NEW YORK - The Cowsills, new vocal and instrumental group whose recording of "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" is climbing the best-seller charts, have been signed to an exclusive two-year television contract for 10 performances on The Ed Sullivan Show, Sundays in color on the CBS television network. Four of the appearances will be this season, the first on Oct. 29.
The Cowsills are a family consisting of Barbara and Bud Cowsill - he's a retired U.S. Navy petty officer - and their seven children. Barbara, the mother, Bill, 19, Bob, 18, Barry, 11, John, 10, and Susan, 8 are the performers; Bud, the father, Dick 18 (Bob's twin), and Paul, 16, work behind the scenes.
"We consider the Cowsills one of the most promising musical groups to come along in some time," said producer Bob Precht. "They have an exciting contemporary sound as well as family appeal."
The family lives in a 22 room house in Newport, R.I., which, until their recent success, they couldn't afford to furnish properly. Their Sullivan show contract provides that they be paid not only in cash but also in appliances - a washing machine, a dryer, a dishwasher and a four-slice toaster.