William Cowsill, lead singer of the 1960s singing family band that inspired the TV series "The Partridge Family," has died. He was 58.

William Cowsill, lead singer of the 1960s singing family band that inspired the TV series "The Partridge Family," has died. He was 58.

Cowsill, who was suffering from emphysema, osteoporosis and other ailments, died in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday, according to his family and Canadian record producer Neil MacGonigill.

The Cowsills scored a series of pop hits, including "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967, "Hair" (No. 2, 1969), "Indian Lake" (No. 10, 1968) and "Rub It In" (No. 16, 1974).

Four Cowsill brothers played in the band: Barry on bass, William on guitar, Bob on guitar and organ and John on drums. Their mother, Barbara, and little sister, Susan, eventually joined the group.

Barry disappeared after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in late August. His body was recovered Dec. 28 from the Chartres Street Wharf.

The band's career began in Newport, R.I. They were spotted by a producer for NBC's "Today" show that booked them for an appearance that led to a record deal.

The band broke up in the 1970s. William, the oldest brother, moved to Canada about 35 years ago, where he continued his music career with Blue Northern, the Blue Shadows and the Co-Dependents.

Cowsill is survived by two sons. No funeral arrangements were disclosed.


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