Music is one of those things that can bring families together. Sometimes, that togetherness grows into a business.
The Bee Gees had the three Gibb brothers. Baby brother Andy was also part of that universe for a while.
The original Beach Boys included Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson along with their cousin, Mike Love. Murray Willson, father of Brian, Dennis, and Carl, was their manager. (He was terrible–a disaster, in fact–but at least they were all together, right?)
Then we have The Cowsills. This was a 60s pop group from Rhode Island who had a series of hits. Six siblings: Bob, Bill, Barry, John, Paul and Susan, ranging in age from 8 to 18. They were joined by their mother Barbara and, for a while, by Bob’s twin brother, Richard. If all this sounds vaguely familiar, that entire real-life arrangement was the inspiration for The Partridge Family.
And, of course, we have to talk about The Jackson 5: Michael, Jackie, Tito, Jermain, and Marlon. When the group bolted from Motown, Jermaine was replaced by Marlon. In addition to the six members of The Jackson 5, we also have Janet, LaToya and Rebbie with the whole enterprise being run by father Joe Jackson (another abusive disaster, by the way). So that’s a musical unit involving ten family members.
All this got me thinking. Are there equivalents in the world of alt-rock? What are the biggest and most numerous family affairs that genre has ever seen? Let’s take a look.
Songs heard on this show:
Devo, Girl U Want
Cowboy Junkies, Sweet Jane
The Cribs, We Share the Same Skies
INXS, Need You Tonight
Greta Van Fleet, Highway Tune
Kings of Leone, Sex on Fire
Echosmith, Cool Kids
Kongos, Come with Me Now
The Shaggs, My Pal Foot Foot
Here’s Eric Wilhite’s playlist for the program.
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The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
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