“Indian Lake is a scene you should make with your little one
Keep it in mind if you're lookin' to find a place in the summer sun
Swim in the cove, have a snack in the grove or you can rent a canoe
At Indian Lake you'll be able to make the way the Indians do...”
It has been a familiar refrain — an anthem of sorts — for Indian Lake area residents and visitors for more than 40 years, even if it wasn’t written with the local attraction in mind.
The Cowsills put Indian Lake on the map with their hit song of the same name in 1968 and will perform that song, other hits and new music from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at the Indian Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Party at the Beach, Indian Lake Tour 2011. Chamber director Pam Miller said the organizing committee decided after five years to try a new band for the popular summer event, which also will include The Menus.
The Cowsills is the family band that inspired The Partridge Family; a television show they almost starred in. They also scored big with the multi-million selling title song from the musical Hair in 1969 and performed the theme for the 1969 season of the ABC show Love American Style.
The original Cowsills consisted of Bill on guitar, Bob on guitar and organ, Barry on bass and John on drums, with early gigs at school dances and churches around their Newport, R.I., home. Barbara joined the group to record The Rain, The Park and Other Things, also known as The Flower Girl Song. Shortly thereafter 7-year-old Susan and brother, Paul, were added to the group.
Brother Barry died in Hurricane Katrina at the age of 50. The day the family buried Barry in Rhode Island, brother Billy, at age 56, died in Canada. Stepping into their shoes are Bob’s son Ryan, keyboards, Paul’s son Brendon, vocals/guitar, and brother-in-law Russ, drums.
Band spokesman Bob Cowsill said the band is very excited to make their first appearance at Indian Lake, Ohio, or any Indian Lake for that matter.
“It will be the first time we ever played at Indian Lake — at any Indian Lake,” he noted. But we were on tour in 1968 and even though we didn’t perform at the Indian Lake in Ohio, we did stay there overnight and continued our tour the next day.”
And while many local folks may think so, the anthem was not written about the local lake. It was, however, composed by Tony Romeo who also wrote I Think I Love You for the Partridge Family. The lyricist lived near Indian Lake in upstate New York and that locale served as his inspiration to write the song.
Although they’ve performed the song countless times, the song still has a special place in the heart of the band.
“Oh my gosh, yes,” Bob affirmed. “Indian Lake was a great summer hit for us in 1968. It is one of our most requested songs.”
Sharing a story from last year’s tour, he said, “We played at a casino in northern North Dakota on a real Indian reservation. The audience were indians, the workers in the casino... we were deep in the reservation. We were wondering how our song (Indian Lake) would be received because in a Peter Pan sort of vein it’s rather ‘politically incorrect’ now.
“Well, during the show about halfway through we played (it) and the place went crazy... And we got a standing ovation from 2,000 people right then and there.
“We love the song and are proud to have it as one of our hits. It evokes summer, fun, innocence to all of us still. We happen to know that this is a personal favorite of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys which I think is very cool.” Bob’s brother John happens to play drums for the Beach Boys.
“This is an exciting booking for us and we’re grateful to the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce for having us,” he said. “We look forward to seeing everyone and hope to visit and share stories during our meet and greet after the show.”
The Party at the Beach is sponsored in part by the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce, Dayton Power and Light, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, Shoreline Construction and Budweiser.
Tickets go on sale March 1 and are $8 presale or $10 at the gate. Purchase tickets at Indianlakechamber.org anytime from March 1 until July 2.