• Day 125: Focusing on the Sweet, Not the Sour

    Date: 2010.07.02 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    When A Year Without Candy last checked in with our old friend, singer-songwriter Susan Cowsill, the kid from the late ’60s family supergroup, the Cowsills, (the model for TV’s The Partridge Family,) it was in Boston in 1990.

    But it wasn’t until my new interview with her for the Huffington Post, that I found out the truth about her life.  Her ambitious stage father/manager was abusive, like Michael Jackson’s father, and he was also sexually abusive.

    Susan’s had quite the life: huge early fame, a massively dysfunctional family and in 2005 she was tested again when Hurricane Katrina wrecked her house and her brother drowned in the storm.

    Yet she’s totally upbeat.  ”I’ve always had this personality,” she told me, adding that not everyone chooses her optimism. “Happiness isn’t for everyone.”

    Even if you’ve never heard of Susan Cowsill, my piece is worth reading to show you that not every child star ends up a trainwreck – and that you can choose to love your life no matter what.

    ’60s Pop Princess Susan Cowsill Talks Her New CD, Her 44-Year Career – and Michael Jackson

    Susan Cowsill, the singer-songwriter whose new CD “Lighthouse” has just been released, is 51, the same age Michael Jackson would be had he not died a year ago last Friday. Both were child stars in the late ’60s and had abusive father/managers.

    Cowsill, however, is a survivor – even if today she’s famous only in her adopted hometown of New Orleans, where her “Crescent City Snow” became the unofficial anthem for Hurricane Katrina.

    As the kid singer in The Cowsills, the prototype for TV’s Partridge Family, she survived early fame and fortune that disappeared as fast as it came – as well as a sexually abusive father. She also made it through Katrina, even though her brother drowned in the storm and she lost almost everything, including all her family memorabilia dating back generations.

    She’s now fronting the Susan Cowsill Band, 44 years after she sang with her family, the Cowsills, and after decades first as a back-up singer and later with the ’90s indie, almost-supergroup, the Continental Drifters.

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