No pun is intended when I tell you the Cowsills performed last night in the Memorial Coliseum under the sponsorship of the Arizona Daily Association.
That family group with a church-choir harmony blend set to modified rock guitars, organ and drums is the same that you see on your television set singing about milk – and the same that you probably heard for weeks on the radio sining about “Hair.”
Mother Barbara, 40 and “tired,” had Bob, 19, Paul, 17, Barry, 14, John, 13, and Susan, 10, with her last night. Bill, who used to sing with them is now almost 22 and married. Dick, Bob’s twin, is in Vietnam.
And Papa, we were told, collects the money for million sellers such as “Hair.” He’s also got a bundle from such past hits as “The Rain in the Park and Other Things,” “We Can Fly,” “Indian lake” and “Poor Baby.” And he may get some more for those trust funds with their current “The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Divine,” adapted from the Book of Revelations.
The Coliseum was only partly filled; maybe 4,000 young people were there, along with emcee All McCoy. But they were appreciative, lauding the flower-shirted and mini-skirted Cowsills with whistles and applause.
Even A-plus imitations of Beatle songs, or Creedence Clearwater Revival material, or that ancient mashed potato diddy “Hey, Mr. Postman,” or a Peter, Paul and Mary folk tune give a Motown treatment, or the Mamas and Papas; “Monday, Monday, “ were received happily.
All family members had their turn at solo singing. And all had true, rounded voices.
Even the baby, Susan, had her fling with a weird little ditty, “Would You Like Some of My Tangerine” (continue, “You know I’d never treat you mean, etc.”). In another 25 years, maybe.
There was more to the two-hour concert: more songs; news that the family drinks 10 half-gallons of milk a day; the full, unexpurgated “Milk Song,” which you will not hear on TV in its entirety; and trouble with Bob’s microphone, uncorrected during the intermission, which caused Mom and Susan to double up fondly.
In all it was a convivial evening, somewhat lacking in guts but long on professional performance standards and general good cheer.