This sounds interesting. Really. Waaay back in the distant misty era of bubble-gum family-produced pop, there was a group called the Cowsills. All-American family, well-produced, with a big hit called “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things.” It was about a mystical girl who showed up and then vanished, leaving only a flower. A FLOWER, MAN. They were the inspiration for the Partridge Family, supposedly. Well, there’s a new documentary about the group, and what do you know: dad was a control freak.


Filmmaker Louise Palanker says the 90-minute film is a story of tragedy and triumph — of a family that seemed flawless on the surface but grappled with a physically and emotionally abusive father who was involved in the band's promotion at every turn and a mother who chronically felt she came up short.

And of course half the people came to a bad end.

Even after earning a fortune — Korn estimates it was anywhere from $10 million to $20 million — the family was left broke in a matter of years, Korn said. The siblings drifted apart, pursuing musical careers of their own. Susan joined a band called the Continental Drifters. Bill was in the Blue Shadows. John became the drummer for the Beach Boys.

The Cowsills' mother, Barbara, died in 1985, Bud in 1992. Barry would later die in Hurricane Katrina in 2006. He was missing for four months before his body was found under a wharf in New Orleans. On the day they were to hold a memorial service for Barry in Newport, family members learned of the death of Bill, who had struggled with heroin addiction and other illnesses and lived in Canada.

Oh, the music industry: home to so many happy endings. You can read more here.

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