Recordings: Mama, Papa & the Kids

Pop music's most cherished legend is that of the instant hit. In most versions, would-be recording stars simply walk into an agent's office with a song on their lips, or warble it into a home tape recorder and mail it off to a rec ord company; a few weeks later they are riding high in the bestseller charts.

But the Cowsills, a new group currently enjoying their first hit single, are one group that has traversed the brutal dis tance between the legend and reality, and they know how far from instant their hit is.

Four years ago, when Chief Petty...

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