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The Cowsills: Smiling Faces Sometimes They Don’t Tell the Truth

Written by on August 10, 2022

Story by Chuck Tackett

The Cowsills: Smiling Faces Sometimes They Don’t Tell the Truth

Last week, while I was searching for something to watch, a documentary film caught my attention. It was titled “Family Band: The Cowsills Story.” The 2011 documentary film chronicles the rise and fall of this music group. It was on Prime video. I was never a fan of this group, but curiosity got the best of me, so I watched it.

For my young readership, The Cowsills were a popular mid to late-1960s era pop group. Originally The Cowsill consisted of 4 brothers, but as their popularity grew, their mother, Barbara, and little sister Susan joined the group. From the docufilm, I learned this move was not of the brothers’ doing, but stage father Bud Cowsill made the brothers an offer they couldn’t refuse if you catch my drift.

Myself, as a preteen back in those days, I was not a fan of their music. As a 66-year-old man today, I am still not a fan of their music. The only songs I liked from them were “Hair” & “The Rain, the Park, and Everything.” I was more into ‘The Jackson 5.” The Cowsills’ music was boring and too bubblegum for my taste. It still is. As popular as they were, when they disbanded, I did not hear a peep from the media regarding them until 2005. One of the brothers, Barry was a casualty victim of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans where he lived. He had drowned, and his body was discovered on the beach of Lake Pontchartrain. Another brother Billy passed away from ill health while The Cowsill family was holding a memorial service for Barry.

Today, the surviving members of The Cowsills are busy with their podcast, and still touring at times with other 1960s-era rock bands and just themselves. For fear of spilling spoiler alerts or too much tea, I am not surprised the media demonized stage father, Joe Jackson of The Jackson 5, but in my opinion, they protected stage father Bud Cowsill of The Cowsills. His surviving children spilled tea on his antics in the docufilm. A couple of times, I was clutching the pearls. I think if you watch this film that is on Prime video, you will do the same. Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes, they don’t tell the truth.

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