Barbara C. Cowsill, who with her daughter and five of her sons became the singing group The Cowsills, has died after what was described only as a long illness. She was 56.
At the urging of neighbors, Mrs. Cowsill and six of her children organized the singing group while the family was living in Middletown, R.I.
Between 1967 and 1970, they recorded several hit songs, including "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," "In Need of a Friend," "Indian Lake," "We Can Fly," plus the title song for the rock musical "Hair." The last was probably their best-known recording.
The group, which earned three gold records, also performed on several late-night talk shows and had their own television special in 1968. They appeared in concerts in Europe and North America and entertained at Disneyland and other theme parks.