A swinging, amazing, incredible mother and her five children proceeded Monday night in the hot and cavernous Lubbock Municipal Coliseum to send more than 6,000 fans into a frenzy of wild applause and total delight.
The family, the hottest family group to emerge on the American scene since the legendary jukes family in Revolutionary War days is, of course, the Cowsills. They have become sensational successes in virtually all media of entertainment in a brief, skyrocketing time, the mother Barbara in her white miniskirt, the 10-year-old Susan who has the kiss of stardom brightly shining on her brow, and the boys, John, Paul, Barry and Bob.
It is really an astonishingly talented group. And Susan, singing "When You're 64," is so fantastic that one is prone to suspect that in reality she is a midget and actually somebody's mother-in-law. She is a socko winner in everything she does and give her 10 more years, when she is 20, she will have left her "ageing" brother far, far in the gone distance.
This is not to say that the boys and their mother are not adept. They are both singers and instrumentalists without question. The boys are teenagers but they perform like longtime 'pros.' The mother is a rollicking lady in her own right and put them all together they are simply - The Cowsills.
KSEL brought the show to Lubbock and once again they scored. During the program Monday night the group answered a number of questions about the family setup. It dealt first with Mr. Cowsill, father and collector of revenues. The reason he does not appear on stage with the group, one of his insolent sons remarked, was that "he has no talent," a remark that brought a snort of dissent from Mother Barbara.
The other question was about the family itself and it came to light that there are two other brothers, one, Bill, is just married and "settling down" and the other, Dick, is a serviceman in Vietnam. The family dedicates a song to him on each program and a touching tribute it indeed is.
The show opened with one of their best known recordings, "Hair" and from on it touched folk, rock, ballad, swing and sweet. And no matter what they did, they did it beautifully and well.
They are a unique American institution, the Cowsills, and they have no way to go in the entertainment world but up.