FAMILY BAND (Found in the Connection: Rattling Loose End #117)

[NOTE: I’ve posted this video before, but in a different context. It felt right to post it again because it’s context grows by the year. So maybe call it re-found in the connection.]

I’m a sucker for hope…but it’s exceeding rare to pull up a modern clip of some group doing one of their old hits from the prime days of Rock and Roll America (50’s, 60’s, 70’s) and find it enlarged. As often than not, if there’s an exception, it’s because the Cowsills got together in some environment where they were being well-recorded, like this clip from a concert they gave as a benefit to their cancer-stricken brother Billy, who had been the group’s resident genius-in-training until their father kicked him out of the band (and the house), killing their career just as the “family group”  ethos they had more or less invented was taking off.

Believe me, no post-millennial reunion of the Jacksons, Osmonds, DeFrancos or Partridge Family ever has or could produce anything like this….let alone while playing their own instruments.

(Barry Cowsill, at the far right, would vanish in Hurricane Katrina a year later. His body washed up two months later. The others got the news of Billy’s death while they were holding Barry’s wake. I’ve heard about life being a bitch…but serendipity? It’s a bit much!)

12 thoughts on “FAMILY BAND (Found in the Connection: Rattling Loose End #117)

  1. NDJ

    Lovely! Thanks.


    PS: Great timing, too: yesterday I was helping a friend clear 80 acres of overgrown Himalayan blackberry vines (think kudzu) yesterday and I mentioned writing a piece about singles that I fooking hated as a kid in the ’60s that I love now. Among them were “96 Tears,” “Good Loving,” “Ode To Billie Joe,” and “Mony Mony.” I was gonna build it around my loathing for those ball-less (ballsless?) wonders the Beach Boys and “Barbara Ann.”

    But I forgot how much I hated the Cowsills back then (too damn pop) and now I think I’ll use the “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” as the focal point. While I can’t credit The Round Place In The Middle with showing me the error of my ways regarding this glorious record, I can give you a nod for increasing my appreciation for everything else about the Cowsills over the past year or so …

    • Now THAT’s an impressive Young Man’s Hate List…One classic after another! I have to say that, while I always loved “Indian Lake” and “Hair” (coming along a decade later mind you) I was indifferent to The Rain, the Park and Other Things. Didn’t hate it but, like you, it took a long time to hear it for what it was (unique, among other things).

      Look forward to your piece. Good topic. I might have to respond with one of my own.

  2. Good Lord, even all those years after the hits dried up, their voices still sounded fantastic!! They deserve so much more recognition.

  3. What the members of the Cowsills went through had to be downright miserable. But they survived and even pulled off the minor miracle of becoming good people as adults. I love their music and “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” has been one of my all-time favorites for close to thirty years.

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