People's lives and their work often take them to far-away places that they had never dreamed of going before duty made it necessary. This is what happened to the Cowsills.
Of course, this is one family that has never allowed itself to stagnate. In their lifetime, they have lived in ten different places while the children were growing up, and in each new town unique attitude toward life helped them to adjust easily and make new friends quickly. Finally they decided to settle in Newport, Rhode Island, but no sooner had they made that their home, than everything exploded at once . . . years of determination and faith and lots of sweat and tears paid off. "The Rain, The Park and Other Things" became the number one record, and everyone knows the rest.
So, from Newport they moved to New York and spent a year living in a three room apartment... all nine of them. Although it was a sacrifice and inconvenience to them, The Cowsills wanted to make themselves available to the people who needed them for business purposes, recordings, press interviews, photo sessions and everything else that goes with being successful in the music world. Finally, in August of 1968, the television demands became so overwhelming that the family found it necessary to move to California, the heart of the TV and movie industry, so as to be near to the nerve center of their career.
They managed to find a lovely, 20 room house in Santa Monica and were not only pleased with all the room, but also with the tennis court and Olympic size swimming pool. They, unfortunately, do not have much time to indulge in these luxuries as they are either going to school, rehearsing recording, or on week-end dates. But the rare days or moments they spend in the privacy of their own home, swimming, or Paul and Bobby playing tennis are much treasured memories for them.
The Cowsills have also started recording on the West Coast, not because they feel that they will get drastically different results from the Coast studios, but simply because they have previously done all their recording in New York, and they want to give it a whirl out there. Also, as the boys mature, so their sound goes also. Perhaps the West Coast will give them a slightly more mature sound.
You are no doubt already aware of the television lineup for the Cowsills, They were also offered singing and acting roles in MGM's currently-being-filmed, "Chattauqua" starring Elvis Presley. They had to turn it down because of previously contracted commitments. And although they were disappointed, Bud Cowsill commented, "We're not worried about having to run from this one. There will be plenty of movie offers when the right time comes.
They already have to their credit the fact that they have arranged and recorded the motion picture soundtrack for MGM's new motion picture, "The Impossible Years," starring David Niven and Lola Albright. They have also released it as a single, on the flip side of the Christmas single "Candy Kid."
"The West Coast is very different from the East Coast," says Barbara Cowsill. "Everything is different . . . people, ways, weather, food . . . just about everything, but we like it. It will take us awhile to adjust to the change, as I guess is true with all people who make the move, but every day we find more and more to like about it. And the people are warm . . . that's the important factor as far as we are concerned,"
Bill, 20, and his bride of five months. Karen, live on the Cowsill property in a unique type of guest house. It is attached to the main house, but the layout affords Karen and Bill their privacy, while at the same time making Bill available to be on the spot in a hurry and available for quickly called rehearsals. "It's perfect for us at present," says Bill. "Of course shortly we'll be finding our own home and get-:ing down to the business of raising a family, but right now, our schedule is so heavy that we hardly have any time at all for house hunting."
The family now owns seven cars . . . all of them Pontiacs. .When you enter the Cowsill driveway, you would think that a party was in progress, but it just means that everyone is at home! The youngsters all attend Hollywood Professional School in Hollywood with the exception of Billy and Bobby who attend Hollywood Professional Junior College, also in Hollywood. Everyone attends school a minimum of 20 hours per week, and when they are on tour, they carry with them a schedule of lessons that they must keep up with. Even with this rather un-orthodox arrangement they are all honor students.
Well, that is basically why the Cowsills were forced to move and what is pending for them in the near future. They are now working on an exciting new act . . . one that will pleasantly surprise a great number of people, so watch for it soon.