When it comes to pop-rock flashbacks, the “Happy Together Tour” is chock full of hitmakers who can stir up groovy memories.
The road show that is awash in pop-chart hits from the 1960s and early 1970s will make a stop at 8 p.m. Eastern time Aug. 10 at the Silver Creek Event Center in Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Mich.
Featuring more than a half-dozen bands and artists with formidable Top-40 success, the “Happy Together Tour” will roll on to Aurora for an 8 p.m. Aug. 17 show at the Paramount Theatre.
In its ninth consecutive year, the tour’s name is spun from a No. 1 single in 1967, “Happy Together,” which was recorded by the Turtles.
Featuring singer and founding member Mark Volman, the Turtles top the bill of the “Happy Together Tour,” which has also brought back the Cowsills for another go-round.
The Cowsills stood out from the glut of bands that flooded the American market in wake of the Beatles’ success as a group.
A can-do spirit permeated the five brothers and their sister and mother.
“We were a little different because we were a family, and we were kids,” Susan Cowsill said in a recent phone interview. “The ‘Happy Together Tour’ is a validation for a little ’60s pop-rock band that could.
“It’s just such a fun show. The camaraderie out on the tour is amazing. We all get along, just like family.”
Hailing from Rhode Island, the Cowsills first made their mark nationally with the buoyant melodicism of 1967’s “The Rain, the Park & Other Things.”
It reached No. 2 on Billboard’s pop-singles chart, and was followed by a pair of 1968 hits, “We Can Fly” and the Top-10 “Indian Lake.”
The Cowsills’ standing as a unique, and formidable, rock ’n’ roll enterprise was cemented.
“The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits” cites the Cowsills as the inspiration for “The Partridge Family,” a music-oriented sitcom that aired on ABC from 1970 to 1974.
Starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones, the show’s premise mimicked the Cowsills’ real-life situation as a happily-rocking set of young siblings, with mom as an adult presence.
Now 59, Susan Cowsill was 8 years old when she and her family began their ascent as a nationally-known rock band.
She appreciates how “The Partridge Family” gave a nod to the Cowsills’ saga.
“It means a whole lot of very sweet and good memories, and the feeling of being honored to have a whole television show made after your family’s life,” Cowsill said. “We do feel that without the Partridges, the Cowsills would have had a different run, and so we’re grateful.”
She explained that “we don’t feel we would be as predominantly forefront” in America’s consciousness without the attention the TV series brought.
The Cowsills’ own television exposure was impressive. They hooked up with Johnny Cash.
“We sang with Johnny; that was huge,” said Cowsill, who also got to sing on TV with Dean Martin.
One year before “The Partridge Family” debuted, the Cowsills scored a No. 2 Billboard single with their tightly-crafted version of “Hair,” the title song from the counterculture Broadway musical.
Susan Cowsill describes it as a recording that was a self-contained, familial undertaking.
“‘Hair’ was the brainchild of Bob and Bill,” said Cowsill, pointing to the two brothers who produced the record.
Cowsill, along with brothers Bob and Paul, comprise the Cowsills trio that performs on the “Happy Together Tour.”
Brother Bill died in 2006.
Another brother, Barry, disappeared in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating hit on New Orleans, where he lived. He was missing for four months.
His body was found along a New Orleans wharf in late December of 2005. The hurricane had made landfall on Aug. 29, causing massive flooding.
“We do know that he drowned,” said Susan Cowsill, although adding the circumstances surrounding her brother’s death are unknown.
She lauds the contributions that Barry, as a bassist, made to the recording of the “Hair” single.
Also notable, said Susan Cowsill, is the musical acumen of another brother, John Cowsill, who likewise was part of the family band during its heyday.
“He has been the Beach Boys drummer for many years, and remains so,” said Susan Cowsill, a New Orleans resident.
A singer and guitarist, Susan Cowsill will complement a “Happy Together” show packed with jukebox memories.
Ron Dante — the voice of the Archies — is standing in for Turtles lead singer and frontman Howard Kaylan, who is sitting out the summer touring for medical reasons.
Dante sang lead vocals on the Archies’ No. 1 smash, “Sugar, Sugar” (1969).
The lineup for the “Happy Together” also features Chuck Negron, a former lead singer for Three Dog Night, known for “Joy to the World” (1971) “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” (1970) and “One” (1969).
Gary Puckett and the Union Gap will contribute a full-bodied sound to the show. The group scored hits five decades ago with soulful tracks such as “Woman, Woman” and “Lady Willpower.”
Adding a breezy flavor to “Happy Together” is the Association, which dished harmonic fare in the ’60s that included “Windy” and “Cherish.”
Meanwhile, Mark Lindsay is providing his star power. The former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders will evoke memories of the upbeat band, which notched Top 10 success in 1966 with “Kicks” and “Hungry.”