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In 1967 the New York City music publishing and recording industry was taking notice of the San Francisco "Summer of Love" hippie lifestyle. At the time Artie Kornfeld was the director of artists and repertoire for Mercury Records. Through his work in matching songs with performers, he became aware of a new multigenerational family group known as The Cowsills. Incidentally, this group was the real-life inspiration for the popular 1970s television program the Partridge Family. Kornfeld co-wrote the "Summer of Love"-influenced song "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" for The Cowsills, whose recording of the song reached number 2 on the Billboard pop singles charts in late 1967. Based on his success with the Cowsills' first hit, Kornfeld left his position with Mercury Records and took up management of The Cowsills, writing for, producing, and managing them into 1968
Under Kornfeld's management and record production leadership, The Cowsills were tremendously successful. Kornfeld then left his independent production work to take a position at Capitol Records. Kornfeld's position, director of East Coast contemporary product, assured that he would be in contact with yet-to-be-discovered acts and in contact with their managers. It was in this context that Michael Lang, manager of the rock band Train, met Kornfeld in November 1968.