The Cowsills Story, Part II / Open Lines

Hosted byIan Punnett

The Cowsills Story, Part II / Open Lines

About the show

The Cowsills music group enjoyed great success during the late 60s and into the 70s, not only with their music but appearing as guests on many television shows and even hosting their own TV special. Their story inspired the popular TV show, The Partridge Family. Surviving members Bob, Susan, and Paul made an encore appearance with Ian Punnett (Twitter) to tell their stories and the many twists and turns along the way.

Bob talked about the collapse of the band and the end of fame. "I did not miss the business because the business was such a roller coaster," Bob said, noting he had two children to raise and wondered what he was going to do to support them. Bob revealed he has been a pub singer for the last 28 years, in addition to touring on and off with his brother and sister. "I never stressed about... not [being] famous anymore because we were so busy trying to control the damage, and manage the collapse [of the group]," he said.

Susan was only twelve years old when the band broke up and still living at home. She described being in a state of fight or flight and sought to emancipate herself from her parents as a minor. She left home when she was in the eighth grade. According to Susan, after the group's collapse, she was grounded in her sense of right and wrong. Paul dealt with the end of the band after getting drafted. "Just being in the Navy took my mind off not being number one in the world anymore," he said. Paul struggled to find a job after leaving the military but eventually went to work as the road manager for Jeff Wald and Helen Reddy.

The trio also spoke about their new album, Rhythm of the World, and their latest single, "You Gotta Get Up!" Susan said she had been trying to do a new album with her siblings for years, but the group's need to make music got "unlocked" after playing together on the 2016 Happy Together Tour. "We didn't have a record company looking over our shoulder... nobody bugged us, and we got to do exactly what we wanted to do," Paul reported.


Open Lines followed in the latter half of the program. Tim from Carson City, Nevada, phoned in to tell Ian about an audiobook he recently finished called The Breach. The story, which takes place in the 1980s, references a Coast to Coast episode transcript about the Philadelphia Experiment, he noted. Ian suggested the author fictionalized the transcript since Coast to Coast did not exist until the early 1990s.

Rob in Texas recalled living in Manhattan as a child and hearing The Cowsills' song, "The Rain, the Park and Other Things Song." According to Rob, his mother took him to a record store where the band was promoting their music. "I came face to face with Susan Cowsill, and I knew at the moment that was the girl I was going to grow up to marry," he admitted. Rob currently plays in a Houston-based band called Vendetta.

Mark in Charlotte, North Carolina, revealed he sometimes will have part of a long past dream flash into his mind. According to Mark, the dream snippets are not anything he could regularly remember apart from having them flash in his head. "I hope I'm not retaining every dream I've had," he joked, noting his brain has limited memory. Mark also suggested certain hallucinogenic drugs may allow users to see things that really exist.


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