Newspaper Articles

MGM Recording Stars
Cowsill: America Is Musical Melting Pot
Note: This one found by Sharon C. N.
April 21, 1969
The Tenneseean
Nashville, Tennessee


Sing-in Recording Family Style
Bill Cowsill picks the guitar and sing the lead on "The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Devine," which the Cowsills will record later this week on the West Coast, as the rest of the singing part of the family ___. From left there are: Barry, Bill, Bob, sister Susan, John and mother Barbara (Note: Obviously there are mistakes in this article.)

Note: The first part of this article is too faint for me to read.

. . . backing of the powerful lyric with the heavy, powerful beat of rhythm and blues”

Eldest son Bill, who arranges and writes much of the Cowsills’ music, said, “Pop” is a meaningless term in music today.

“If it doesn’t sound like it belongs anywhere else, they call it pop,” he said.

Bill and brother, Bob, said increasingly national attention to country and rhythm and blues music – which two decades ago were thought of as music of the nation’s racial and sectional minorities – does not mean county and rhythm and blues singers have suddenly begun making good music.

“It was always there and it was always good,” Bill said.

Bud Cowsill said candidly there is one very significant reason for try to put the best sounds of all types of American music together. It is profitable.

“You can’t get away from that,” he said, “and you will have to go back to Presley, because he started it all.”

Ex-Tupelo truck driver Elvis Presley, they agreed first got together most of the basic elements in 1954. He took them not only out of the Southeast, but finally out of the Western Hemisphere as well.

“He was the man,” Bob Cowsill said.

The Cowsills – Bud, wife Barbara and singing sons Bill, Bob, Barry and John – talked about music while small sister Susan spent most of her time enthralling a photographer.

While the rest of the hard-traveling family of entertainers napped in three different rooms at the Ramada Inn, Susan was busy running up and down the hall knocking on doors. She was clad in an old nightgown Mrs. Cowsill says she cannot make her part with.

When the photographer wanted to take pictures, Susan was told to put on a dress. She promptly reappeared in the nightgown as soon as it was over. When the photographer wanted to take more, she got into the dress again. When the family got together to sing a new song, the photographer finally got Susan in her nightgown.

“It’s terrible,” Mrs. Cowsill worried. “Everybody will think, ‘All that money they’ve made and they make that poor girl wear that old flannel thing.”

Such are the anxieties of a mother of seven big and little national idols.

The Cowsills arrived from Los Angeles Saturday morning to tape appearances on the next Johnny Cash ABC-TV series which premieres June 7. They said they will sing the Mamas and Papas hit “Monday, Monday.” As well as joining with Cash on a song entitled “Children, Go Where I Send Thee.”

They rehearsed yesterday and will do the actual taping tonight, flying back to the West Coast tomorrow morning to “cut another big hit,” Bud Cowsill said with a grin.

The grin was a modest one, but when the Cowsills sang the song they are going back to record – one called “The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Devine” – they made it sound like another winner.

The Rhode Island family has been living on the West Coast for a year. Before that, they lived in a large, quaint old house in Newport, R.I., in which they weathered thin times that preceded success.

Bud, a 20-year Navy man, got his brood signed to its first recording contract about four years ago. They recorded a song called “Most of All.”

Two years later, with the wolf kicking their door in, a New York talent manager advanced them $5,000 to save their big, old house and sent them into recording studios with their first real smash – “The Rain, The Park and Other Things.”

“We have talked about doing some recording here, but we never have gotten everything ___ed just to do it” the father said. “But we still may be able to one of these days.”

“Everybody in New York and Los Angeles is talking about the Nashville Sound,” Bill said. “Nashville is just on the verge of its biggest successors. It hasn’t peaked yet. A lot of things have helped it recently, and Bob Dylan

Email Me 9/1/15 Home