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The Cowsills are an American bubblegum pop band from Newport, Rhode Island, originally active between 1965 and 1972, consisting of six siblings and their mother Barb. The band was originally formed in the spring of 1965 by Bill, Bob, and Barry. Most of the rest of the family joined over the next two years. By the time the band reached its full size in 1967, the kids ranged in age from 19 to 8. They were the inspiration for The Partridge Family, and according to some sources were originally meant to star in the show.
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The group debuted in 1967 with their #2 hit "The Rain, The Park & Other Things", and returned to that spot in 1969 with their cover of the title song from Hair. After the band broke up, several of the kids went on to other musical projects in the 1970s and 80s; Barry and Bill both started solo careers, Susan joined the influential college rock band The Continental Drifters, and John became the touring drummer for The Beach Boys. The band reunited in the 1990s and now tours the nostalgia circuit as the trio of Bob, Susan, and Paul.


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Members:

  • Barb Cowsill (July 12, 1928 - January 31, 1985)
  • Bill Cowsill (January 9, 1948 - February 18, 2006)
  • Bob Cowsill (born August 26, 1949)
  • Richard Cowsillnote  (August 26, 1949 - July 8, 2014)
  • Paul Cowsill (born November 11, 1951)
  • Barry Cowsill (September 14, 1954 - August 29, 2005; he died from drowning in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina)
  • John Cowsill (born March 2, 1956)
  • Susan Cowsill (born May 20, 1959)

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Albums:

  • 1967 - The Cowsills
  • 1968 - The Cowsills Plus the Lincoln Park Zoo
  • 1968 - We Can Fly
  • 1968 - Captain Sad and His Ship of Fools
  • 1969 - The Cowsills in Concert
  • 1970 - II X II
  • 1971 - On My Side
  • 1998 - Global
  • 2008 - Cocaine Drain (material from a never-completed 1978 reunion album)

EPs:

  • 1969 - The Cowsills Collectors Record: Presented by American Dairy Association

Singles:

  • 1965 - "All I Really Want to Be Is Me"/"And the Next Day Too"
  • 1966 - "Most of All"/"Siamese Cat"
  • 1966 - "Party Girl"/"What's It Gonna Be Like"
  • 1967 - "A Most Peculiar Man"/"Could It Be, Let Me Know"
  • 1967 - "The Rain, the Park, & Other Things"/"River Blue"
  • 1968 - "We Can Fly"/"A Time for Remembrance"
  • 1968 - "In Need of a Friend"/"Mister Flynn"
  • 1968 - "Indian Lake"/"Newspaper Blanket"
  • 1968 - "Poor Baby"/"Meet Me at the Wishing Well"
  • 1968 - "Path of Love"/"Captain Said and His Ship of Fools"
  • 1968 - "The Impossible Years"/"The Candy Kid"
  • 1969 - "Hair"/"What Is Happy"
  • 1969 - "The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Divine"/"Gotta Get Away from It All"
  • 1969 - "Silver Threads and Golden Needles"/"Love, American Style"
  • 1970 - "II x II"/"Start to Love"
  • 1971 - "On My Side"/"There Is a Child"
  • 1971 - "You (in My Mind)"/"Crystal Claps"
  • 1972 - "Covered Wagon"/"Blue Road"
  • 1973 - "Christmastime (Song for Marissa)"/"Some Good Years"

The Cowsills provide examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Bud Cowsill, their Stage Dad father, was a violent and domineering alcoholic.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Susan, who was just 7 when she was added to the band, could be considered an example.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "The Rain, the Park, & Other Things" is often assumed to be called "Flower Girl." "The rain" and "the park" do appear in the lyrics, but in different verses.
  • Number of the Beast: "The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Divine", a song about the Whore of Babylon, has backing vocals chanting "Six! Six! Six!"
  • Spoken Word in Music: "The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Divine" has a spoken word section.
    Then, finally one day, she was cast back into the sea from where she came, so that she would never torment man again.
  • Subdued Section: Close to the end of "Gray Sunny Day," the instruments briefly drop out. They return for the fade-out.

Alternative Title(s): Cowsills

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