The Partridge Family (1970–1974)
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What? and Get Out of Show Business? 

Recently widowed mother, Shirley Partridge who's struggling to raise her five children who are playing in a band and, Shirley works a bank teller. Older brother and sister Keith (Lead ... See full summary »


Jerry Paris


Bernard Slade (creator), Bernard Slade


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Episode cast overview:
Shirley Jones ... Shirley Partridge
David Cassidy ... Keith Partridge
Susan Dey ... Laurie Partridge
Danny Bonaduce ... Danny Partridge
Jeremy Gelbwaks ... Christopher 'Chris' Partridge
Suzanne Crough ... Tracy Partridge
Dave Madden ... Reuben Kincaid
William Wintersole ... Club Manager
Debra Pearce Debra Pearce ... Debbie - Girl Drummer
Gordon Jump ... Man
Ceil Cabot Ceil Cabot ... Woman
Hal Taggart Hal Taggart ... Desk Clerk
Felton Perry ... Airport Clerk


Recently widowed mother, Shirley Partridge who's struggling to raise her five children who are 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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Family | Music







Release Date:

25 September 1970 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Screen Gems See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The title of this episode is based on the following joke that reflects the good and the bad about being an entertainer: Joe was sitting on the corner stool at the bar, sunk in misery. The bartender said, "You look awful, friend. What's your problem?" Joe stared into his drink and said, "I'm tired of being a social outcast. I'm with the circus, you see, and clean up the animal cages. The result is that I can't help smelling a little. Naturally, people avoid me and I don't like it." The bartender sniffed. "Yes, I see what you mean and I've got to admit it's not the best fragrance in the world. But look here, there are openings down at the factory. You could get yourself a job there and they will probably pay better than your circus position. ""What?" said Joe, outraged. "And leave show business?" See more »


TV historian, Scott Awley pointed out a mistake in the scene when the kids are frozen on stage, and Shirley is trying to snap them out of it. She says, "Just imagine you're in the back of our garage, all five of us just having fun..." There are six members of the family, not five. See more »


Shirley Renfrew Partridge: [the Family is backstage, about to make their debut in Las Vegas. Shirley is having stage fright. Through clenched teeth:] I'm having trouble moving my mouth.
Danny: Don't worry about it, it's perfectly normal.
Shirley Renfrew Partridge: How can I sing if I can't move my mouth?
Keith: Just fake it, ok?
Keith: [Shirley suddenly bends over and clutches her knees] Why are you feeling your knees?
Shirley Renfrew Partridge: I think they're locked.
Danny: Good. That'll stop you from falling if you pass out.
Laurie Partridge: Don't worry Mom, we'll all be here to help you.
Christopher "Chris" Partridge #1: Sure, you don't have to ...
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Written by Shorty Rogers and Kelly Gordon
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User Reviews

How it all began
18 February 2014 | by kevinolzakSee 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 Renfrew Partridge instantly earned the show a measure of respect, while David Cassidy's Keith Douglas Partridge supplied the musical chops as lead singer, an unexpected bonus never considered while casting (as the first born son of Shirley's current husband Jack Cassidy. David was working alongside his real life stepmother). 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 shone 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 remained unreleased on record for decades: "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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