The Cowsills In Magazines

The Cowsills
Those Happy Happening Cowsills
January/February 1968
Hullabaloo Magazine


Freckles, laughter, big brown eyes, a Munster-like mansion in Newport, a mini-Mommy, seven smiley kids, and a whole lot of talent...

By Jeff Steinberg

Save the day! Along comes something wonderful, something happy. The Cowsills, musical Lone Rangers in a hostile frontier of creeping ugliness and melancholy. The Cowsills stand for something else. They like to be happy. They live in a fabulously ramshackle 22-room mansion along Society Row in Newport, Rhode Island. The house is falling apart at the seams, but echoes of laughter and assorted good times hold it together.

The adventures of the Cowsills read like the screenplay for a Hollywood, fantasy-type story. Maybe produced by Walt Disney. But, for them, it's true. The nine glorious, sunshiney Cowsills Bill, Bob, Barry, John, Barbara, Dick, Paul, Mom, and Dad spend their days and nights in happy experiences and crazy adventures that are sadly foreign to most of us.

The house is overgrown with weeds and three-foot high grass; inside, there is practically no furniture at all. What little furniture they had was burned one cold winter, when the heat was cut off (for unpaid bills) and the house was too cold to live in. It was during that bleak winter that the Cowsills made up their minds to take off for New York.

They sold everything they had to buy instruments and equipment, and arrived in the Big City bedraggled but with plenty of spirit. They had always played together. They loved singing complicated harmonies and they had a special knack for doing them with a gentleness and soothing beauty that was unique.

Luck brought them to Artie Kornfeld, producer and writer, who brought them to Lenny Stogel, who brought them to MGM. There, they were greeted with excitement and enthusiasm. They were a new thing. The music business was ready and waiting for them.

Now, the emphasis is on the performers. Bill (the oldest; plays rhythm guitar and harmonica, writes music), Bob (plays lead guitar, organ, and banjo, composes music), Barry (formerly the drummer, now plays bass guitar), and John (the youngest; plays drums) make up the basis of the group. Mom lends her voice to the harmonies when it's needed. Dick and Paul are the road managers.

The Cowsills are happening. They are an entirely new dimension in entertainment. What are the Cowsills? says MGM Records: "Freckles, laugher, big brown eyes, a Munster-like mansion in Newport, a mini-Mommy, seven smiley kids, and a whole lot of talent. This is a Cowsill."

Cowsills                           Cowsills

Bill, Barry, Paul, John (rear), Bob, Sue (on box), Dick, Mrs. Cowsill and Mr. Bud Cowsill. The Cowsills will take along an "Instant School Program" prepared by the Newport School System.


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