FIRST TELECAST: September 25, 1970
THEME: “Come On, Get Happy,” by Wes Farrell and Danny Janssen.
Oscar-winner Shirley Jones and her stepson David Cassidy starred in this comedy about a family that hit the big time in the music business. Shirley Partridge was just another widowed suburban mother with a houseful of rambunctious kids, until one day the kids asked her to take part in an impromptu recording session they were holding in the garage. Seems they needed a vocalist. The song they were recording was “I Think I Love You,” and to everyone’s surprise they sold it to a record company, the record became a smash hit, and the Partridges were soon setting off in a wildly painted old school bus to perform around the country. They were authentic members of the rock generation. Stories depicted their exploits on the road, and in their California home town.
Besides Shirley and 16-year-old Keith (Cassidy), the band included Laurie, 15 (Susan Dey); Danny, 10 and the freckle-faced con man of the family (Danny Bonaduce); Christopher, 7 (Jeremy Gelbwalks from 1970-1971; Brian Forster from 1971-1974); and Tracy, 5 (Suzanne Crough). Reuben Kinkaid (David Madden) was their fast-talking, child-hating agent — and perpetual foil for Danny. During the 1973-1974 season a neighbor’s son, four-year-old Ricky (Ricky Segall), joined the cast, and he sang too. Simone was the family pooch.
The Partridges were heavily promoted in the real-life music business, and they caught on with several hit singles, including “I Think I Love You,” which sold four million copies, as well as albums. David Cassidy became the hero of the subteen set and had considerable success as a solo act. Unlike the Monkees, the Partridges had no artistic pretensions — none of them were professional musicians — and the backgrounds on their records were in fact done by professional studio musicians, with Shirley and David providing the vocals. Their success was as spectacular on the record charts as on TV, but it did not last long in either case.
An animated Saturday morning sequel, The Patridge Family, 2200 A.D., ran on ABC from September 1974 to September 1975.
Watch The The Partridge Family Show Intro Here
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