A concert aimed at His Economic Relief kept a slightly below average attendance well entertained at the Cage Saturday night. The Happenings, who were Homecoming favorites last Fall, and the Cowsills, a musical family with a full share of talent, were on the bill for the final concert of the '67-'68 season. That season, during which some of the top performers on the scene including Johnny Carson, Simon and Garfunkel, Glenn Campbell, Donovan and The Byrds appeared, should rank UMass near the top when judging schools on quality and quantity of entertainment provided.
Bill, Bob, Barry, John, Mike, Barbara, and Susan, seven eighths of the Cowsill family, put more talent on stage than it seems fair that one family should have. Bud Cowsill, the father, although he doesn't perform, adds to the act by serving as Manager of the group.
Nineteen year old Bill, who is the oldest of the children plays lead guitar, sings lead on many of the numbers and keeps the others in line down to his seven year old sister Susan whose version of "To Sir, With Love," would make Lulu jealous.
Mama Cowsill and Susan join the boys for the better known recordings, the best of which was "I Need a Friend," but it is the five young men who perform the major portion of the show. Both the Happenings and the Cowsills borrowed songs from other groups but first prize must go to the Cowsills whose English Rock sound was as good as the original. It could as easily have been Herman and his Hermits singing "Henry VIII" or the Beatles doing "Paperback Writer" or the Stones doing "It"s All Over Now."
The Cowsills are quite a family and quite a group of entertainers who should have no trouble selling their music to keep them out of the financial situation which once a few winters back had them burning pieces of furniture to keep their Newport, R.I., home warm.
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The Happenings and the Cowsills ended a year of fine entertainment at UMass on a good note. Plans for next year's concerts are already underway and should keep UMass at the top of the list.