The Partridge Family – The Partridge Family Album

My copy of this record is trashed—I don’t think there is any chance of this being the actual copy I had when I was 10 years old—I’m pretty sure I bought this at a thrift store at some point—but my copy would probably be, if it still existed, this scratchy. This may be the first LP I ever bought—it was either this or a Tommy Roe LP. Before that, I did buy many 45s. I used to play my records on a “Show N Tell,” which was a kids’ toy record player—well, it worked—it looked like a little TV with a turntable on the top, and you played these slide shows with accompanying records. But I eventually used it as my hi-fi, and played my records on it—I don’t imagine the sound was great, and it probably had a stylus like a roofing nail. These things, and all memories of them, disappeared off the face of the Earth—but of course, I bet I could find one on either eBay or YouTube or both. It’s now nearly a week later and I’ve been doing little else but looking at Show N Tell videos on YouTube. Also, found my Niagara Falls motion lamp, vintage Hot Wheels, and a Major Matt Mason space station. I can probably find every odd and obscure thing I recall from my childhood on YouTube now, which is great, in a way, but you’ve got to limit yourself—like with angel food cake, coffee ice cream, Girl Scout cookies, potato chips, and purple drank.

This record always sounded great to me, even though you knew the band wasn’t a real band (it’s a TV show!) and it’s no doubt bubblegum, syrupy, and corny—but why is it so great? Little did I know (when I was 10) that the songs were written by some of the best pop songwriters of all time, and it was being performed by some of the best LA studio musicians of the era. “I Think I Love You” was the big hit—I think I had the 45, first. But then on this album, side two has two even better songs, “I’m On The Road” and “Somebody Wants To Love You”—both songs that give me goosebumps to this day. When I think about it now, this record, and the TV show every week, under the influence of my first heartbreaking crush, along with these songs and this music—no wonder I was scarred for life. The other odd thing—the memories that listening to this record beings back—is I remember finding out that David Cassidy was actually Shirley Jones’ step-son in real life, which confused me for some reason. I guess watching the show I got this weird feeling of an incestuous relationship between those two (or at least their characters)—which I couldn’t really put my finer on, or put into words. But when I think about it now—I guess with the variety of ages and genders of the kids in the family, much like the Brady Bunch, you were intended to maybe be infatuated with the one close to your age. But me, as a 10 year old, for some reason, had a huge crush on Shirley Jones. I wonder what that was all about.

2 Responses to “The Partridge Family – The Partridge Family Album”

  1. 1 J Curtis
    March 9, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    I never had any Partridge Family LPs as a kid, but my sister & I had a handful of their 45s, which I still have — and yeah, it’s top notch pop music of the era for sure. Was their music played by The Wrecking Crew? I’m thinking it must have been. I’ve definitely played the PFam on my radio show..
    I remember those Show N Tell machines too — had friends who had them, and something similar that projected slides on the wall also. But the main childhood record player I remember that we had was a GE ‘suitcase’ style record player that I seem to recall being called “Wildcat” for some reason. Which of course I just found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Ko24iyih4 — except ours was blue, not “crazy person yellow” like this one. I’m sure this player was not much better as far as destruction of records through playing them, but it was at least actually in STEREO. Looking at this video makes me pretty nostalgic about listening to records in my parents’ basement.
    My only real pre-adolescent tv crush that I can remember having was on the girl who played the daughter on the weird briefly-run sitcom based on James Thurber’s writing, “My World And Welcome To It” (starring William Windom as Thurber), and also played Phyllis’s daughter Bess on the Mary Tyler Moore show. I always thought Lori on the Partridge Family was cool, but that was the extent of my thoughts about her. Shirley Jones reminded me too much of my own mom to have a crush on her!

  2. March 12, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Hey, I had a GE Wildcat! It was what I got when I upgraded from the Show N Tell. Mine was gray. I had part of the box, that says, “Wildcat,” up until a few years ago (or maybe I still have it). After that I got a cheap component system (probably also GE) which I kept even after I bought my first good stereo, and it’s what I took with me to my first apartment, in Sandusky, at the time period when I only listened to records from the library, as a kind of project. (That was the year I first moved to Kent). I’m pretty sure that’s Wrecking Crew musicians on the record, or so says some online source. I never heard of My World and Welcome To It! I think it’s kind of weird that I had a crush on Shirley Jones, thought she didn’t really remind me of my mom, though she does seem mom-like in that show, but maybe not to some extent, too? I don’t remember that well, it’s been a while since I saw an episode of that show (and I’m not sure I want to).

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