The Cowsills In Books

The sound of our town : a history of Boston rock and roll
by Brett Milano
Commonwealth - September 1, 2007


Pages 23-24:
Oddly, the mid-sixties is the only era when Boston didn't produce any major national successes. Between Freddy Cannon's pre-Beatles hits and the late sixties rise of the J. Geils Band, Boston made almost no dents in the national charts. The nearest national commotion came out of Newport, Rhode Island, where a family group called the Cowsills became teen idols. The first album's cover photo of the group stretched out on its Newport lawn hung on many a teenagers's bedroom wall. Originally a Beatles-inspired group of four brothers, the Cowsills expanded their lineup and changed their image with the addition of their mom and their eight-year-old sister, Susan. Clean-cut and fresh-faced they may have been, and wholesome enough to make commercials for the American Dairy Association. But the Cowsills' harmony-driven hits (the biggest were "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" and the theme from the then-controversial musical Hair) had a subversive element of free love and flower power. In 1971 some television producers would base The Partridge Family on a slicker version of the Cowsills' sound and image.

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