The Cowsills In Magazines

The Cowsills Almost Lost Everything!!!!
December 1967
Song Hits Magazine





Very recently, the Cowsills come very close to losing everything. They had no money, the phones had been disconnected, there wasn't any oil for the furnace and it was bitter cold all winter. "Bill and Bob chopped up their dressers to make fire wood and everybody huddled together around the fireplace," recalls Mrs. Cowsill. Finally, the end seemed imminent. Their mortgage was almost foreclosed, and they and the house they loved so dearly were about to be separated forever. A catastrophe for both. Desperately in need of financial help, the family came to New York.

Luck, or maybe fate, introduced them to Artie Kornfeld. Artie is a record producer and songwriter. Artie immediately sized up the situation. He knew what to do with the Cowsills - introduce them to Lenny Stogel, probably the only talent manager in America who was ready for them. Lenny manages Sam the Sham and Tommy James & The Shondells. Lenny Stogel, another creation of America, understood what had to be done and knew just how to do it. The rapport between Leonard Stogel Associates and the Cowsills led to MGM Records, and from there, in the space of just a few weeks, the Cowsills have come to be considered one of the hottest properties in the entire industry. They're even being considered for their own TV series. Watch out, Monkees!

Freckles, laughter, big brown eyes, a "Munster-like mansion" in Newport, Rhode Island, a mini-mommy and a whole lot of talent. This is a Cowsill.

Bill, Bob, Barry and John Cowsill comprise the nucleus of the group. Their mini-mommy, Barbara Cowsill, lends her sweet, clear voice to the boys' harmony whenever it is needed. The road managers, Dick and Paul Cowsill, who chose not to enter the performing end of the complex, keep equipment straight and in order throughout their journeys. There is also a Cowsill "baby", sweet and cute as can be, eight-year-old Susan Cowsill (who is constantly teased by her all-brother family, who, although they'll never admit it publicly, adore her). Mr. Cowsill, like any father would be, is stuck with the job of coordinating the conglomeration.

Mr. Cowsill believes that love is a key word in raising a family, especially his. "When the kids do the right thing, they know it. And when they do the wrong thing, they know it." However, it is difficult for any father to actually define right and wrong. The only constant is love. "If I slip in some area, love will cover it. It's crazy, but I think you read me." Mr. Cowsill has said on many occasions, "Whenever any member of the family has a problem, we do like all families - sweat, all the while helping it work itself out."

Mr. Cowsill, Mrs. Cowsill and all concerned live in a 22-room mansion on top of one of the few Newport, Rhode Island Hills.

As you drive up the winding drive, the first glimpse of the house takes your breath a-way. It seems as if you are dreaming. Ivy is growing all over the walls of the house, windows are broken, screens are hanging. It all has an air of "unreal."

The place could only exist in America or Switzerland or Poland. The grass has grown to a height of three feet. Curly, the family dog and very much a member of the family, hunts rabbits and other wild things in this amazing forest.

The house is three stories high with a "Captain's Walk." As the story goes, when the captain had the house built way back, he put the walk on the roof so his wife could watch for his ship to come into the harbor. Today, Mrs. Cowsill uses the walk to escape from her eight riotous Indians. "This is my favorite spot in the world. I come up here to think and relax - pure heaven."

The interior of the house fits the outside. The family or living room contains one large sofa, two chairs, and a TV set. Cooking of meals is done on a 1917 gas range, which requires a prayer to light. The would-be library contains a ping-pong table and the should-be dining room contains a pool table.

There are seven bathrooms and one shower. "Water pressure isn't so great," explains Bob. "The best time to take a shower is around 3 o'clock in the morning."

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For the past three years, all the money has gone into "tools of the trade" - instruments, sound systems, amplifiers. "So, there isn't any furniture - we're happy."

In little John's room, there is a cage made wire which used to house a miniature monkey. "I saved my allowance for six weeks to get Clyde," he said with great tears in his big brown eyes. "I waited for him to come and then, the next day after I got him, I woke up in the morning and there he was - lying in the bottom of the cage - frozen!" Clyde's grave is on the Cowsill property and is marked with a little white headstone.

Buried nearby are a few Cowsills' records on another label which didn't go anywhere. But the group's first MGM release, "The Rain, The Park, And Other Things,"assisted by a massive publicity campaign and a 56-city promotion tour, finally made the Cowsills really famous people.



Bill, born January 9, 1948, coordinates He is the oldest member of his family and is accustomed to having his brothers look to him for the say. He takes his work very, very seriously. In fact, everything he does, he does with a sincerity and enthusiasm that is quite unique. It is very difficult to pull anything on him, including practical jokes, because he can verbally turn you around in two minutes. He has a keen wit which needs only the habitude of use to reach expression. Ironically, he just gets passing grades in his music courses at Rhode Island College. His forte is English. He writes creatively, such things as poetry, verse, etc. Of course, he also writes his own lyrics. There is quite a bit to Bill which will probably never be uncovered. He is a mysterious person. Above all, he has an extraordinary ability to make people enjoy each other. His life is disciplined. It must be.



Little drummer boy John was born on March 2, 1956. "I love all the colors in the world." he says, Freckles are his trademark. He's loaded with them. They have become apart of him and you think that, suddenly gone, John would cease to be John and suddenly become someone else entirely. Loves basketball. "I'm happy and I just want to be me." The others sometimes laugh, but John means it. If he could have anything in the world, it would be a motorcycle. He would also love to know how to fly by himself - and just maybe, some day John will. After all, kids in Haight-Ashbury and Greenwich Village are doing it all the time.





Bob, born August 26, 1949, is perhaps the only person in the world who could walk into the coldest room of people and warm every nook and corner. He is natural - not in the corny sense of the word, but in an unbelievable sense. He disappears occasionally. This, despite his reputation of being always on hand when all the crazy things happen in the Cowsill household. Hours may elapse before any one sees or hears Bob. He is probably reading or eating. Schoolwise, Bob is all A's and B's. Only Bob could pick out an atrocious bright red shirt for someone in a clothing store and convince him that he looks like the greatest thing going in it. A truly "fun-to-be-with" type guy.



Born September 14, 1954, Barry is naturally and truly at home when he is with people, in front of a camera, or just plain talking. If anyone was ever born a natural entertainer, it was Barry. "Hi! How are you! " he'll greet with the best of enthusiasm. "When he laughs," someone said, "his freckles laugh, too," Barry was the original drummer for the Cowsills, until his now-drummer brother, John took over when he became old enough to handle the job. Now Barry plays bass guitar and sings. Favorite color is red. Barry, along with John, attends St. Augustine's School in Newport, Rhode Island. He is an honor student. He has the charming ability of being able to tease his brothers and get away with it all he needs is one of those smiles.

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