Freckles, laughter, big brown eyes, a “Muster-like mansion” in Newport, Rhode Island, a mini-mommy and a whole lot to talent. This is a “Cowsill.”
These modern-day Trapp Family Singers are an exciting new group in the record industry. The Cowsills hit New Orleans September 25 to perform at the Royal Orleans Hotel. Crowds ranging from teeny-boppers to the upper crust, from campus co-eds to distinguished businessmen were on hand to greet MGM’s amazing discover – a family-full of talent.
The Cowsills are comprised of four brothers: Bill, 19; Bob, 18; Barry, 13; John, 11; and one sister, Susan, 8; and their mother, Barbara, who has been 29 for ten years, one of the boys confided.
Bill and Barry strum the guitars and Bobby plays the organ, while John beats out the rhythm on his drums. Barbara and Susan sing, with Susan adding her jingling tambourine.
After opening the show with their new record, “The Rain, the Park and Other Things,” each member of The Cowsills offered a solo to the performance, ranging from Barbara’s ballad, “Cruel War” to little Susan’s, “Sweet Talkin’ Guy,” belted out with a gusto few eight-year-olds possess.
The singers specialize in any type song ranging from 1920 jazz to 1967 rock ‘n roll; however, they steer away from the new psychedelic music. They admire The Beatles very much, but imitate no particular style or singer.
Favorites such as “Monday, Monday,” “Hold On, I’m Comin’, “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying,” and “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby” were sung. Bill’s solo was a self-written selection called, “Thinking About The Other Side.”
By the time the group was singing “Reach Out” the audience was loosening up and in the second half of the show, they were dancing the bugaloo, skate and shing-a-ling in the aisles. Barry often stole the show with his freckled smile while John twirled his wooden drum sticks with the casual air of a professional.
A contract was signed two months ago with MGM records and since then the studio has spent a quarter of a million dollars on this new family sensation. This is the largest amount of money the studio has ever spent on a new discovery.
When asked about the future, Mrs. Cowsill said they plan to keep singing “as long as people enjoy us.” Their ultimate goal, however, is a television show – a family series. They are scheduled to appear on the Smothers Brothers Show, the Danny Thomas Show, and the Leslie Uggams Show.
If the charming sextet captivates all audiences as they did the one in New Orleans, their “ladder of success” has already been climbed and the view from the top should be quite optimistic