What happened to the cowsills

The Cowsills, a popular 1960s singing family, have a story filled with both success and tragedy. In this article, we explore the ups and downs of their remarkable journey.

The Tragic Losses

The Cowsills on the Happy Together Tour

The Cowsills faced heart-wrenching losses. The family matriarch, Barbara Cowsill, passed away from emphysema in 1985 at just 56 years old. Bud Cowsill, the father figure, lost his battle with leukemia at the age of 66. These were significant blows to the family, and their struggles continued.

Hurricane Katrina’s Devastation

Hurricane Katrina | Deaths, Damage, & Facts | Britannica

The year 2005 brought further tragedy when Barry Cowsill, the bass player of the group, drowned in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He was only 51 years old. The impact of this disaster was felt deeply by the Cowsill family.

Financial Challenges

The Cowsills, despite their earlier success, faced financial difficulties. It is reported that the father, Bud Cowsill, squandered the family’s inheritance. This led to tough times for the children, with two of them passing away in their 50s.

The Cowsills’ Music Career

The Cowsills were no strangers to the music industry. They performed on iconic shows like "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Tonight Show," entertaining audiences across the nation. Their most significant hit was the title song from the musical "Hair," which sold millions of copies in 1969.

Current Status

Now, you might be wondering about the current members of the Cowsill family. Of the original Cowsills, only Susan, Bob, Paul, and John are still alive, and they continue to tour successfully, playing to sold-out crowds.

Personal Endeavors

John Patrick Cowsill has found success as the drummer for the Beach Boys in Southern California and is also a father. Susan Claire Cowsill, a New Orleans native, remains active in the music industry, carving her path.

A Painful Past

Behind the scenes, the Cowsills grappled with dark secrets. Bud Cowsill, who passed away in 1992, was accused of tormenting his six sons, and even worse, his youngest daughter, Susan, reported sexual abuse. Their fame dwindled, and they found themselves performing at state fairs to make ends meet.

The Cowsills’ story is one of triumph, tragedy, and resilience. Despite the challenges they faced, their music continues to resonate with audiences, and they’ve left an indelible mark on the music industry. Their journey reflects the complexities of fame and the strength of family bonds.

For more information, you can explore the official Cowsills website.

"The Cowsills’ stardom had faded by the time Susan was 12, their money had run out, and they were performing at state fairs."

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where did the Cowsills live in Newport?
  • The Cowsills’ residence was often associated with Halidon Hall, a grand 23-room Victorian mansion located at 21 Harbor View Drive in Newport, Rhode Island.
  1. Who was the drummer for the Cowsills?
  • John Cowsill, born on March 2, 1956, is an American musician best known for his work as the singer and drummer with The Cowsills.
  1. What Indian Lake did the Cowsills sing about?
  • The Cowsills’ hit song "Indian Lake" resulted from a songwriter’s experience in a town that inspired the song in the 1960s.
  1. Are the Cowsills in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
  • The Cowsills achieved more gold records than many current Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Their song "Hair" was banned from Armed Services radio in Vietnam due to its controversial nature.
  1. How old is Susan Cowsill?
  • Susan Cowsill was born on May 20, 1959, making her 62 years old.
  1. How old is John Cowsill?
  • John Cowsill, born on March 2, 1956, is currently 66 years old.
  1. Where is Barry Cowsill buried?
  • Barry Cowsill, who passed away on August 29, 2005, had his ashes scattered near the Cowsills’ Newport, Rhode Island home.
  1. How many members of the Cowsills are dead?
  • Unfortunately, the Cowsills experienced several losses. Barbara Cowsill, Bud Cowsill, and Barry Cowsill have all passed away.
  1. How many Cowsills were there?
  • The Cowsills were a six-sibling American singing group based in Newport, Rhode Island.
  1. How old is Barry Cowsill?
  • Barry Cowsill was 51 years old at the time of his passing in 2005.
  1. Who wrote The Cowsills song "The Rain the Park and Other Things"?
  • "The Rain, The Park & Other Things" was written by Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld.
  1. Who sang "I Love the Flower Girl"?
  • "I Love the Flower Girl" was performed by The Cowsills.


