Thursday, January 27, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Cowsills

Artist:The Cowsills
Song:The Rain, The Park and Other Things
Album:The Best of The Cowsills

Back in the 60s, The Cowsills were perceived cynically as manufactured bubblegum music and anti-psychedelia. But their music holds up pretty well and they were a real group. They played their own instruments and Bill Cowsill wrote a lot of the songs. And of course they were also the inspiration for the sitcom The Partridge Family. The Cowsills were from Newport, RI. Bill and Bob Cowsill started out covering Everly Brothers hits and then recruited Barry Cowsill to play bass and John Cowsill to play drums. So these teenage sibling are playing local gigs. An appearance on The Today Show earned them a contract with Mercury Records. Nothing came of it but Mercury producer Artie Kornfeld thought they had potential and convinced the boys' mother Barbara Cowsill to join the band. They recorded Rain, The Park and Other Things and The Cowsills signed with MGM Records. The song was released in the fall of 1967 and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Kornfeld and partner Steve Duboff. They wrote plenty of hits and Kornfeld is best known for promoting the Woodstock Music Festival. The Cowsills continued to chart and Hair reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. Columbia Pictures sent a couple of screenwriters to observe The Cowsills with plans to turn them into TV stars. That didn't happen but The Partridge Family was based on those observations. By the time the show debuted, The Cowsills were in decline and they split up in 1971. This budget comp from Collectables has all their hits. Attempts to reunite The Cowsills have been mostly unsuccessful though a version of the group with Bob, Paul and Susan Cowsill tours the oldies circuit today. Bill Cowsill moved to Canada and formed the Vancouver group Blue Shadows. He moved to Calgary and formed The Co-Dependents after recovering from drug addiction. He died in 2006. Susan Cowsill formed The Continental Drifters with husband Peter Holsapple. She released a solo CD in 2005. John Cowsill currently tours with The Beach Boys. Barry Cowsill lived in New Orleans and died in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Barbara Cowsill died in 1985. You might want to check out The Cowsills again. You might find that their music was better than you thought. Here's a video for The Rain, The Park and Other Things by The Cowsills. This video is not on Youtube.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:44 PM

    ...and Susan Cowsill has had a critically acclaimed solo career since leaving the Continental Drifters in 2002. "Just Believe It" (released October 2005) and "Lighthouse" (May 2010) both got excellent reviews in Rolling Stone, LA Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone Germany, and about 300 print publications. Check out her website and band sometime if you haven't already. Awesome band!
    The Cowsills also still perform as well! Bob Cowsill, Paul Cowsill, Susan Cowsill, Ryan Cowsill (Bob's son), Brendon Cowsill (Paul's son), Russ Broussard (Susan's husband), Mary Lasseigne, and John Cowsill (when he isn't out with the Beach Boys) make up the band now since Bill and Barry passed away. The only living Cowsill sibling not performing is Richard Cowsill who was not in the 60's/70's line-up.
    I hear they've been filming a documentary for the last 6 or so years that should be amazing when it is finally released. The people/company working on the editing regularly posts snippets on youtube, but you have to look for them. They cleaned up the famous Hair video which looks amazing now.
    Such a talented band!