Newspaper Articles

Family Is Smash Hit
Cowsills To Play Coliseum June 10
June 8, 1969
Lubbock Avalanche
Lubbock, Texas

Four singing brothers, their mother and sister who have achieved national renown through recording and television and who are attracting the hungry eye of Hollywood, The Cowsills, will appear in concert on the stage of the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum for one performance only at 8 p.m. Monday, June 16.

The KSEL presentation has tickets on sale at $4, $3, and $2 at Sears, downtown, 13th and Ave. Q. The sponsors note that general admission tickets are limited. Co-sponsoring the show is the State Savings and Loan Co.

"Hair" Hits Top

Racking up the nation's number one best-selling recording with their version of "Hair," The Cowsills have soared into national popularity with their unique work. Bud Cowsill, head of the family says, "For years the kids had sung for charity and church things. After I got out of the Navy four years ago we decided to go for broke. We bought a 27-room house in Newport, R.I., and I borrowed something more than $100,000, which was spent on living and promotion. Everything was done for a reason.

"Initially, I took three of the boys on the road - they were our shock troops. Many months we didn't make any money, but we kept moving. The Today Show was our first break. We were playing at a hotel at Newport and a gentleman approached me and flatly said he'd like to see us on the Today Show. I didn't put much faith in it, but two days later, it was set up."

Ages Have Range

The performing members of the family are: the mother Barbara; Bill, aged 20, who is the music director and song writer; Bobby, 18, who composes with Bill; Barry, 13; Johnny, 11, who si the drummer, and eight-year-old Susan.

There are, in all, seven children. The other two boys Dick and Paul, are stage manager and tour manager for the group.

Cowsill says, "People ask me, 'Aren't you exploiting your children?' My answer is, 'why not?' They exploited me for 19 years."

He continues, "I like to think they enjoy their work and they lead me to think they do. They don't enjoy brushing their teeth, or going to school, or changing their socks, but we encourage them to do those things. All of them love to travel; they're nomads at heart."

Knew Lean Days

Cowsill almost lost the Newport home before money began pouring in from their first record with MGM, "The Rain, the Park, and Other Things," which sold a million copies. Their album, "The Cowsills" is approaching the million - mark in sales. A recent single, "We Can Fly" is also a success.

"None of the kids read music, they've never had professional training," Cowsill said. "They attend the professional children's school in New York. I don't worry too much about their formal education, they'll just flow into it. By the time Susan is 12 years old she'll be a millionaire. We have 500 or 600 songs that we can do and we're not dependent on any particular style. We don't coach them much, we just turn them loose on stage. We don't want spit and polish."

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