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Ray Bolger and Rosemary De Camp as Shirley's parents

Author: kevin olzak (kevinolzak@yahoo.com) from Youngstown, Ohio
22 February 2014

"Whatever Happened to the Old Songs?" introduced the legendary Ray Bolger as Shirley's father, Fred Renfrew, whose irrepressible zest for life keeps him feeling youthful, in contrast to his more conventional wife, Amanda (Rosemary De Camp), who would prefer her husband act his age. Problems arise when Fred wants to join his grandchildren on stage, and perform with them on his mandolin. The big climax features Fred serenading Amanda with the song he used to court her with (backed by The Partridge Family of course), "Bye Bye Blackbird," a 1926 standard composed by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon, first recorded by Gene Austin. The Partridge song featured (never issued on record) is "Baby I Love Love, I Love You," composed by Derek Lawrence, Tony Wilson, and Errol Brown, with Fred joining in on mandolin (there would be a brief reprise of this song in the later episode "Mom Drops Out"). Rosemary De Camp would return as Grandma Renfrew in "The Forty-Year Itch," "The Modfather" (scripted by Susan Harris of SOAP), and "Maid in San Pueblo" (Ray Bolger replaced in this last appearance by Jackie Coogan).

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