By Don Harral
About 1500 Lawton youths and adults sat on the grass Tuesday night at Cameron College to enjoy the music of the Cowsills.
Although the temperature was still in the 90's when the free concert began at 8:30 p.m., nearly 1000 people had already gathered with their blankets and lawn chairs awaiting the entertainment.
Although everyone seemed to have a good time, which is the most important thing, the music was somewhat of a disappointment.
The Cowsills have come a long way from making milk commercials, but their music lacks any original sound. The group sounded just about like any other four-piece band I've ever heard. Only most other groups I've heard were better.
The Cowsills are made up of our brothers including Bill, lead guitar; Bob, rhythm guitar; Barry, bass guitar; and John, drums.
The group originally began with the four playing in clubs around Newport, Rhode Island.
"That was before dad got the idea to put mom and sis in the group and make some money," Bill laughed. "But, now mom is too old and sis got too sassy, so we're back the way we started with just the four of us.
Starting the concert with "Jumpin Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones, almost every song after that for the next two hours sounded the same.
Most of the concert was composed of songs by either the Beatles or the Stones, with a few other rock songs of the 60's mixed in. The Cowsills also played a few of their hits, including "Hair," "Indian Lake," and some original compositions by Bill such as "Covered Wagon" and "Hey Richard."
I guess the Cowsills aren't entirely to blame for their not-too-original sound. There is only a limited number of songs a group can do without the organ and-or brass that most groups utilize in songs today.
The one thing the four brothers have going for them is their harmony. Although none are very good musicians, or have an excellent voice individually, they can blend well and sounded their best on the close harmony of the older Beatles songs.
Bill announced the group planned to start doing more and more original compositions. Maybe when they start writing some of their own material they won't sound like a million other groups.
No one seemed greatly disappointed when the concert ended except for about 100 screaming junior high girls sitting in front.
However, when Bill announced the group would come down and sign autographs, the girls let out a scream of delight, grabbed their Instamatics, and everything seemed all right.
Musically speaking, the group never did excite the audience. But everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and no one could really complain. After all, it was free.