Music History

Published on October 19th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 831: It’s a family affair

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:

Nickelback, Where?

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.

Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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