All Music ... All Fun ... All Cowsills
September 15, 1967
The Cowsills are a combination of many things ... a mansion in Rhode Island, talent, a mini-mommy, a fun-loving family, and a new word that will soon be familiar to all of America.
The Cowsills are a family rock group on a large scale. The nucleus of the group are Bill, Bob, Barry, and John. They are lead guitar, second lead guitar, bass, and drums respectively. They are also the talent around which the Cowsills show is organized.
Onstage the four boys handle the singing chores with interesting, harmony and professional polish, but they are not the only ones in the family who take part onstage and off.
Two other brothers, Dick and Paul, are in charge of the road managing of the group, the equipment, and the sound systems.
Susan Cowsill is only eight years old, but she is a fully fledged member of the group. Susan and her mother each sing a number with the boys during their show.
Although they are only backing up the main part of the group they add tremendous color and life to the Cowsills' live performances.
When the group is not on the road, Mr., Mrs. and all the little Cowsills live in a 22-room manion on top of one of the few hills in Newport, Rhode Island.
Visiting the group at home is a unique experience. As you drive up the winding drive, the first glimpse of the house takes your breath away. Ivy is growing all over the walls, windows are borken, screens are hanging and the sound of rock music is filling the air.
The house is just a little run-down because, for the past three years, all the Cowsills' money went into instruments, sound systems, amplifiers, and other tools of the musical trade.
Until very recently the family was very close to losing everything they had. There was no money, the phones had been disconnected, and the only heat was firewood.
With their mortgage almost foreclosed the family headed for New York.
Luck, possibly fate, introduced them to Artie Kornfeld. Artie is a producer and writer having "Pied Piper" and "Honolulu Lulu" among his credits.
When he heard what they could do he took the Cowsills to Lenny Stogel, probably the only talent manager in America who was ready for them, and Lenny led the Cowsills to MGM Records.
From that point on, in the space of just a few weeks, the Cowsills have come to be considered one of the hottest properties in the entire musical industry.
On the doorstep of success, the Cowsills have not let fame go to their heads. They are still the happy family they were three years ago when they were still struggling to make the grade.
Mrs. Cowsill and Dick and Paul are busy getting the huge amount of equipment the group carries with them ready for the show.
America finally has an all-American musical family of which it can be proud.
The Cowsills are happiest when they're together as a family ... and that's exactly how our camaraman caught them.
On The Road - To Prove To The World They Can Reach The Top
The Cowsills are tipped to rise to the top of the nation's pop scene but there will be those who will question their talent, skill, and integrity. All those questions can be answered in a very simple manner. The Cowsills are real.
They were not fabricated by the music industry although the industry itself and the whole country played a major role in their coming to be.
The music industry was ready and, in fact, waiting for the Cow-sills. The same applied to the Beatles, five years ago.
With the release of their first single, "The Rain, The Park, And Other Things", the group is setting out to meet America. They began a 56-city promotional tour of the U.S. this week.
All the Cowsills will be there as well as a special tutor so none of the boys will miss any of their schooling.
With vast sums being spent on the group's promotion their name will soon be a household word. Their first album, "The Cowsills", will be released in a few weeks.
In addition to the album and single there is also the probability of a TV series for the group during their first three-year contract with MGM.
All this for a family that has never really shown the public what it can do.
Although only four of the boys are really involved in performing, the whole family gets into the act and with the projected TV series even Mr. and Mrs. Cowsill will become part of the Cowsills show.
The Cowsills are not just a big promotion. The group is entertaining, and visually exciting live.
Spending a day with the Cowsills is a hectic, exciting experience.
Their day begins early with tutoring for the boys. Everyone takes part and by noon the lessons are out of the way.
Then it's practice, practice and more practice perfecting the little things that can make all the difference in an act.
Here are the four Cowsill brothers — John, Bob, Bill and Barry — who form the main part of the family show. All are talented musicians, and each of the brothers adds something special to the stage performance. Now, meet them individually ....
John Cowsill is only 11 years old, but is already well on the way towards becoming one of the best young drummers in the country.
John's freckles are his trademark. He's loaded with them.
"I'm happy and I just want to be me," John remarks with a smile. Just being John is certainly enough.
Bob Cowsill, rhythm guitarist and organist, is the second oldest member of the group. He spends much of his time reading and, as far as studies are concerned, his grades are exceptionally good.
Bob provides the driving rhythm that marks every Cowsill performance. He knows his job and does it well.
Bill Cowsill is the lead guitarist and spokesman of the group onstage. The oldest brother, and is accustomed to having his brothers look to him for the lead.
Bill attends Rhode Island College where, ironically enough, he gets just passing grades in his music course.
Barry Cowsill is the group's bass player and his talent puts many older and more experienced musicians to shame. Barry is only 13, has been playing bass for three years.
Originally he was the group's drummer, but relinquished the sticks to brother John. Both Barry and John attend St. Augustine's School.