Barbara C. Cowsill, 56, leader of the 1960s singing group The Cowsills, died Jan. 31 in Tempe, Ariz., after a long illness.
With no prior musical training, Cowsill, her daughter and five of her sons formed the singing group in the mid- 1960s in their hometown of Middietown, R.I.
Stressing a middle-of-the-road approach with pleasant harmonies, The Cowsills had three gold records between 1967 and 1970 and hit the charts with such recordings as "The Rain, The Park And Other Things," "We Can Fly," "In Need Of A Friend," "Indian Lake" and the title song from "Hair."
The group had its own television special in 1968, was seen on numerous other tv programs and performed throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Little was heard from the group after 1970 and, in 1975, William Cowsill, Barbara's husband and the group's manager, filed for bankruptcy, listing $445,000 in debts.
She is survived by her husband, daughter Susan, sons William, Richard, Robert, Paul, Barry and John, mother, five sisters, three brothers and 11 grandchildren.