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Barry Cowsill 1954-2005
 


Country : Newport, Rhode Island
Profession : Musician
Date of birth : 1954-09-14
Date of death : 2005-09-00
Cause of Death : Hurricane Katrina aftermath

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Barry Cowsill (September 14, 1954 – September 2005) was an American musician and member of the musical group The Cowsills. He was born in Newport, Rhode Island. The fifth of seven children, Barry soon became the drummer (and later the bass guitar player) of his brothers' band, playing popular tunes at local dance clubs. By the late 1960s, the band expanded to include younger brother John (on drums), his mother Barbara, older brother Paul, and younger sister Susan. The Cowsills went on to churn out a string of hits (including the #2's "The Rain the Park and Other Things" and "Hair") before officially disbanding by 1972.

Although he participated in various post-heyday incarnations of the family group, Cowsill lived the rest of his life a nomad. He moved from city to city, spending much of his time in New Orleans. He had some success as a musician, often performing under various pseudonyms. He recorded an acclaimed (and currently out-of-print) solo album in 1998, titled As Is. He struggled throughout his adult life with substance abuse issues and mental illness.

In the years leading up to his death, Barry lived in Newport, Rhode Island and then settled in New Orleans, playing in bars and local venues, and recording new material with a group he called US1. He reconnected with family and fans and was reportedly attempting to become sober when Hurricane Katrina hit the city in August 2005. Cowsill was heard leaving messages on his sister Susan's voicemail in the days following the hurricane, but was not heard from after September 1. In January 2006, after a months-long tireless search that included fans as well as family, a body that had been found on December 28, washed up at a wharf in New Orleans, was subsequently identified as Cowsill's by comparison to dental records. His death was ruled a drowning as a result of floodwaters from the hurricane.

Plans to release the US1 material posthumously are reportedly underway.

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