Indian Lake 45 by The Cowsills

January 9, 2013

Indian Lake

The Cowsills were a family pop/rock group from Newport, Rhode Island, that acheived their greatest commercial success during the last half the the 1960s.

Mother Barbara, sister Susan, and brothers Bill, Barry, Paul, Bob, and John produced a number of hit singles that were catchy, melodic, and featured tight harmonies. They are best remembered for their two singles that reached number two on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart, ‘The Rain, The Park & Other Things” and “Hair.”

“Indian Lake” was similar to their other hits. Released during the late spring of 1966, it reached number ten on the BILLBOARD Chart.

Barbara passed away in 1985. Susan, Bob, Paul, and John toured together during 1990. Susan remains very active in the music industry.


We Can Fly 45 by The Cowsills

April 17, 2012

“We Can Fly” was the second chart single for The Cowsills. It followed their number two hit, “The Rain, The Park, & Other Things,” and became a hit single in its own right. It first reached the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart during Jan. of 1968 and peaked at number 21.

The Cowsills could always combine their voices into tight harmonies and this song finds them at their best.

It was an up-tempo pop classic that remains a good listen over four decades later.


Most Of All 45 by The Cowsills

December 16, 2011

The Cowsills are best remembered for their series of late 1960s pop hits which featured mother Barbara and young sister Susan.

They began their career as a more traditional rock band with brothers Bill, Bob, Barry, and John playing a lead and rhythm guitar, bass, and drums. Spotted playing in Newport, Rhode island, they were invited to perform on THE TODAY SHOW. This led to a contract with the Mercury label and a single released on the Philips label.

“Most Of All” was released during 1966 and bubbled under on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart when it reached number 118.

It was a catchy pop song that deserved more. Philips responded by not re-newing their contract. It all ended well for The Cowsills as their next release was “The Rain, The Park, And Other Things,” which would reach number two.


All I Really Wanna Be Is Me 45 by The Cowsills

November 19, 2010

Everyone has ro start somewhere and The Cowsills started on the small Jada Label.

The five Cowsill brothers, Bill, Bob, Paul, Barry, John, their sister Susan, and mother Barbara were a light pop/rock group from Newport Rhode Island who produced such catchy hits as “The Rain, The Park & Other Things,” “Indian Lake,” “We Can Fly,” and a cover of “Hair.” The Partridge Family Televison program used the family as the original idea for the show.

Before their string of late sixties hits they released their first single on the old Jada label. It remains an obscure Cowsills and sixties collectable today.


Hair 45 by The Cowsills

November 12, 2010

The Cowsills were a family band from Newport, Rhode Island consisting of six siblings and their mother. They placed eight songs on The American singles chart 1967-1969. They are best remembered for “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things” which reached number two for two weeks during 1967.

Their only other top five hit also reached number number two for two weeks. Their cover of the title song from the hit Broadway musical HAIR was a big hit for the group during early 1969.

It may have been a pop presentation but they got the harmonies just right. One of the better concotions from this late sixties light rock band.


The Rain, The Park & Other Things 45 by The Cowsills

September 21, 2010

cowsills

The Cowsills were one of the very few successful pop groups from my native Rhode Island. Brothers Bill, Bob, Paul, Barry, and John, sister Susan, and mother Barbara were the forerunners of The Partridge Family.

“The Rain, The Park, & Other Things” was their first single release to reach the charts when it spent two weeks at number two during the fall of 1967. They would go on to have seven more chart entries through 1969.

It was light weight and breezy pop with Bill Cowsill’s vocal floating above their harmonies. A perfect song for AM radio play.

Bill Cowsill passed away several years ago and mother Barbara back in 1985. Susan Cowsill released a new solo album several months ago. “The Rain, The Park, & Other Things” remains thier best and most memorable song.


Lighthouse by Susan Cowsill

May 4, 2010

Anyone who is even somewhat familiar with mid-to-late sixties pop music in The United States will instantly recognize the name Cowsill.

The Cowsills were the original Partridge family or at least the basis for the series. They were approached by a television network about having their own show but turned the offer down when they learned Shirley Jones would play the parent instead of their own mother.

The group began during the mid sixties and gradually expanded to include Bill, Bob, Barry, John, Paul, mother Barbara, and Susan who was the youngest member at nine. They would place eight songs on the Billboard pop charts between 1967 and 1969 including “The Rain, The Park & Other Things,” “We Can Fly,” “Indian Lake,” and “Hair.”

The group drifted apart during the early seventies but did reunite a number of times during the following four decades. Barry’s death in 2005 due to hurricane Katrina and then Bill’s passing in 2006 have made future reunions improbable. And John continues to tour with the modern day Beach Boys.

Little Susan is all grown up now and has gone on to a solid solo career. She has backed such artists as Dwight Twilley, Carlene Carter, The Smithereens, and Hootie & The Blowfish in addition to being a member of The Continental Drifters. She has now returned with her second solo album, Lighthouse, the follow-up to 2005’s Just Believe It.

She wrote or co-wrote eleven of the twelve tracks and the song structures, especially the lyrics, show sophistication and depth. The style ranges from up-tempo pop to more of a modern folk flavor.

Many songs have a poignant quality to them which may be due to the loss of family members. “Avenue Of The Indians” is a coming to terms with loss yet has a spiritual nature. “You and Me Baby” is a gentle, eternal love song. “Lighthouse” finds Susan singing to only a piano and cello in the background as she reminisces about her family and growing up in Newport Rhode Island, her childhood home. “Onola” is a tribute to her new home city, “New Orleans.”

“Dragon Flys” is about as close to pure rock as she gets. The old Glen Campbell hit, “Galveston,” is the only cover and she slows the tempo down to present it with just a bass and acoustic guitar in support, underscoring how, many times, simple is best.

Every once in awhile an artist returns from obscurity with an excellent album, and so it is with Susan Cowsill. Lighthouse is the result of a long journey from the sixties-pop sound of The Cowsills, but is well worth the wait.

Article first published as on Blogcritics.org