Bob claims the best time to get a shower is around three in the morning!

Along with the four singing Cowsills, their mom and dad and baby sister and the two brothers who serve as road managers, Dick and Paul, the house is also occupied by the family dog, Curly, chief rabbit hunter in the forest that surrounds the Cowsill house.

Though music has always been part of their lives, it hasn't always been a profitable part. At one point they nearly reached the end of their rope—they had no money, the phone was disconnected, the house mortgaged and they were chopping up what little furniture they had to fight the bitter winter cold.

A trip to New York and a chance meeting with Artie Kornfeld, producer and writer of popular music, led them to Lenny Stogel, who became the group's manager and sent them on their way to success.

"The Rain, The Park And Other Things" was the single that started it all, made the Cowsills into one of the most successful performing families ever, and introduced us to some very groovy people.

Group Mailing Address: 888 Eighth Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10019


Bill Cowsill

Birthdate—January 9
Hometown—Providence, R. I.
Weight—156 pounds
Hair—Light Brown
Residence—Newport, Rhode Island

Bill's the oldest of the Cowsill kids and he easily accepts the responsibility of having his brothers and sisters looking to him for advice. He's serious and disciplined, as the oldest son of any laree lamily must be.

But this seriousness doesn't make Bill a dull fellow. Far from it. His sincerity and enthusiasm, combined with a clever mind and keen wit, make him an extraordinarily interesting guy.

Though music is his life he makes barely passing grades in his music courses at Rhode Island College! But his grades in English and literature classes are always outstanding.

He loves to write — poetry, verse, lyrics, just about anything — and you will probably find his name as the writer on more and more of the Cowsills' material.

But though he puts a lot of himself into his writings he's still one of those people who keeps a lot of himself inside. He's great at getting to know others well without ever really letting them know him. Girls usually find him mysterious, though he may have them figured out from the first date.

It is doubtful whether even superstardom will ever change Bill for he tends to take things at arms distance and is seldom fooled. He's the solid member of the family and easily handles business matters, while making sure that everyone around him is having a good time.

That's Bill — solid, sincere and serious — tall, handsome and mysterious.

Bob Cowsill

Birthdate—August 26
Hometown—Portsmouth, Virginia
Weight—160 pounds
Residence—Newport, Rhode Island

Bob's just about the opposite of brother Bill. He's the always fun-to-be-around type who never takes anything (except music) seriously. Whenever there's anything crazy happening among the Cowsills you can bet that Bob's in on it.

There is a serious side to Bob but few people have ever seen it, for when he wants to be serious, he usually disappears. He may be gone for hours, alone or perhaps with a good book, just thinking and dreaming. These are the times he seldom shares with others — his time alone.

But watch out when he comes back, for he's had time to dream up hundreds of new pranks to play on everyone around!

Somehow, despite all his fooling around, Bob still manages to get all A's and B's in school. This probably has something to do with his reading. A good deal of the books in the house are Bob's for he's got this thing about reading everything available.

Only Bob could walk into a crowded store, pick out the most atrocious bright red shirt for someone with him and then convince them that they are the greatest looking thing in the world in that shirt! It's almost impossible not to have a great time whenever Bob's around.



Barry Cowsill

Birthdate—September 14
Hometown—Newport, Rhode Island
Weight—110 pounds
Residence—Newport, Rhode Island

The best word to describe Barry is natural. Everything he does is natural, from the way he laughs to the way he entertains.

"Hi! How are you?" is his usual greeting, delivered with a great burst of enthusiasm. Barry's always at home, whether it's at home, onstage in front of people and cameras, or just talking to a few close friends or fans. He's always at ease and usually puts people around him at ease just as quickly.

He used to play, the drums with the group until his younger brother John became old enough to take over the job. Then Barry switched to bass guitar.

He's an honor student at St. Augustine's School in Newport, which he attends along with John.

Barry's a big tease, particularly with those in his own family, but his unbelievable charm lets him get away with it, though often the others will gang up to play a practical joke on him in revenge.

Red is his favorite color and you can tell by the clothes he wears — red pants, red shirts, etc.

Like all the Cowsill brothers, he's a healthy young man, who loves sports and usually holds his own in the family rough-housing.

He knows he has two older brothers and a groovy dad to go to when he wants advice or help, so Barry's not too worried about anything except maybe about staying just a happy, natural sort of guy.

John Cowsill

Birthdate—March 2
Hometown—Newport, Rhode Island
Weight—102 pounds
Residence—Newport, Rhode Island

Youngest of the Cowsill brothers is John, who loves everything and everyone. He's the group's little drummer boy and you can bet he takes advantage of being the youngest.

He couldn't wait until he could take over as drummer and now that he has, he's turning into one of the best drummers in the business — at the age of 12!

His trademark is freckles. All of the Cowsills have them. But he has millions of them!

He's a sports nut and particularly digs baseball. No one's telling how many broken windows in their Munster mansion John is responsible for, but the word is out that he's broken more than his share!

If he could have anything in the world, John would probably ask for a motorcycle, for he's already a big fan of wheels and speed. He also very badly wants to learn to fly. John's always in motion and his only wish is that he could move faster and farther.

He's a little young to have developed a philosophy of life, but he has one and it's very simple. "I'm happy and I just want to be me," he says. His brothers laugh at him a lot, but he means it. And others are beginning to find out that when John wants something, he's very likely to get it.

Young, happy, active, and unbelievably cute — that's John.


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