"We have our family problems, but we are quite close. In our family we all must participate to earn the living, so to speak, so in a way, it makes us quite close."
So stated Bob Cowsill, oldest of the performing Cowsill group. The family, which includes six boys and one girl, is world-renown for two golden hit records and various other songs they have produced in the past two years. Family members are Bill, 22, Dick and Bob,, 20-year-old twins, Paul, 17, Barry, 15, John, 12, Susan, 10, and Barbara, mother of the gang. Bud Cowsill - the father - stays behind the scenes during most performances and acts as manager.
Two of the boys, Bill and Dick, do not perform with the others. Bill is married now and, according to Mrs. Cowsill, is "producing a group of his own." Dick is serving in Vietnam.
Protesting seems to be the "going thing" for some teens, but in the Cowsill family, another form of "our own thing" is happening. During each performance the group dedicates a song, "The Cruel War Is Raging" to their brother, Dick. They seem to be proud of the fact that one of their own is serving his country - and this is brought out in all conversations with them.
School poses no problem for the youngsters, as they all are tutored in their Santa Monica home between performances. According to Bob, the family accepts performances usually on weekends, and during the last summer, toured Europe giving shows. "It is exciting for a while," said Barry, "but after 50 days of traveling and singing, we began counting off the days when we would finally be able to go home."
Barbara Cowsill commented on the fact that many people wonder if she is either a Mormon or a Catholic because of the many children. As she proudly states that she is Catholic, side cracks from her older boys on "rhythm" bring smiles from those listening.
Sports, all kinds, are enjoyed by the family, along with writing some of their own songs and participating in other family projects.
What of the future? "We are currently negotiating with a company to have a television show," stated Bob, "but that is all we can say. It will be a family-type program, but not a variety show."
"They've still got to work a few things out that we don't like," stated Barbara, "and it might take a while."
In describing their past and how they became popular, Bob stated that, as in all groups, they were a local group in Rhode Island, consisting of the four boys. Dick later went into the service, Bill was married, and so Susan and Barbara joined, to bring up the number again. A statement on one of their first albums is, "with a name like Cowsill, they have to be good." With two golden records - "The Rain, the Park and Other things," and "We Can Fly" on their list and others definitely to come the Cowsills is sure to be around for a long time.