The singing Cowsills are making as much of a racket in the music world as the Trapp family did many years ago, partly because family musical groups have become rarer than model T Fords on a freeway. Their half hour NBC special Saturday is testimony that they have arrived in the musical world.
The family consists of Bud, retired navy man, who organized the group and sold them professionally; his wife Barbara, who sings with the kids; and the children: Bill, 20; Bob, 18; Paul, 16; Barry, 13; Johnny, 11, and Susie, 9. Bob’s twin, Dick, usually serves as road manager, but currently is serving the army in Vietnam.
Mrs. Cowsill explained why the family started in show business:
“The kids thought they played as well as most performers today. Our philosophy was that we had nothing to leave them, but maybe we could help them attain something while we were still living.”
The family tried unsuccessfully for five years, spending more than $100,000 in borrowed money in the attempt. In a last effort, Cowsill went to New York from his Newport, R.I., home and talked to manager Leonard Stogel who recognized the family’s talent.
In the last year, two of their records, “The Rain, The Park and Other Things” and “Indian Lake,” have reached the No. 1 placed on national music charts.