the cowsills

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Turtles Happy Together Tour 2015, State Theater, New Brunswick

Published August 3, 2015 by Maryanne

HappyTogether_Front-2Happy Together Tour 2015

My husband surprised me with tickets to this fabulous show last night at the State Theatre, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

It was a last minute decision, so we had seats in the last row! (If we got closer, we wouldn’t have been able to sit together, though we did see some people trading seats so they could be with the ones they came in with).

We had a blast! Every band was so tight and fun. There was a “house band” for most of the acts (for bass, drums and keys), which moved things along as every band did their hits.

First up was The Buckinghams, whose famous hit was “Kind of a Drag.”

Then our personal favorites — The Cowsills!! We saw them last year at a headline show in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which was amazing. It was The Cowsills who brought us to this show. They opened with my favorite, “The Rain, The Park & Other Things.” Other hits were “Love American Style,” “Indian Lake,” and the legendary “Hair.”

Next was The Grass Roots with hits “Midnight Confessions” and “I’d Wait a Million Years.” (I had both singles as a little girl!)

Then came The Association. Known for “Along Came Mary,” “Cherish,” and the most beautiful “Never My Love.”

Then Mark Lindsay who sang with Paul Revere and the Raiders and had a huge hit, “Kicks.”

And finally, The Turtles (who I saw 10 years ago at an outdoor show in Hoboken). My favorites by them is “Eleanor.” And they had the whole audience standing for their biggest hit “Happy Together.”

As a finale, all the bands came out again and performed a few lines of their hits.

What a super fun, high energy show! If you get a chance to get tickets, this line-up is phenomenal!

SAM_8160Waiting for the show to start!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist.”

Happy Birthday Susan Cowsill

Published May 20, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_5938Susan Cowsill (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Last summer was probably the best summer of my life. I was celebrating my life as a new author and it just so happened I got to see many bands I never saw before that were on my music bucket list. One such band was The Cowsills. My husband and I trekked out to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to see their outdoor concert. See my blog here:

After the show we were honored to meet such legendary talents!

Susan started performing with her brothers (and Mom too!) in The Cowsills when she was a little girl in the 1960s. They were the REAL Partridge Family! (That’s where they got the ideas from The Partridge Family — from The Cowsills!)  From day one, you could see what an adorable little ham she was, working the camera. It’s wonderful that Susan is still performing and touring, both solo and with The Cowsills.

Note, they were slightly before my time. I was turned on to this amazing band, thanks to my husband who is five years older than me (the age I’d prefer to be!) and was more in tune to the classic rock generation (while I was the punk rock and new wave generation, now making up for lost time with the classic greatness!)

SAM_5951Me and my husband Dennis in the back

Original Cowsills members up front!

On Susan’s birthday, today, here’s some great stuff I found on You Tube. WHAT A VOICE! (Note that when you hear her singing with the Cowsills her harmonies are so amazing it sounds like TWO girls singing!)


The Cowsills, Levitt Pavillion, Bethlehem, PA, Aug. 31, 2014

Published August 31, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5903Anticipating the show!

SAM_5907And I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew, they would make me happy, happy, happy!

SAM_5928Original Cowsills: Susan, Paul and Bob

SAM_5938Gorgeous Susan

How can anyone not love The Cowsills? Their harmonies are off the hook and they had great, catchy hits. Even the more obscure songs are fantastic if you buy all their records and CDs, there’s so much to enjoy. Though they’re best known for “Hair,” “The Rain, the Park and Other Things,” and “Love American Style.” They’re the real family band The Partridge Family was emulated after.

Last night was the first time my husband and I saw them perform. They hit the stage and I heard the first note of “The Rain, the Park and Other Things” and like a big mush, tears fell from my eyes. It’s a beautiful, happy song and after hearing it since I was a little girl, to see the people who did it performing right before me — and so perfectly too — it was absolutely surreal!

Original members included: Susan, Paul and Bob Cowsill. Other members: Ryan Cowsill on keyboard, Brendon Cowsill on guitar and Robby Scharf on bass.

After the show I was able to get the set list, so here it is:

The Rain, The Park and Other Things

You Were On My Mind

Deliver Me

Most of All

The Boxer

You In My Mind

Just Believe It

Be My Baby

We Can Fly

Indian Lake (Note: at this point they invited the children up on stage, it was absolutely precious).

Puff the Magic Dragon

If I Had My Way

Helpless Hoping

Covered Wagon

River of Love

Love American Style (By now, I was hanging at the stage front, singing along with the band and dancing!)

I Think I Love You (Written by Tony Romeo, who also wrote their song “Indian Lake” and many other great songs, including songs by another favorite of mine — Lou Christie!)

Going Home

Hair (Hearing this legendary song live blew my mind! All the years I imagined dancing to it at a night club, now I got to dance to The Cowsills performing it right in front of me!)

After “Hair” they came out and did “The Rain, The Park and Other Things” as an encore, then had a meet and great. I had them sign my set list.  They were very nice people. It was an honor and I’m still high the next day!

SAM_5951So cool meeting the band! Such nice people 🙂

SAM_5957Autograph on back of set list.

I love that Bob wrote “Thank You!” – Doesn’t get more real than that!

A Tribute to the Cowsills

Published April 6, 2013 by Maryanne

cowsills-456ak092210The Cowsills

Last night I watched a wonderful, yet tragic tribute to The Cowsills, “Family Band: The Cowsills Story.”

The name may not sound familiar, but I am sure you know some of their hits. They were the REAL musical  family that the Partridge Family was based on. An American singing group from Rhode Island, formed in 1965 by brothers Bill, Bob and Barry, later joined by siblings Susan and Paul and their mom, Barbara. Their other brother Richard (Bob’s twin) was the road manager. And their dad, Bud managed their career. Their ages were 8 to 19. And little Susan was such a doll!

While the dad got them to be very successful, he was a real terror. The over-bearing man harassed, manipulated and verbally abused the kids. The kids said the father didn’t know how to show love and hurt them with his condescending words and hitting them if they did something wrong.

The father didn’t want Richard to be in the band and sent him off to service during Vietnam (imagine fighting a war when your other siblings were all over television?) and in 1969 fired Bill after he caught him smoking pot. Even little Susan said how her dad tried to sexually abuse her for years, but she fought back at age 10. When she fought back, her dad punched her in the face and her mom let Susan go to live with an older brother.

In 1972 after some members left the band, they recorded “Covered Wagon” which failed to chart. The band stopped playing shortly afterwards and they all went on to have separate careers in and out of the music industry.

And it was said in the documentary, there was no money to show for their successful career probably due to mismanagement by their dad.

The kids were always a tight family and regrouped in 1990, playing the oldies circuit and back in the recording studio.

Barbara Cowsill died in the 1980s of emphysema.

Bud, the dad, died of leukemia in 1992.

Barry died in Hurricane Katrina; and Bill, who struggled with heroin addiction, died the day of Barry’s memorial service.

Susan is still doing music with The Susan Cowsill Band.

John Cowsill has been touring as a musician with the Beach Boys since 2000.

Bill moved to Canada in the 1970s and became a country solo artist.

Paul left music for a career in the construction industry. He still performs with the Cowsills but is primarily a farmer.

Bob had a successful career in the software industry.

Here are Cowsills hits.

The Rain, the Park and Other Things is such a gorgeous song, it may bring tears to your eyes:

The Rain, The Park, and Other Things

And their biggest hit, “Hair”:


And the original theme from Love American Style:

Love American Style

And here’s a little snippet from a 2007 tour:

The Cowsills, 2007 tour