Newspaper Articles

'Today' Calls Back the Singing Cowsills
by Raymond P. Hart
February 26, 1968
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland, Ohio

Not every family that stays together sings together.

But the Cowsill family of Newport, R.I., does. And the six-member group is one of the hottest recording properties in the nation.

The musical troupe will perform and its rise to fame will be detailed this morning on the “Today” show from 7 to 8 a.m. on Channel 3.

It will be a return engagement. The Cowsills appeared on “Today” Sept. 24, 1965, when they were struggling to make a name for themselves.

THE STRUGGLE IS over. The big break occurred last summer when they recorded “The Rain, the Park and Other Things.” It has sold more than a million copies. Their current hit, “We Can Fly,” is also taking off in a big way.

The Cowsills not only harmonize, but provide their own instrumental accompaniment.

This morning, they are scheduled to perform six numbers, including “The Rain . . . “ and “We Can Fly.” Between selections, they will be interviewed by “Today’s” Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters.

The on-stage Cowsills are Mrs. Barbara Cowsill, the mother, and Bill, 20, Bob, 18, Barry, 13, John, 11, and Susie, 8. All pitch in with versatile voices.

IN ADDITION, Bill, the lead singer, plays lead guitar; Bob, rhythm guitar; Barry, bass guitar; John, drums, and Susie, bass guitar – occasionally.

But that’s not all of the Cowsill family. The off-stage contingent is headed by the father, William (Bud), a retired Navy man who is the group’s coordinator. Aiding him are Dick, Bob’s twin, and Paul, 16.

Paul plans to sing and play trumpet with the group.

The Cowsills reside in Canton nine years ago where the father was a Navy recruiter.

THE COWSILLS run the musical gamut, singing happy tunes or blues, country, folk and rock ‘n’ roll.

They recently sang in the San Remo Song Festival in Italy.

The Cowsill story had a humble beginning in Newport about three years ago when Bill, Bob, and Barry started a rock ‘n’ roll group. They performed in and around their hometown, then John joined with his drums.

Later, Mrs. Cowsill came into the fold and finally Susie.

Susie did not perform in the family’s original “Today” appearance, but was a member of the cast when “The Rain, …” was recorded.

THE TURNING point in the Cowsills’ career come last summer when their present manager, Leonard Stogel of New York, went to Rhode Island to hear them. He was impressed and talked to a record company. The family has been a success ever since.

They have performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” twice and are signed up for more appearances.

A close-knit family, the Cowsills enjoy singing at the drop of a hat – in restaurants and most any place people want to be entertained.

The Cowsills will be busy morning and night today. They will close their day with an appearance on NBC’s “Tonight” show.

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