The Partridge Family: Season 1, Episode 1

What? and Get Out of Show Business? (25 Sep. 1970)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Family, Music
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Recently widowed mother, Shirley Partridge whose struggling to raise her five children whose playing in a band and, Shirley works a bank teller. Older brother and sister Keith (Lead vocals ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Jeremy Gelbwaks ...
William Wintersole ...
Club Manager
Debra Pearce ...
Debbie - Girl Drummer
Ceil Cabot ...
Hal Taggart ...
Desk Clerk
Felton Perry ...
Airport Clerk


Recently widowed mother, Shirley Partridge whose struggling to raise her five children whose playing in a band and, Shirley works a bank teller. Older brother and sister Keith (Lead vocals and guitar) and Laurie (Keyboards). Younger brothers and sister Danny (Bass guitar), Chris (Drums) and, Tracy (Tamborine and percussion) are playing in a band called "The Partridge Family". Ruben Kincaid, a kid hater was signed as their manager. Finally, the kids asked their mother to join the band. Reluctantly, she agreed but, for a single condition: if she faints the kids have to assist her. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Family | Music





Release Date:

25 September 1970 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


As the Partridge Family bus travels along Hollywood Boulevard, Danny points out Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and he and the other kids rush to the driver's-side windows to look. Outside the windows behind Danny, Chris, Tracy and Keith, the street scene is moving backwards, making the bus appear to be backing up instead of moving forward. See more »


Tracy Partridge: [Referring to the blind fold on Ruben's face] Why are you wearing the Lone Ranger's mask?
Danny: Tracy, will you let ME do the talking.
See more »


Let the Good Times In
Written by Carole Bayer Sager (as Carole Bayer) & Neil Sedaka
See more »

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How it all began
18 February 2014 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

"What? And Get Out of Show Business?" was the pilot for THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY, a family sitcom with a difference- they sing and play music together (introduced by none other than Johnny Cash). Inspired by "The Sound of Music," as well as the real-life family pop group The Cowsills, the story behind this singing group is total fiction (nothing like THE MONKEES, despite the involvement of Screen Gems). Casting veteran Shirley Jones as the widowed mother Shirley Partridge instantly earned the show a measure of respect, while David Cassidy's Keith Partridge supplied the musical chops as lead singer, an unexpected bonus never considered while casting. As sister Laurie, teenage icon and early feminist, newcomer Susan Dey was already a legend on the modeling scene, always credible and charming. The cute and adorable youngest members were Chris, played during the first season by Jeremy Gelbwaks (replaced thereafter by Brian Forster), and Tracy, played by Suzanne Crough. Then there's the 10 year old Danny, played by the ever mischievous Danny Bonaduce, whose natural comedic talent shined throughout the series, effectively making Keith look like his straight man. Even better was casting LAUGH-IN's Dave Madden as long suffering manager Reuben Kincaid, usually working in tandem with the precocious Danny; their first meeting leaves him wondering if he's dealing with 'a 40 year old midget!' With her late husband dead six months, Shirley is working full time at a bank, trying to keep up with the mounting bills, while her five children practice music in the family garage- Keith on lead guitar, Laurie on keyboards, Danny on bass guitar, Chris on drums, Tracy on tambourine or triangle (their roles remained unchanged, except when Shirley herself occasionally took to keyboards). Living in the fictitious town of San Pueblo, California, trying to break into show business, with young Danny serving as manager at this point, hiring a pretty singer who's not very good but 'has a body that won't quit!' (never seen). Renting some recording equipment for one day, Shirley is convinced to fill in when the singer falls ill, and after their sound earns them a signing from Reuben Kincaid, she remains reluctant to join full time. Once her children remind her that this would be the perfect way to earn the money to put them through college, she gives in and buys an ordinary school bus they soon paint in easily identified psychedelic colors, going on the road for their first professional gig in Las Vegas. Among the cast members is drummer Debra Pearce, part of a family group herself, who never went on to do any further TV appearances. The first season found them constantly on the road in many different locales, only by the second did they settle down into an (almost) normal sitcom, with the kinds of problems that usually creep in for a large family of six. With Colgems (label for The Monkees) recently consolidated into Bell Records, the first single had just been issued in Sept 1970- "I Think I Love You"/"Somebody Wants to Love You," both of which appeared on the series, as well as the debut LP, THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY ALBUM, not released until November. The two songs featured in this pilot were both catchy and infectious, but remain unreleased on record: "Let the Good Times In" was composed by Neil Sedaka and Carole Bayer, while "Together" was composed by Shorty Rogers and Kelly Gordon (this song appears in three further episodes). Wes Farrell was the regular producer for all the studio recordings, having composed hits for The McCoys ("Hang On Sloopy"), Every Mothers' Son ("Come on Down to My Boat"), and Jay and the Americans ("Come a Little Bit Closer"). The first season's opening theme was called "When We're Singin'" ('and it really came together when Mom sang along'), composed by Farrell and Diane Hilderbrand, while the more famous "Come On Get Happy" (beginning the second season) was by Farrell and Danny Janssen. The earliest recordings did not feature David Cassidy (including both from the pilot), and while Shirley Jones mainly did harmonies, she did sing lead occasionally on the show. Like The Monkees with "Last Train to Clarksville," the initial single found favor with the public, climbing all the way to the top of the charts, and THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY was off and running.

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