It was a family affair in the Bear’s Den at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino on February 5.
Before there was the Jackson 5 and The Partridge Family, there was The Cowsills. In fact, it was the Newport, Rhode Island family that was the model for the hit television family.
As the family grew in size so did the band with the youngest member – and only girl – Susan joining her brothers and mom on stage at age seven. A few of the original members have passed on – mom, Barry, and Bill are gone – but the next generation of Cowsills are now taking their place on the stage.
Two generations of Cowsills took the stage at the Bear’s Den on February 5 to perform Cowsill originals…and hits, folk tunes, and a few cover tunes.
The Cowsills were a hit band in the sixties when rock, pop, and folk easily crossed the genre lines; in a time when singers harmonized on songs. It has been a few years since The Cowsills found their way to the top of a pop chart; but the family harmony on stage and in song are still very strong and stands out is every song.
After an opening of a video from those early years of the group, the band took the stage to open the show with “Deliver Me”. And deliver they did. Amid the stories of growing up a family band on stage and finally having a little sister in the family – the boys gathered around the crib to check out the strange new addition to the family, and how the songs came to be; the band performed the first song the boys wrote at about age 13 “All I Really Wanna Be is Me’, “Most of All”, “Flower Girl”, “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Be My Baby”, “We Can Fly”, “ Got Trouble”, “Nanna’s Song” – Nanna’s last words put to music, “If I Had a Hammer”, “Puff the Magic Dragon”, “Indian Lake”, “River of Love”, “Just Believe It”, the theme song for “Love, American Style” – which they originally performed, and the Partrdige Family hit “I Think I Love You”. The night of music ended with the last hit song the band every had “Hair”.
At the meet and greet after the show one fan brought his 45rpm single of “Hair” for the band to autograph.
It was more than a walk down memory lane for fans and band alike; it was a night filled with good music, great harmonies, and a longing for the days when music was played the way it used to be.
photos by Sherrill Fulghum
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