The Partridge Family

  • TV pop group formed in 1970. The Partridge Family was a television musical situation comedy that aired from 1970 to 1974. The fictional family was headed by a widowed mother, Shirley Partridge (performed by Shirley Jones). The other members of the family were Keith (performed by David Cassidy), Laurie (Susan Dey), Danny (Danny Bonaduce), Tracy (Suzanne Crough) and Chris (Jeremy Gelbwaks in season 1, Brian Forster in seasons 2 – 4). In the show, all members sang and played instruments, but for music on the show and recordings that the group released, only Jones and Cassidy sang, and session musicians (members of the legendary session artists “The Wrecking Crew”) provided all of the instrumentation, while members of the Ron Hicklin Singers provided additional vocals. In real life, Jones was the step-mother of Cassidy.
  • The producers of the television show promoted the show by releasing albums featuring the band. The show and the music became very popular – in particular, Cassidy, who became a teen idol because of the show and his singing. The debut album by the group was the self-titled The Partridge Family Album. It reached #4 on the Billboard 200 album chart, due to the success of the only single released from the album, I Think I Love You. The song topped the Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 1970, and it was the best selling single for the entire year. The success of the song earned the Partridge Family a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1971.
  • Feeding on the success of the show, three studio albums were released in 1971. Up to Date and Sound Magazine both were top 10 albums on the album chart, and a Christmas album titled A Partridge Family Christmas Card topped the album chart. Three singles from these albums charted – Doesn’t Somebody Want to be Wanted reached #6 on the Hot 100, I’ll Meet You Halfway peaked at #9, and I Woke Up In Love This Morning reached #13.
  • By 1972, while the show continued to rate highly, the music was losing its appeal. The first album of 1972 was Shopping Bag – it managed to sell over half a million copies in the U.S., and the single It’s One of Those Nights (Yes Love) reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The Partridge Family Notebook was less successful, with the single Looking Through the Eyes of Love peaking at #39 on the Hot 100, and Friend and a Lover barely entering at #99. It was their last song to chart in the U.S. They had more success in the UK in 1972 and 1973, as David Cassidy’s status as a teen idol was flourishing there.
  • Two albums released in 1973 were not successful, and when the show was cancelled in 1974, the Family was finished. Cassidy’s solo career started in 1972, and he was a bigger hit Internationally than he was in the U.S. His debut album Cherish was certified gold, and the title track reached #9 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. How Can I Be Sure and Daydreamer/The Puppy Song topped the UK Singles chart in 1972 and 1973 respectively. Cassidy released 14 studio and live albums between 1972 and 2008 – he died in 2017 of liver disease at the age of 67. Prior to the Partridge Family, Jones recorded five albums with her husband Jack Cassidy, and she appeared on six soundtrack albums for Broadway shows that she performed in. She released six solo albums from 1989 to 2010.
  • Here’s a clip from the TV show – the Partridge Family lip-syncing their #1 hit, I Think I Love You. My, how times have changed! Ten year old Danny Bonaduce on bass guitar!

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