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William Joseph "Bill" Cowsill, Jr
Birth: Jan. 9, 1948
Middletown
Newport County
Rhode Island, USA
Death: Feb. 17, 2006
Calgary
Alberta, Canada

Musician. He is best remembered as a member of the 1960s family pop group The Cowsills. Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Bill and his three brothers, Barry, Bob, and John, formed The Cowsills band in 1965. Bill played the guitar, Bob the guitar and organ, Barry played the bass guitar, and John played the drums. Inspired by the Beatles, the Cowsills developed their own music style, playing at school dances and churches in and around Newport, Rhode Island. Their parents, Barbara and William “Bud” Cowsill, encouraged them, and father Bud Cowsill managed the group. Brothers Dick and Paul became the group’s Road Managers. They soon landed a regular weekend job at a local club, Bannisters Wharf, and in 1967, recorded the single “All I Really Wanta Be is Me.” The record generated little interest, but after an appearance on NBC’s Today Show, they group signed with Mercury Records. Of their records for Mercury, their song “Party Girl” is the best known. When MGM Records signed them, they quickly became popular throughout the United States, and their biggest hit, “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things,” with Bill as lead-singer, quickly reached No. 2 on the pop charts, selling over a million copies. In the mid 1960s, mom Barbara, sister Susan and brother Paul joined the singing group. In 1969, they had another No. 2 hit with “Hair” from the rock musical of the same name. In 1969, they released their first long-play record, “We Can Fly,” which was quickly followed by several other LPs, “Captain Sad” and “Best of the Cowsills.” In each of their songs, they would rotate who would be lead-singer, Bill sang “Monday, Monday” for example. After several television specials, the group was approached by CBS to do a weekly television series. However, they declined, and CBS created the Partridge Family based upon the Cowsills. In 1971, the band broke up, to pursue their own various interests. After the breakup, the Cowsills produced two more albums, without Bill. Bill went to Canada and continued his recording, producing and songwriting in the music industry. In the 1980s, he toured Canada with the band, Blue Northern, and then led his own band, The Billy Cowsill Band, playing traditional country songs. In the 1990s, Bill formed a new band, The Blue Shadows, under the name Billy “Bud” Cowsill, and produced an album, “On the Floor of Heaven” in 1993, and a second album, “Lucky to Me,” released in 1995. The band broke up in December 1996, and in his later years, Bill suffered a hip replacement, back surgery, emphysema, osteoporosis and Cushing Syndrome. His brother Paul reported that he also had a history of problems with drugs and alcohol. Bill passed away at his home in Calgary, Canada, from unspecified causes. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Joseph "Bud" Cowsill (1925 - 1992)
  Barbara Claire Russell Cowsill (1928 - 1985)
 
 Sibling:
  William Joseph Cowsill (1948 - 2006)
  Barry Cowsill (1954 - 2005)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: Ashes scattered in Newport, Rhode Island
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Erik Lander
Record added: Feb 19, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13391395
William Joseph Bill Cowsill, Jr
Added by: Erik Lander
 
William Joseph Bill Cowsill, Jr
Added by: Ron Moody
 
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Click on image for full size.


- Reneé
 Added: Jun. 26, 2014
Dearest Bill, you are now a butterfly free to fly. I grew up with a father like yours, so I understand. Thank you for all the wonderful music you created and gave to the world. You have touched more souls than you probably knew. Bless you my brother in s...(Read more)
- Donna Wightman
 Added: Jun. 26, 2014
I watched the special on the Cowsills the other night and remembered why I loved them. Your music makes my soul soar. Watching all of you perform I could feel the love between all of you. Wish your time here could have been better but guess that's how lif...(Read more)
- Nolen Cothren
 Added: Jun. 21, 2014
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Current ranking for this person: (4.2 after 93 votes)
 

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