Family Band: The Cowsills Story is a documentary about the 60's sunshine/psychedelic pop band The Cowsills. A film crew documents the creation of the band and extensively interviews the surviving family member (with their full co-operation). The documentary was years in the making (two deceased band members were also featured in the film). The Cowsills were a unique band because not only were all the members in the band were siblings but their mother was a full time member as well. They were the inspiration for the television series The Partridge Family and the creation of that series along with its star Shirley Jones is interviewed as well (by Bob Cowsill who also narrates and conducts a few interviews).
The film also captures the turmoil of the family's home life. What seemed like a happy, well adjusted all-American family was anything but that. Despite numerous appearances on television, having two top forty albums and several chart topping singles nothing was satisfactory for patriarch Bill Sr. who iron fisted managing of the band and family along with some dark tales of abuse imploded the family from within. Firing his son Bill Jr. from the band expedited the collapse of the group along with the changing taste of music from the buying public. Bob Cowsill interviews surviving older family members to find out why their father was so abusive and some possible answers to his ways.
Success was all too brief for The Cowsills who never had a chance to enjoy their monetary fortune (which has disappeared except the taxes owed on it). The filmmakers also interview Richard Cowsill (twin brother of Bob) who never performed with the band but served two tours in Vietnam during the late 60's instead. Richard talks about life in the family and why he went into the service instead. Susan, the little sister is also interviewed who shares some very sad stories about the family (especially about her father) and why at a young age her mother allowed her to live with her older brother instead of at home. Yet despite all of this downbeat and depressing tales is that the siblings bond with one another has never been broken and they have managed to survive all these years through emotionally supporting one another.
If you get the chance to see this movie by all means do so. Fans of the band will also want to check this one out as well as those who enjoy excellent and well made documentary films.