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Susan Cowsill: The Sound Of Happy

Dennis Gardner

Like most girls her age, Susan Cowsill watched The Partridge Family every week on television. But unlike most girls her age, she was related to the Partridges, albeit in a Hollywood kind of way.

The show was modeled after Cowsill and other members of her singing family.

In the 1960s and early '70s, The Cowsills were regulars on television, appearing with Ed Sullivan, Johnny Cash and on their own programs. They also had a string of top ten hits, including "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," and "Hair."

Years later, Susan Cowsill became a founding member of a critically acclaimed indie band called the Continental Drifters. If anyone decides to make a TV show about that chapter of Cowsill's life, it would be set in New Orleans, where she has lived for nearly 20 years. This week on Music Inside Out, singer songwriter Susan Cowsill talks about her family, her solo recordings and how she really feels about David Cassidy.

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Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran and host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, where she brings to bear the knowledge and experience she amassed as senior editor of Weekend Edition, an East Africa correspondent, the holder of Nieman and Watson Fellowships, and as a longtime student of music from around the world.