When the six junior Cowsills came tumbling out of the two helicopters at the Mid-South Fair yesterday, the abundance of energy was nearly as strong as the down-draft from the ‘copters when they touched down.
Dressed casually in the pattern set by bow-legged, grinning pop – Bud Cowsill – the youngsters are the kind of people who walk right up, shake your hand, grin and look happy to be there.
In Memphis for 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. concert today, their talk is laced with good-natured kidding and a family harmony which shows up in their singing (The Park, The Trees and Other Things, Indian Lake.)
Puffing on a cigarette and slumping in his poncho-jacket, light-blue denims and loafers without socks, Bud says it is the second time for the group in Memphis. First time was at the Navy base when they filmed an Operation Entertainment TV show.
But the break-in, fast talk from the youngsters punctuates his words:
“This is the second time we’re in Memphis.”
“But our first public appearance.”
“First time we ever rode in a helicopter.”
“We love the South.”
“Dickey, Bob’s twin, just left the south, Gordon.”
“Fort Gordon, Ga. He’s in Vietnam, now.”
“Da nang (pronounced like Naing).”
“No, Nang. (pronounced nahng).”
“Well I said Da Nang like that once and somebody told me ‘You mean, Da Naing.’”
Ask Susan, who is 8 and the youngest member how she liked the helicopter.
“Oh, I loved it. It was so much fun.”
“Well now that’s original.”
“Really coming up with some good lines, Sue.”
What’s on tap for Friday?
“We’ll sleep late in the morning, gt up, rehearse and give our shows.”
How about the concerts . . . two different, or the same one twice?
“Two different ones, of course. Other than our hit singles.”
“Yeah, two different programs.”
“We’re really going to sock it to Memphis.”
“Daddy, you shoulda seen the stadium over there from the air. It’s great. Beautiful.”
“Oh you saw the whole thing, huh?”
“Say, we got something for everybody in this show. We cater to grandmothers, too.”
“Oh, Elvis is invited, too.”
“Of course,” said Mrs. Cowsill. “You can’t come to somebody’s hometown and not invite him.”
“OK, Susan, you go with your mother to the radio station.”
“Hey Susan, Leave the doll and the bags there, huh?”
“Yeah, you look like you’re getting ready to set up house.”
“Well, nobody would take care of her.”
Finally, Donna Ford, Miss Mid-South and Debbie Pace, Miss Youth Personality, volunteered to “take care” of the doll, diaper bag and blanket. Susan, trusting another woman but not any of the boys, who had been pulling the doll’s blond hair, let go the paraphernalia and went.
Full schedule today?
“Well,” said Bob, “you see the blue sheet dad’s got? It’s full.”
“Anybody want to get up at 7 tomorrow to do something on TV?”
“If you’ll wake me up, I’ll roll over and say something.”
“Hey, come to the concert tomorrow.”
“Yeah, it’ll be great. You gotta come see it.”
“Hey you guys,” called Bud, and the Cowsills flocked quietly over to survey the schedule and get straightened out for their Memphis appearances.