Thinking Bee Productions,
Barry Cowsill, Bill Cowsill, Bob Cowsill, John Cowsill, Paul Cowsill, Richard Cowsill, Susan Cowsill
In the Spring of 1964, Bill, Bob and Barry Cowsill put together a rock band. From the very beginning it appeared that they had an amazing musical ability to harmonize wonderfully. Their father Bud realized their talent. He was a military man who ran his family with an iron fist, and then some. He insisted that the other brothers John and Paul also join the band, along with little sister Susan and their Mother Barbara. In 1967 they hit the big time with the #1 hit, “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things”. The following year they hit the charts again with “Indian Lake” and then the theme song from “Hair”. During this time, some TV executives approached them with the idea of doing a TV sitcom about the Cowsills, but they wanted to have Shirley Jones play the mother, as Barbara was not considered appropriate to play their mother. The family declined, and so they hired actors to play the roles and named the sitcom “The Partridge Family” but as Shirley Jones states, they brought pictures of the Cowsills and told them “This is who you are going to be playing.” Times have been hard for the Cowsills, and their lives were filled with a lot of pain and suffering. They have gotten back together a few times, but there were also some very tragic times. Life has not been easy. This documentary was made to tell their story, and it’s a very interesting, although a wild story that has to be seen to be believed. Filled with music and memories, this film tells the back story behind the family that really were The Partridge Family.
This documentary was made by the family themselves, and is very intriguing. I really enjoyed watching it. Back in 1969 I was in college and saw The Cowsills at a homecoming concert. They were wonderfully talented and could harmonize in 5 part harmony that is unique among family groups. They were definitely afraid of their terror of a father, and forced to act like trained seals, but at the same time, they were certainly successful for a while. This film features each of The Cowsills, and their own personal memories and stories, as well as some wonderful performances from the old TV programs on which they appeared. This film is running on Showtime this month, but may also be found on-line or at movie download sites. It’s hard to find, but well worth seeking out, especially if you’ve ever wanted to head on down to Indian Lake yourself. This is a fine documentary.
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