The Cowsills

The Cowsills

Synopsis of Pop Music

“Baby it's funny,
How I can feel so sunny,
When you're beside me,
We can fly…”

Without the Cowsills, there would have been no Partridge Family. Like their fictional television counterparts, the Cowsills were a family unit who formed a band. Unlike their television counterparts, they could all sing and play their own instruments. They became a popular touring unit in the late 60’s and early 70’s and recorded some notable hits along the way.

The Cowsills began the transition from family to musical group when eldest sons Bill and Bob got guitars from their father. They formed an Everly Brothers-style duo and later added brothers Barry and John on bass and drums in the wake of Beatle-mania. The quartet won a recording contract after appearing on The Today Show. Their mother, Barbara, joined them for the session that yielded their first hit, “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things.” The single made excellent use of the group’s airy Mamas and the Papas-style harmonies and sold a million copies.

The Cowsills quickly became “America’s First Family of Music” through touring and recording. Two other siblings, Sue and Paul, were added to the lineup in 1968. The newly fleshed-out group recorded two albums that year and had hits on the singles charts with the pleasant, breezy pop of “We Can Fly” and “Indian Lake.” They also appeared in their own television special for NBC and recorded the theme song for the motion picture The Impossible Years.

The Cowsills had another million-selling hit in 1969 with their interpretation of “Hair,” the song from the popular Broadway musical of the same name. They were also used as part of a campaign for the American Dairy Association and recorded the theme song for the television show Love, American Style. In 1971, Bill decided to leave the group to pursue a solo career. The group disbanded in 1972 after a tour of U.S. military bases in Europe.

Since the 70’s, the Cowsills have continued their musical legacy both together and in other groups. Susan was part of the Psycho Sisters with ex-Bangle Vicki Peterson, Bill formed a country-music band called the Blue Shadows, and John plays the drums for Jan and Dean. The Cowsills have also reunited for the occasional concert date and recorded a reunion album, Global, in 1998. The album won much critical praise, proving that The Cowsills are still ‘America’s First Family of Music.’

Artist Release History

1967 - Rain & Park
1967 - The Cowsills
1968 - Captain Sad and His Ship of Fools
1968 - The Cowsills Plus the Lincoln Park Zoo
1968 - We Can Fly
1968 - The Best of the Cowsills
1969 - The Cowsills in Concert (live)
1970 - II by II
1971 - On My Side

Pop Sub Categories


Essential Music Albums

The Best of the Cowsills (Rebound)

Band Members

Bill Cowsill guitars, vocals
Bob Cowsill guitars, vocals
Barbara Cowsill vocals
Sue Cowsill vocals
Paul Cowsill keyboards, vocals
Barry Cowsill bass, vocals
John Cowsill drums

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