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January 31, 1985
Barbara Cowsill was the mom and background singer in the popular ‘60s folk-rock band, The Cowsills, which was actually made up of her children. The Rhode Island mom and her crew were discovered by record producer Wes Farrell and subsequently charted eight times between 1967 and 1969, including the million-sellers “Hair”, “Indian Lake,” and “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things.” ABC-TV chose them to sing the theme from the Love Boat, but they balked at performing in a sitcom about themselves when told that the mother would be played by actress Shirley Jones. Instead, ABC, with Farrell producing the music, made it’s own Cowsills sitcom called The Partridge Family and the rest, as they say, is history. By 1972, Barbara and the family were bankrupt. Barbara died today while working the graveyard shift at a Tempe, Arizona, nursing home from emphysema. She was fifty-six. Note: If Barbara had agreed to let Shirley Jones play her part we might never have heard of David Cassidy and Danny Bonaduce!