Shirley Jones remembers ‘The Partridge Family’ because it turns 50

It’s been 50 years since “The Partridge Family” urged individuals to “C’mon, Get Happy!”

The sitcom premiered Sept. 25, 1970 on ABC, turned co-star David Cassidy (Keith Partridge) into an in a single day teen idol and marked film star Shirley Jones’ entree into sequence tv. She performed Shirley Partridge, the matriarch of a household singing group modeled after The Cowsills, whose string of hits within the mid-to-late ’60s included “The Rain, The Park and Other Things.”

“The Partridge Family” solid included future “LA Law” star Susan Dey (as oldest daughter Laurie Partridge) and Danny Bonaduce as wisecracking son Danny Partridge. Suzanne Crough performed youngest daughter Tracy Partridge, with Jeremy Gelbwaks/Brian Forster splitting time as youngest son Chris Partridge. Dave Madden was readily available because the group’s perpetually flustered supervisor, Reuben Kincaid.

The sequence was notable from the get-go, since, when it premiered, Jones was married to David Cassidy’s father, singer/actor Jack Cassidy — making her David’s stepmother off-screen and his mother on the sequence.

Jones, 86, answered a couple of questions over e-mail about “The Partridge Family” and its impression on her life.

You turned down the position of Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch.” What modified your thoughts about starring in “The Partridge Family”?

As a lot as I loved “The Brady Bunch,” I didn’t need to solely be the mama at house taking the roast out of the oven. “The Partridge Family” had the added element of music, which I cherished, and I used to be additionally drawn to the thought of enjoying a single (widowed) lady elevating kids on her personal. Finally, a half-hour tv sequence allowed me to remain house with my actual youngsters, one thing that had been considerably more difficult whereas travelling all over the world making motion pictures.

Susan Dey, Jeremy Gelbwaks, Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Suzanne Crough and Danny Bonaduce
Susan Dey, Jeremy Gelbwaks, Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Suzanne Crough and Danny BonaduceCourtesy Everett Collection

Do you’ve got a favourite second or reminiscence from the sequence?

The episode at Marineland. I’m a giant animal lover and it was great for me to see the gorgeous aquatic life they’d, notably the whales, although I confess I by no means favored seeing them in captivity. We additionally recorded a stunning music for the episode entitled “Whale Song,” which was considered one of my favorites from the sequence.

Was there one solid member you felt closest to?

Obviously, I used to be very near David as a result of he was my stepson and I’d helped elevate him as a baby. But the reality is, I used to be near all of the solid members. It was a pleasure working with the whole solid and crew, and I nonetheless keep in contact with lots of them.

Did you’ve got any reservations about starring in a community sitcom with David — and did that relationship impression your onscreen dynamics?

I really suppose our true-life relationship, our closeness, helped us within the show.

Your TV household was akin to “The Brady Bunch” in that it appeared like an anachronistic throwback throughout a really turbulent time in America, each socially and politically. Why do you suppose “The Partridge Family” struck such a chord with viewers?

With the horrors of the Vietnam War and the turbulent political local weather on the time, I consider the show was a short lived escape. A spot the place older viewers might take a nostalgic journey again to less complicated, happier instances, and youthful viewers might expertise the aspirational pleasure of being in a household that labored collectively and traveled the nation collectively … in a multi-colored bus, no much less. In our present local weather, I think there are a whole lot of actual households on the market doing this proper now!

How stunned have been you when “The Partridge Family” acquired a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist in 1971?

Quite stunned. At the time, I believed solely newer rock acts, and older, extra established acts like Sinatra or Miles Davis, acquired Grammy nominations. Happy to have joined the membership.



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