July 12th, 1928 was the birthday of Barbara Cowsill, who performed along with her children in the family band The Cowsills.

Cowsill was born Barbara Claire Russell in Cranston and married William “Bud” Cowsill in 1947. Bud got involved in the music business in the 1960’s and created The Cowsills, a family band, often cited as the model for the popular TV series “The Partridge Family.”

Based in Newport, the band achieved national success in the late 1960’s, behind hits like “The Rain, the Park and Other Things,” and “Hair.” They made numerous TV appearances and toured frequently in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

The band broke up in 1972, but had frequent reunion shows over the years. The Cowsills are members of the Rhode Island Music hall of Fame.

Barbara died of emphysema in 1985 in Arizona. The trio of Bob, Susan and Paul Cowsill continue to record and perform live. You can check them out this summer on the Happy Together Tour here.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.