The Cowsills In Magazines

Cowsills Story of Big Family Success!
Teen Stars Yearbook


A year ago, when their first record climbed the charts, Bud & Barbara Cowsill, above, went on tour with their children.

With little more than hope, but lots and lots of talent a family of nine from Newport decided to try for pop fame. This is the ...
of BIG

The Rain, The Park, And Other Things was their first hit. It made the name Cowsills a familiar word to everyone, especially because the family group appeared many times on the Ed Sullivan TV program.

But somehow, although they knew they couldn't count on it, the Cowsills sort of knew that fame was where they were headed. You see, if they hadn't beceome famous hitmakers, they wouldn't have a house right now!

The story of this big family's big success goes back many years to Ohio, where young Barbara Russell met and married a handsome sailor, Bud Cowsill, and started raising a family when in January, 1948, she had her first son.

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Dick, Sue, Bob, John, Paul, Barry and the oldest, Bill.

Bill was followed by Bob and Dick (who are twins), Paul, Barry, John and Susan.

Bud loved to bring his growing family gifts when he returned from Navy journies all over the world. Bill already sang along with him for favorite sailor's songs, so Bud was delighted when Bill picked up on the guitar that

he brought home with him when Bill was eight. Little did Bud know that this was the start of something bigger than both of them!

Bob decided he also wanted a guitar. Barbara told us: "I remember Bud telling me to go into town and buy Bob a very inexpensive guitar. I bought one for $20 and Bud hit the ceiling!

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All spruced up for this snapshot, Bill, left above, Bob and Dick manage to hold still!


You see, at that time Bud was only earning about $100 a month and every penny we had went toward food and clothes for the children." After Bob learned the instrument, the two brothers won Second Prize in a talent contest and appeared at church socials.

Years passed and the family moved from Ohio to Middletown, R.I. Barry joined the musical fun on drums shortly afterward, and then John wanted in, so Barry moved to bass guitar.

With John on drums, the boys creatd original material and worked weekends. After a successful date at Brown University, they started working college dates. Bud Cowsill grew more and more convinced he had a talented family on his hands! So, after he retired from the Navy five years ago, he started "the big push" to fame.

Times grew difficult. Barbara told us, "Bud made tapes of the boys and took them around, and hauled people along to see the boys perform. But, there was no money coming in."

Then, three years ago, after playing many concerts around Middletown, the Cowsills got their first real break. They were introduced to singer Johnny Cash and then made their disk debut with All I Really Want To Be Is Me, a song penned by Bill and Bob. Never a hit, it became something else for father and promoter Bud to carry around with him!

By this time, Barbara recalls, "We owed so many people so much money that I thought we'd never get out of debt." About then the Cowsills made a lucky move. One that didn't seem so at the time, but it was.


Left, Bud was home on leave from the Navy here. Above, Suzy was 5, Barry, 10 - planning mischief!


At 2 1/2, Bill left, was a blonde bomber! Bud, above, shows off his tan when he worked, painting.

With a very small down payment, "because nobody else wanted it," the Cowsills bought their huge, 23-room mansion in Newport, R.I.

Althought they loved their new home, their efforts to bring success seemed to be getting nowhere, and for a time, things looked very bleak indeed. That winter, they burned furniture to keep warm, the phone was disconnected, and Barbara says, "I thougth we were crazy!" When it seemed they would lose their house, they hit a new low.

But a miracle did occur, Lenny Stogel, who doesn't look like a Fairy Godmother, performed that role for the Cowsills. He heard them, then the famous pop manager signed them to a contract, paid their bills and moved them to Manhattan to record.

After The Rain, The Park, And Other Things came success. But as Bob said, "We're the same people, we talk about the same things, we like the same things."

Success was worth waiting for.


Barry wasn't impressed with the idea of this school portrait!

And here's John, age 7, looking bright and happy about it all.


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Here's Barry's school picture when he was nine years old. Looks spiffy!


Dick, Barry, Bill, Paul and Bob 2 years ago have fun with a pal


John, far left and Barry were both drummers at one time. Below everybody sings when the group appears!


When Bill was thirteen, his hair wasn't much shorter than it is now! (Note the error here)


Barbara and Bud, above, today. Below, Dick, Bob's twin is now in the Marines.



Barry was 11, John 9 in this shot of them at a weekend date, left. Above, Susan left hanging between Barry and Bob!

On tour in the Bahamas, The Cowsills had a ball in the sun and sand, but they didn't miss rehearsals!


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