The Partridge Family

Season 1 Episode 1

What? And Get Out of Show Business?

Aired Friday 8:30 PM Sep 25, 1970 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
15 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When their regular lead singer gets sick, the Partridge family kids invite their mom to sing with the band. After discovering that their Mom is surprisingly good with the band, and armed with a demo tape, Danny sets out to convince Reuben Kincaid to be the band's agent.moreless

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  • A bit wacky, but it serves to setup the backstory.

    This revised-pilot episode pretty much sets the tempo for the series. The characters are all fairly defined right away: Shirley is the wise widow, struggling to raise her gaggle of offspring (I would assume that her husband's life insurance money helped, and it's not her bank teller job that provided the nice house and plentiful food on the table); Keith is the naive father-figure and serious musician (he apparently "writes" most of music that they perform); Laurie is the moral consciousness and activist of the group; Danny is the precocious wunderkind, full of schemes and ideas; Reuben is the cranky, heart-of-gold manager; Chris is the youngest son, providing the true-child's point of view to the scripts; and Tracy, the youngest daughter who seems to have no actual purpose on the show (I'm not sure why they didn't combine the 2 characters of Chris and Tracy into one character, and cast the fabulous kid-drummer "Debbie", seen at the end of this episode...but I guess that they didn't need a real drummer for the part!)

    Reuben Kinkaid is apparently an amazing manager (at first, anyway) the Partridges' first gig, he books them at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas (I guess that Madison Square Garden was just too far away!)...and very soon after that, they're on Johnny Cash's nationally-broadcast television show! But just as quickly, Reuben's magic seems to disappear...only a few episodes later, the group resorts to playing for convicts in a prison (hmm, was Johnny Cash the actual mastermind behind the group, and not Reuben Kinkaid?)

    Not a great episode, although it does has a few laughs (such as Reuben threatening to have Danny cut-up into little pieces with an axe!)...but it does a fine job of setting up the backstory of the series.moreless
  • The family gets famous and the rest is history.

    Being a musician doesn't help much when you are watching The Partridge Family. Actually, it makes the experience a bit traumatic since all they play is not actually played by them, at least not in the TV show recordings, it doesn't seem like it. The stories are also very childish but I suppose this is the audience to whom the show was directed. Besides these facts, the show is very enjoyable and filled with silly jokes that can make you crack up in a heartbeat. Love the part when the family pretends to be painting the bus (which is already painted) and they all sing and look very happy.

    Cheesy, yes. enjoyable. very much!moreless
  • Having A Ball Togather....

    ...the first look of the Partridges was this great epiosde inwhich Shirley told the story of their journey from unknowns to superstars!

    While the kids did a good job in the story line it seems that Danny had stoled the show.

    The show ends with their first ever concert date! Great from the start!!!
Shirley Jones

Shirley Jones

Shirley Partridge

Danny Bonaduce

Danny Bonaduce

Danny Partridge

Susan Dey

Susan Dey

Laurie Partridge

David Cassidy

David Cassidy

Keith Partridge

Jeremy Gelbwaks

Jeremy Gelbwaks

Christopher Partridge

Suzanne Crough

Suzanne Crough

Tracy Partridge

William Wintersole

William Wintersole

Club Manager

Guest Star

Debra Pearce

Debra Pearce

Girl Drummer

Guest Star

Felton Perry

Felton Perry

Airport Clerk

Guest Star

Gordon Jump

Gordon Jump


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • In the opening sequence, the Partridge Family bus is shown with two different license plates on the back: a white one with "4A689" in red letters, and a dark blue one with "NLX 590" in yellow letters.

    • The name of the family dog, who is hardly ever seen, is "Simone". The family dog gets its name from Partridge Family creator's own dog "Simon".

    • In this episode we see that Shirley's original day job was a bank teller.

    • In the scene where the family is frozen on stage, Shirley tells them to close their eyes and remember when the were all back in their garage "all five of us having fun". Unfortunately there were six members of the group.

    • In this episode you see "Shirley Partridge" driving the Partridge Family bus in Hollywood and in Las Vegas. Shirley Jones was actually driving the bus during these scenes.

    • In this episode, single mother Shirley Partridge describes herself as a widow. In the original scripts she was divorced, but the networks had the show's creator change this so that her character was widowed.

