The real-life inspiration behind the hit television series The Partridge Family, the Cowsills — teen siblings Bill, Bob, Barry, John, Susan, and Paul in tandem with mom Barbara — were one of the biggest pop acts of the late ’60s!
They scored a series of hits including “The Rain, the Park and Other Things”, “Indian Lake”, “Hair” and the television theme song “Love, American Style”, distinguished by their angelic harmonies and sun-kissed melodies. The group’s origins lie with Bill and Bob, who as children began their singing careers covering songs taught them by their mother then moving on to Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson and beyond.
In 1965 they recorded the single “All I Really Wanta Be Is Me” for the Joda label. The record generated some response, however, after an appearance on NBC’s The Today Show the brothers were signed by Shelby Singleton to Mercury Records, issuing three more singles while still in high school and grade school.
Upon signing with MGM in 1967, The Cowsills, now with their mother in the band, finally had their first million-selling single, “The Rain, the Park and Other Things” (usually called “the Flower Girl” song) which was featured most recently in Jim Carrey’s movie, “Dumb and Dumber”. They performed on such notable TV shows as the Ed Sullivan Show, the Johnny Cash Show, the Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, Joey Bishop, Jonathan Winters, and also had their own NBC television special in 1968.
They were one of the early pop acts to endorse commercial products for television ads (nationally shown milk ads for the American Dairy Association) and there is currently a serious movement to ensure their induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
Most recently they were the subject of the powerful documentary on Showtime; Family Band: The Cowsills Story.
Today their harmonies are still as infectious and bright as ever. Check out these great hits by The Cowsills:
- THE RAIN, THE PARK AND OTHER THINGS
- INDIAN LAKE
- LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE (TV Show Theme Song)
- ALL I REALLY WANTA BE IS ME