The Cowsills In Books

Rock Movers and Shakers
Barry Lazell, Dafydd Rees, and Luke Crampton
ABC-Clio Inc 1989

Bill Cowsill (guitar and vocals)
Barbara Cowsill (vocals)
Sue Cowsill (vocals)
Bob Cowsill (guitar and vocals)
Barry Cowsill (bass and vocals)
John Cowsill (drums)


Having retired after 20 years in the US Navy, Chief Petty Officer William "Bud" Cowsill organizes four of his six sons into a teenage vocal and instrumental group in Newport, Rhode Island. Under father's disciplined management, the group becomes a slick club entertainment unit, with mother Barbara and sister Sue drafted in to sweeten the vocal sound on appropriate numbers. Remaining brothers Paul and Dick are The Cowsills' road manager and sound engineer.


While struggling financially with investment, equipment and transport debts, Bud Cowsill meets writer/producer Artie Kornfeld, who impressed with the group's stage act.


With Kornfeld's aid, the family signs to Leonard Stogel's management company and to MGM Records


Debut single The Rain The Park And Other Things, co-written and produced by Kornfeld, hits US #2 and is a million-seller. MGM sends the family on a 22-city US West Coast tour at a cost of $250,000, to promote the hit and LP The Cowsills, which climbs to US #31.


[28]A major showcase concert at New York's Town Hall Theater is highly rated; the group is billed as "America's First Family of Music" (and becomes the inspiration for TV's "The Partridge Family").

1968 Feb. We Can Fly reached US #21.


In Need Of A Friend peaks at US #54 LP We Can Fly reaches US #89.


Indian Lake hits US #10.


LP Captain Sad And His Ship Of Fools peaks at US #105.


Poor Baby, taken from the LP, reaches US #44.

1969 Feb. Compilation LP The Best Of The Cowsills makes US #127.


The group's version of the title song from rock musical Hair hits US #2 and is a second million-seller.


Live LP The Cowsills In Concert, which includes Hair, reaches US #16.

1971 May The group leaves MGM and signs to London Records for LP On My Side, which makes only US #200 with no hit singles.


The group disbands, as various members of the family leave for further education or alternative professional careers.

1985 Jan. [31] Barbara Cowsill dies, aged 56, in Tempe, Ariz.

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