    • The first season's theme song was "When We're Singin'", not "C'mon Get Happy." Here's the lyrics:

      Come on now and meet everybody,
      And hear us singin'.
      There's nothin' better than being together
      When we're singin'.

      Five of us, and Mom workin' all day.
      We knew we could help her if our music would pay.
      And Danny got Reuben to sell our song
      And it really came together when Mom sang along.

      Come on now and meet everybody,
      And hear us singin'.
      There's nothin' better than being together
      When we're singin.'
      When we're singin.'
      When we're singin.'

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Tracy (after Danny calls Rueben and wakes him up to hear the demo tape): What did he say?
      Danny: He said if we don't stop bothering him, he's gonna send over a man with an axe to chop us up into little pieces!
      Tracy: you think he means it?
      Danny: No, I'm pretty sure he's bluffing!

    • Shirley: I keep seeing the headline in Variety... "Partridges Lay an Egg".

    • Laurie: Y'know, I've been thinking about these lyrics.
      Keith: Yeah, what about them
      Laurie: Well, do you think they're really relevant?
      Keith: Relevant? One lousy sit-in and suddenly she's Joan Baez.

    • Shirley: Tracy, don't stick that drum stick up your nose!
      Tracy: Why not?
      Shirley: You don't know where it's been!

    • Tracy: (to Reuben) Why are you wearing the Lone Ranger's mask?

  • NOTES (4)

    • This Episode's Music:
      "Together" (Shorty Rogers and Kelly Gordon).
      "Let The Good Times In" (Carol Bayer and Neil Sedaka).
      Since no actual cast members sang on these songs, they weren't included on any of the original albums.

      The Partridge Family Album (Bell6050), their first LP, was released in November, 1970 to coincide with the debut of the television show. It reached #4 on the charts and was certified Gold.

    • Shirley Jones actually had to have Teamsters teach her to drive a stick shift so she could drive the Partridge Family bus.

    • This is one of the few episodes in which David Cassidy's voice is not heard. In fact, Shirley Jones was the only member of the cast that was supposed to sing, but when the producers heard Cassidy's singing they decided, wisely, to let him sing as well. Also, that is actually David Cassidy playing guitar during the groups sound check at the beginning at the episode. In fact, the parents of the younger Partridge kids complained because Cassidy's playing was so loud.

    • For this premiere episode only, the opening credits superimpose over The Partridge Family singing "Together (Havin' a Ball)."


    • Shirley: I never claimed to be Sophie Tucker.

      Sophie Tucker (1884-1966), a Russian-born singer/actress, was very popular in America's early 20th century entertainment business. "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas" long career included burlesque, vaudeville, stage, radio, film, and television appearances. Since her most popular recording, "Some of These Days", was released in 1911, it's understandable why the younger Partridges have never heard of her.

    • Reuben (as Danny looks over the contract): Well? What do you think, Mr. Darrow?

      Clarence Seward Darrow (1857-1938) was a prominant, self-made lawyer who was involved in many notable cases, including the "Scopes-Monkey Trial" of 1923. Rueben is referring to Danny's detailed examination of legal points in the management contract.

    • Reuben (when Danny first introduces himself): Terrific. Next time I see Ted Mack, I'll tell him!

      Ted Mack (1904-1976) was the host of The Original Amateur Hour, which ran on television from 1948 to 1970. This seminal talent-search show featured amateur entertainment acts of all kinds. Although a few contestants went on to huge careers (such as Pat Boone and Gladys Knight), Rueben's comment is based on the fact that most of the contestants were sub-par talents who had no chance for professional careers.

    • Keith (about Laurie): One lousy sit-in, and suddenly she's Joan Baez!
      Joan Chandos Baez, born in 1941, was a popular folk singer and activist. Her first "sit-in" occurred at the age of 16 when she refused to leave her seat for an air-raid drill at Palo Alto High School. Keith is referring to Laurie's continual stance as the "socially-aware" member of the family.

    • Shirley (talked into singing with the band): Well, all right...but don't expect Dinah Shore!
      Dinah Shore (1916-1994), the American singer and actress, was most popular during the Big Band Era of the mid-20th century. Shirley's reference was used to illustrate the generation gap between her and her children; ironically, Shore was just beginning to reach new audiences with her Dinah's Place (1970-74) television show, so this joke works only in the timeframe that the episode aired.