Tuesday, February 21, 2006

FAMILYOBIT: Billy Cowsill

The death of Billy Cowsill, member of family band The Cowsills, has been announced.

The news was broken during a memorial for his brother Barry Cowsill, who died in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina late last year.

The Cowsill Family featured four brothers (later augmented by a sister and, slightly awkwardly, their mother) had a string of hits during the 1960s and early 1970s prior to an acrimonious split.

Originally signed to Mercury Records, it was the first track with Mom onboard, The Rain, The Park and Other Things which brokethrough for them - MGM picked the title up and it became a million seller. Dad Bud Cowsill jointed the team as manager, and plans were laid for a TV series based on the band; at the last minute, though, Columbia Pictures TV dropped the real-life family band in favour of a faux-family, The Partridges.

Bill started to drift away from the band to work on a solo career - he was briefly considered as a replacement for Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys - and in 1995 put out an album with his a band called The Blue Shadows.

Cowsill had been ill for several months; the exact cause of his death has not yet been made public.