The Cowsills In Books

Rags to Riches: Motivating Stories of How Ordinary People Achieved Extraordinary Wealth!
by Gail Liberman, Alan Lavine
Dearborn Trade April 2000


on Page 104:

La Magna convinced a local radio station to promote the dance for free by allowing it to claim the dance as its own event. He hired the hit band the Cowsills, which at that point had not yet become well known but had been attracting a following in the Providence area. "Some $5,000 worth of applications came in the first week. We got over 1,000 applicants."

on Page 106:

On returning to Providence, La Magna in 1968 ran a nightclub -Bambi's-owned by the Cowsills in Newport, Rhode Island. He also served as the singing group's personal manager. The Cowsills went on to make several hit records, including "Hair" and "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," and later became the grup on which the hit television series The Partridge Family was based. However, La Magna says he didn't make any money to speak of from the affiliation. "The basic problem was the father controlled all the money and everybody around them, including the kids, didn't really see anything. It was a real tragedy. I don't think the father was a crook, but everybody around them was stealing money from them. When the kids reached 21, I heard they were in debt to the IRS for thousands of dollars."

"I managed the debt the group had accumulated on the way to the top. I dealt with all the creditors. Every week I would call and talk to them. To his [the father's] credit, he paid off every single one of them." La Magna said he was particularly thankful because it preserved his own reputation as a man of his word.

on Page 106:

In retrospect, he says the rain was not necessarily the greatest flaw in his idea. "The lesson was don't fall in love with your ideas. If I had just looked around me, I would have seen that people then weren't interested in dancing. They were going to concerts and getting stoned." One of the people who helped produce the Cowsills, Artie Kornfeld, who wrote the Cowsills' hit "The Rain, The Park and Other Things," had suggested that La Magna get involved with him and some others to help produce the rock concert Woodstock. La Magna turned him down, explaining that he was too busy with his drive-in disco venture. "Five hundred thousand people showed up at his concert and 25 police showed up for mine," La Magna said.

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