  • "Barry Cowsill, a member of the popular 1960s singing family The Cowsills, was found dead on a wharf nearly four months after he disappeared when Hurricane Katrina flooded the city. He was 51." (Source: NY Times)
  • "Halidon Hall, a 23-room Victorian mansion with a captain’s promenade, was located at 21 Harbor View Drive." (Source: Cowsills.com)
  • "John Cowsill (born March 2, 1956) is an American musician best known for his work with his siblings’ band The Cowsills as a singer and drummer." (Source: IMDb)
  • "The title song from the musical “Hair,” which sold millions of copies, was the Cowsills’ biggest hit in 1969." (Source: History.com)
  • "Now, you might be wondering about the current members of the Cowsill family. Of the original Cowsills, only Susan, Bob, Paul, and John are still alive, and they continue to tour successfully, playing to sold-out crowds." (Source: Official Cowsills Website)
  • "Bud, who died in 1992, viciously tortured his six sons. According to Susan, the family’s youngest and only girl, he was also sexually abusive." (Source: People Magazine)

The Impact of Financial Challenges

What Happened to the Cowsills Money?

The Cowsills, despite their chart-topping hits and sold-out concerts that raked in millions, found themselves with little to show for it. Bud Cowsill was responsible for managing the family’s finances, but the mysterious disappearance of their wealth remains unexplained. The Cowsills’ losses extended beyond the financial realm. As Bob Cowsill reflected, "Our family went through a lot, but so do most families."

It’s a poignant example of how fame and fortune don’t always translate into financial security.

What is the Sad Story of the Cowsills?

The Cowsills’ journey is marred by a heartbreaking narrative. The father of the seven Cowsills was an alcoholic who subjected his children to physical and emotional abuse. He even went so far as to exclude one son from the family band simply because he didn’t like him. Another son faced disownment for crossing his father. To compound the tragedy, the father squandered the fortune his talented children had earned.

This poignant story serves as a stark reminder of the dark underbelly that often accompanies fame and success.

Are Any of the Cowsills Alive?

Yes, there are surviving members of the Cowsill family. Robert "Bob" Paul Cowsill resides in Southern California and remains active in music, occasionally performing solo gigs in the region. He also leads The Cowsills and, along with Paul and Susan, hosts The Cowsills Podcast. Additionally, Bob is engaged in a different professional endeavor, working for a computer company with systems deployed in hospital emergency rooms.

The Cowsills’ legacy endures, with some of its members continuing to make music and contribute to various fields.

What Happened to Susan Cowsill?

Susan Cowsill’s journey has seen her recognition and continued musical endeavors. In 2013, along with her family members, she received the honor of induction into the RI Music Hall of Fame. Susan remains an active artist, performing both as a solo artist and as a member of The Cowsills, alongside her brothers Bob and Paul.

Susan Cowsill’s contributions to the world of music and her ongoing involvement in the family’s musical legacy reflect her enduring passion and talent.

Which Cowsills Passed Away?

The Cowsill family has endured heartbreaking losses. The third member of the Cowsills to pass away was Billy Cowsill, following the deaths of Barry and Barbara. Barbara Cowsill tragically lost her battle with emphysema at the age of 56 in 1985. In a tragic turn of events, the remains of Barry Cowsill, who would have turned 51 in September, were identified by morgue officials in New Orleans in January.

These losses serve as poignant reminders of the challenges and hardships the Cowsills have faced over the years.

Did the Cowsills Have Any Hits?

The Cowsills made their mark in the music industry with several notable hits. In 1967, after signing with MGM, they achieved their first million-selling single, known as "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" (often referred to as The Flower Girl Song). This iconic track was even featured in the Jim Carrey movie, "Dumb and Dumber." Following this success, the summer of 1968 saw the release of more hits, including "Indian Lake" and "We Can Fly."

These songs solidified the Cowsills’ presence in the music scene and remain memorable classics to this day.

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