Not so long ago, if you wanted to call in on the Cowsill family, chances were that you'd catch them at home. The eldest boys might have been out on dates, but the younger members of the clan would probably have been sitting in their rooms doing their homework, and Mom and Dad might have been watching TV. Then on weekends the sound of music would usually fill the air around their 22-room house high atop a hill in Newport, R.I., and visitors would know that the family were enjoying another of their musical get-togethers in the living room.
But these days, catching up with the Cowsills is like trying to catch the wind! Ever since their record of The Rain, The Park And Other Things rocketed them to the top of the American charts and national fame, it's been difficult to keep tabs on them—to say the very least! For with their sensational success have come tours, personal appearances and TV shows and life is going along at such a hectic pace, that even they don't know where they are half the time!
Interviewing the whole family at one time, as TEEN LIFE did, is like turning on four TV sets and a couple of radios all at once, and then trying to understand them all! But it's certainly a lot of fun trying to do it.
Just who are the Cowsills? Well, first off, they are just about the nicest family you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. You only have to look at their pixie-type freckled smiling faces once to fall in love with the whole lot of them! And as there are nine of them in all, that's a lot of people to fall in love with at one time!
Heading the outfit are Bud and Barbara Cowsill—the young, vivacious parents. Then comes: Bill (19), Bob and Dick (18-year-old twins), Paul (15), Barry (13), John (11) and Susan who is eight. All the family are involved with their act. Paul and Dick work behind the scenes making sure that everything's okay in the lighting and sound departments, and Dad acts as company manager.
Their life story reads something like a fairy tale and, like all good fairy tales, it has a happy ending.
It all started when Bud Cowsill retired from the Navy twelve years ago. Like all sea-faring men he knew a few sea-faring songs, and was delighted when Bill and Bob started to harmonize right along with him.
As the years went by and his family grew, Bud began to realize that they were very musically inclined. They all could sing, and when musical instruments were put in front of them, they learned to play them very quickly. The living room became the rehearsal room, and with practice, the at-home sessions really began to swing along.
So what was Bud to do? After all, it's not every father who has such a talented bunch of offspring.
To find out the answer we hope you'll tune in to next month's Teen Life when we're going to have the whole exciting story . . . about a wonderful close-knit family who almost starved before they became successful.
And the lovely thing about the story is that success hasn't changed them at all. They still love the simple things in life . . . like the rain, the park and other things . . .