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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Rain, The Park & Another Gone Cowsill

Bill Cowsill & Curt Gowdy R.I.P.

The fate of our beloved Cowsills is one of those harsh reminders that life ain't fair, despite all initial positive outpourings and the memories of those ephemral AM radio blasts (3 and a half in "total") which started in the fall of 1967 with "The Rain, The Park & Other Things" and ended in late winter 1969 with "Hair." We also got the theme to "Love American Style" shortly thereafter.

And even though it was The Loud Family who gave us a clearer realistic perspective on the dysfunctions of that era's American Dream Home, it was The Cowsills fantasy a lot of us cared to embrace. Barbara did stay with Bud ("William Sr.") but the band faded fast as the faux-Cowsill TV hit The Partridge Family stole their thunder. Barbara died in 1985.

Many years later Cowsills buzzing arose. Susan got involved with Dwight Twillley and inevitably ended up marrying one of The dBs (Peter Holsapple) although I think Flashcubes' drummer Tommy Allen was the first power popster to "court" Susan back in the pre-pube days when he went backstage to give her a teddy bear he won at the NY State Fair of 1969 in Syracuse.
Minus Bill Cowsill, The Cowsills made an impressive, albeit under the radar, comeback in the early '90s. They played a very memorbale gig at this off-the-beaten-path bar in Butler, NJ called Jiggs. We (Nick Celeste & I) got to hang out afterwards and they happily signed autographs. The Cowsills slowly but surely contiued to make music as the millennium ended. Susan and Peter also formed the New Orleans all-star band The Continental Drifters with Vicki Peterson of The Bangles.

Recently, in the wake of hurricane Katrina--which was home base for Barry Cowsill as well as his sister Susan and Peter Holsapple--tragedy struck the Cowsills when it was discovered that Barry was missing. Months later he was pronounced dead. Barry was the black sheep whose tale of woe was recently aired on VH1's Bubblegum Babylon.

Bill, not unlike Barry, went on his own path after the hits faded. After an unsuccessful solo release (1971's "Nervous Breakthrough") he moved to Canada and lived his life and continued to perform music.

News sources stated Bill had been ill for a few months, suffering from emphysema, osteoporosis, Cushing syndrome and other ailments. He died in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday.

for more info check out this site:

The Cowsills Web Page (


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