Newspaper Articles

For Cowsills Teenyboppers Invade SPAC
July 30, 1969
The Saratogian
Saratoga, New York

Shades of early Elvis Presley and the Beatles, the teeny hoppers and pre-teeny boppers have found another group to scream at this time it's the Cowsills, especially Barry and John.

The teeny-boppers, ranging in age from 8 to 16 (it has nothing to do with age, but with vocal chord ability to scream) invaded — that's probably the best word for it — the Saratoga Performing Arts Center last night to see their new idols.

It's a strange thing to be sitting amongst 3,000 screaming young girls and boys three fourths of the audience who have no idea that you can also clap when you really like something Nothing against screaming, if that's their thing fine, but they scream for only about five seconds following each song and then there is nothing. They should learn to clap at the same time, their idols deserve long ovations if they feel so enthused about them.

BUT THERE they were, 10-year-old girls, dressed to look 16 or 17. In their flowered minidresses and their print jump suits they flocked to the center This is young America and this is the group that makes the Cowsills big.

They all came to see the Cowsills and no one came to see the Checkmates, LTD. (Yes, there was someone else on the program) And that was too bad, although they did give the five man group a good welcome.

The Checkmates opened; the Show and proved they deserved the exciting comments they have evoked from fellow entertainers such as Sammy Davis Jr., Woody Allen, Bill Cosby and the Smothers Brothers.

The group, led by Bobby Stevens, Sonny Charles, “Sweet Louis” Smith and backed by Harvey Trees on lead guitar and Bill VanBuskirk on bass, are hard driving soul personified, much along the lines of the Sam and Dave group.

It's too bad they weren't played up more because they really deserve it They are one of the best rock sounds to ever have appeared at the center.

THE FOUR YOUNG Cowsills (that's their family name); Bill, Barry, John and Paul began their concert with "Indian Lake", a hit of theirs last summer and written about the lake in the Adirondack where they once spent their summers, before all this started anyway.

Following "Poor Baby" the group moved into their first hit, "The Rain. The Park and Other Things" and this song pointed out that they did miss the more gentle sound of their mother's voice. It also pointed out though that the girls in the audience had a thing about Barry, the 15-yearold bass player, who with every move of his body could evoke screams from his fans, which were numerous and vocal.

THEY BROKE the audience into near tears of joy when they moved next into "Hair," the Cowsills biggest hit from me musical by the same name. It's another copy, almost exactly as the cast does it, but they really work out on the song and it comes off well.

The group finished out the evening with the Four Tops big hit, "Reach Out" and left the stage amid the screams of their fans who at the time were running for the back stage entrance in hopes of catching a glimpse of their idols grabbing a piece of clothing or getting a long-to-be-

Yes, it was a madhouse, but man it was fun, so no one really complained.

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