The Cowsills are an American singing group from Newport, Rhode Island. They specialized in harmonies and the ability to sing and play music professionally at an early age. The band was formed in the spring of 1965 by brothers Bill, Bob, and Barry Cowsill; they shortly thereafter added their brother John. Originally Bill and Bob played guitar and Barry was on drums. When John learned how to play drums and joined the band, Barry went to bass. After their initial success, the brothers were joined by their siblings Susan and Paul and their mother Barbara. Bob's twin brother Richard, being severely hearing-impaired, was never part of the band, and also never functioned as the band's road manager, although this misinformation has been disseminated for years. The band's actual road manager for most of their career was Richard 'Biggie' Korn. When the group expanded to its full family membership by 1967, the six siblings ranged in age from 8 to 19. Joined by their mother, Barbara Cowsill (née Russell), the group was the inspiration for the 1970s television show The Partridge Family.