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The Cowsills


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The Cowsills were a singing group from Newport, Rhode Island specializing in what would later be defined as . The band was formed in the spring of 1965 by four brothers — Barry, Bill, Bob, and John Cowsill. After their initial success, the brothers were later joined by their siblings, Susan and Paul and their mother, Barbara. Rounding out the group was remaining brother Richard, who did not sing with the group, but was assigned as road manager and advisor.

Origins And Early Successes
Originally inspired by The Beatles, the Cowsills developed their musicianship and harmonized vocals in performances at school dances and churches in their hometown. They were encouraged by their parents, Barbara and Bud Cowsill, who drove them around to shows in the family’s station wagon. Bud had retired from a long career in the US Navy to manage his children’s career together with his wife.

The band drew increasing attention through the 1960’s as their musical proficiency improved. In late 1965, the initial four members were hired as a regular act on Bannisters Wharf in Newport where they would sing “The Beatles” songs hour after hour. They also produced their first recordings, and released them on Mercury Records. Despite their appeal, the company passed on a record contract for reasons never specified.


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