Newspaper Articles

'Today' Builds Show Around the Cowsills
February 24, 1968
The Journal and Courier
Lafayette, Indiana

Many acts play the “Hollywood Palace,” but the “Today” show? Such appearances are few and far between. Rarer still are “Today” specials, and these are traditionally built round the likes of Beatrice Lillie, Noel Coward or Richard Rodgers. The big brass of show business. But on Monday, “Today” will pay an hour long tribute to the newly-arrived Cowsills, a singing act which is, in a sense, a “Today” show baby. The Cowsills made their national television debut on “Today” in September, 1964, after a vacationing “Today” writer heard them sing in a hotel in their hometown, Newport, R.I. “I remember it well,” says Bud Cowsill, a 20-year Navy man now retired, who organized the group featuring his wife and five of their seven children. “A nice young fellow came up to me one night, said he was from the ‘Today’ show, and asked me how we would like to appear on the program. I told him we would be happy to, of course! We were really struggling in those days. “But then I forgot all about it until the phone rang a couple of days later. It was NBC in New York, and they really did want us for the show.” Cowsill nonetheless finds it hard to believe that “Today” now wants the family back for a hour-long encore. “But,” as he says, “I’m not asking any questions.” Since their first “Today” STINT, THE Cowsills have sold a million records of their hit song, “The Rain, The Park and Other Things,” sung on “Tonight” and played two of 10 contracted engagements this season on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The on-stage Cowsill family consists of Susie, eight, her brothers, Bill, 20, Bob, 18, Barry, 13, Johnny, 11, and their mother, Barbara. Susie and Barbara are new recruits, having joined the act only a few months ago. Two other Cowsill sons, Paul, 16, and Dick, who is Bob’s twin, are the singers’ stage and road managers. The two older boys are college students and the younger kids attend a professional children’s school in New York. The family tours mostly during summer vacations. “The kids love to perform, and everybody gets in on the act,” Cowsill explains, “either as a singer or behind-the-scenes.” Most fathers worry about their family breaking up as the children grow older and leave home, but Bud Cowsill is not one of them. “Our family, I’m glad to say,” he reports, “wants to stay together, and that’s just fine with me.”

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