That hackneyed expression,"We're just one big happy family," is often wildly exaggerated among pop groups. For although they may profess everlasting love for each other one minute and keep telling everybody how well they get on together — it is very rarely the case.
But one pop group which can justly lay claim to the truth of "one big happy family" is America's Cowsills, who had a huge hit at home with the summery "The Rain, The Park And Other Things."
The reason? They really ARE one big happy family — a swinging Mum, Barbara, and her magnificent children, Bill (20), Bob (18), Barry (13), John (11) and sweet Susan (8).
What about the other two? Well, Dick and Paul chose not to enter the performing end of the musical family tree and act as the group's road managers. Bud, their Dad, an ex-Navy man, takes a back seat on the management side.
Cowsills came to London last week, en route for the San Remo Song Festival, and suitably impressed many hard-bitten pop people by their happy sounds and wonderful close harmony.
They created an even 5 bigger stir by being ejected from their hotel restaurant for singing for their breakfast!
Originally, there were only four in the group — just the boys. Explained 39-year-old Barbara:
"The boys asked me to I, sing on the LP and I agreed — provided I didn't have to appear in public. After all, I've been a housewife for 20 years. But after I got to New York I suddenly found | myself part of the group."
Were there any difficulties in having a family pop group? "None at all," beamed Barbara. "It's mother and father in charge — just like at home."
Cowsills' American hit made number one in the States but didn't get into the chart here. Were they disappointed?
"Not really. We'd have liked to come over to promote it at the time — but couldn't. And this time we couldn't get a work permit because John, Barry and Susan are under age. And Bud didn't want to put on half the group."
Cowsills, which is the family name, have had no musical background or training.
"Singing and playing is a natural talent," says Barbara. "We've been very lucky in that respect. The boys have always admired people like the Beatles, Beach Boys, Mamas And Papas and Young Rascals. And they've taken a little hit from each to create their sound."