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Monday, December 9, 2019
The Cowsills, left to right, Bob, Paul and Susan, perform in “Happy Together Tour 2019,” 8 p.m. June 20, Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Cowsills, left to right, Bob, Paul and Susan, perform in “Happy Together Tour 2019,” 8 p.m. June 20, Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

‘The Rain, The Park’ & Cowsills

Friday, June 21, 2019 by ERIN FERGUSON Special to The Press in Focus

The “Happy Together Tour 2019” offers hit tunes from the 1960s and 1970s in one concert, 8 p.m. June 20, Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe.

The tour, now in its 10th year, features six headlining artists: The Turtles; Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night; Gary Puckett & The Union Gap; The Buckinghams; The Classics IV, and The Cowsills.

The concert is expected to includef 35 hit songs from the era.

“The ‘Happy Together Tour’ is a show that takes you down memory lane for sure, but the memories are very big and the songs we perform bonded us as a generation and that bond surfaces again during this show,” says Bob Cowsill, guitar-vocals, of The Cowsills.

“We came from love, peace and understanding and there was nothing wrong with that message,” says Cowsill in a phone interview.

The “Happy Together Tour” began in 1984 with the band, The Turtles. The tour stopped, resuming in 2010. The Cowsills joined the tour four years ago.

The Cowsills’ hits include “The Rain, The Park & Other Things,” “Indian Lake” and “Hair.”

“Everyone knows how old we are now, but these songs don’t age,” says Cowsill.

“Our greatest accomplishment right now is happening on this tour. To get to these shows and see these classic artists, the memories run deep. And these songs can bring out some deep emotions in people.”

Longing to be like The Beatles, The Cowsills, Bob (Robert), Billy (William), Barry and John, which is the original lineup, are a family singing group of six siblings from Newport, R.I., that formed in 1965.

Their mother, Barbara, joined the group and recorded, “The Rain, The Park and Other Things” (1967), which sold one million copies and reached No. 2 on The Billboard 100.

Shortly thereafter, their seven-year-old sister, Susan, and brother, Paul, were added to the group. Bob’s twin brother, Richard, was the only one out of seven siblings to never join the group. Their father, William Sr., “Bud,” was a United States Navy recruiter.

In 1968, the band scored another million-selling hit, “Indian Lake,” which reached No.10 on the charts.

The band had a No. 2 hit and a million-seller with its version of “Hair” from the musical.

“We all kept singing individually even after our star faded. As artists, my sister continued playing in New Orleans and me in L.A.

“The most fun we had as a family was on tour singing, so to be able to come together, be on stage and sing our songs again, I can’t tell you how grateful we are for that,” says Cowsill.

Brother Barry drowned during Hurricane Katrina. On the day before the memorial service for him, brother Billy died from complications from emphysema.

Brother Richard died in 2014.

Their mother Barbara died in 1985. Their father William Sr. died in 1992.

The remaining siblings, Bob, Paul and Susan, have continued the Cowsills’ legacy and perform together and individually.

The Cowsills were the inspiration for the “The Partridge Family” TV show (1970-1974).

“In 1970, we were approached about the show, ‘The Partridge Family,’ and they did come to our house to check us out and see if we could be the kids in the show. But we were a little older and we weren’t actors.

“They thought of using our little sister, but it was really all or nothing. We had hit records going on and were touring and working a lot so we weren’t really disappointed,” says Cowsill.

From 1968 through 1972, the band played an average 200 performances annually.

“The Rain, The Park and Other Things” is on the soundtrack of the movie, “Dumb and Dumber” (1994).

“It was great because most movies just play a clip of your song, but they kept going back to it. We have fans that Googled us from hearing our song in the movie and found us on the internet,” Cowsill says.

“You’re going to love it,” says Cowsill. “You will know all 35 songs in the show. They were big hits and you aren’t going to get that in any other show. We all sound pretty good, too, and the kids that go to the show are always like, ‘Boy, you are amazing.’ We are going to bop until we drop,”

Tickets: Penn’s Peak box office, 325 Maury Road, Jim Thorpe; pennspeak.com; ticketmaster.com; 800-745-3000