The Partridge Family

The Partridge Family

Hello, world! Watch out for that wacky bus, it’s got a singing family inside! The Partridge Family phenomenon blanketed the early 70s with many a groovy beat and one shining teen heartthrob, as this musical television series told the tale of a widowed mother and her five children who hit the road as a pop band.

The Partridge Family debuted on ABC in the fall of 1970. Shirley Jones played Shirley Partridge, the family matriarch, who reluctantly joined her children’s band as the singer. The family recorded a single in their garage and when 10-year old Danny found them a manager, the song became a hit. After some motherly worrying, the whole brood set out in a brightly-colored bus for Las Vegas where they performed at Caesar’s Palace. The Partridges continued to tour and drive far and wide for their live gigs, while still living an average suburban life back in fictional San Pueblo, California.

Other than Shirley and little Danny, there was Laurie, played by future L.A. Law star Susan Dey; Tracy, played by Suzanne Crough; Chris, played by Jeremy Gelbwaks and then by Brian Forster; and Keith Partridge, played by David Cassidy who became every teenage girl’s pin-up and went on to a solo music career. Dave Madden played Reuben Kincaid, the band’s lovable but neurotic manager.

The fictional group also released several very real records and singles in the 70s which skyrocketed up the pop charts in the real world. The albums featured the voices of Shirley Jones and David Cassidy but other musicians took over the instruments for the less talented Partridges. Audience were willing to overlook that little detail, however, and fell head over heels for the band’s 1970 hit “I Think I Love You.”

Sooner or later, all teenagers leave home and David Cassidy was no different, eventually growing weary of his Partridge persona. He stuck it out until the fourth season but, by then, ratings were falling and the show was cancelled soon after. The Partridge Family as a concept was too plucky to die, however, and they soon came back in animated form with Partridge Family 2200 A.D. on Saturday morning television – at least for one season.

Meanwhile, the original show’s popularity has endured through countless pop culture references in other TV shows, movies and songs and the Partridges still maintain a devoted following to this day. If you were a fan of this family of songbirds, we hope you’ll take a moment to share all of your favorite Partridge Family moments in our comments section below.

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