Friday, October 15, 2010

Got Happy

I think the made-for-TV movie Come On, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story is more entertaining than the show itself. (A low bar, but still...) It's narrated by Danny Bonaduce, who played Danny Partridge (and survived in show biz as an adult, after going through hard times), and is told from his point of view. The plot includes his abusive father, unhappy that his son makes more than he does. But the fun is the wacky escapades at the show.

It was just another dumb sitcom--an adaptation of The Cowsills' story without paying for the rights. The show was a hit, lasting four seasons, but the Partridge Family phenomenon was even bigger. Their music sold big and for a year or two, David Cassidy was the top teen hearthrob, replacing Bobby Sherman, Donny Osmond and whoever else dared face him down on the cover of Tiger Beat. (Maybe there should be a magazine for the girls who used to buy that magazine--call it Cougar Beat.)

As the movie shows, Cassidy wanted to be taken seriously. Authenticity was a big deal then. Tough luck. (I've heard him live and actually he's not bad.) He went out touring then, and apparently there were some wild times on the road, quite the opposite of the wholesome sitcom he was working on.

Their popularity burned out, of course, but they had a good run. Over a three-year period they had seven top ten hits. The first, "I Think I Love You," went to #1, and each song after that charted lower. Their albums showed a similar trend.

The music employed the best studio musicians in LA. The only cast members involved were Cassidy and Shirley Jones (his mother on the show, his stepmother in real life). I don't think the music or the show hold up today, but neither was meant to. Still, an interesting time capsule. Kids today who fight over Team Edward versus Team Jacob can see what it is that got their mothers excited.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fear those lovlies needed Cougar Beat in 1990, or 2000, anyway.

2:28 AM, October 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw David Cassidy at my first big arena concert in ‘73 or so (sometime before the fatal fan stampede in London). Wasn’t totally disappointed, although he was so late in getting the show started that my friend’s mom only let us stay for the first few songs....seemed extraordinarily expensive at $5 a ticket, but it was worth it for the elementary school bragging rights!

Read in Wikipedia that Cassidy’s role on an unsuccessful NBC show somehow evolved into Johnny Depp’s role on 21 Jump Street for Fox TV. I can definitely see that --talk about hotties!

10:36 AM, October 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing advertisements a few years ago, I thought Cassidy looked pretty heavily plasticized, so I thought he had had some surgery. Looking at this video, maybe not.

12:18 PM, October 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come there are no gals on this blog?

12:18 PM, October 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hated The Partridge Family with the white hot intensity of 1000 suns but when I got my first chance to play a song on a jukebox as 9 or 10 year old(you remember at diners where they had coin slots at all of the tables), I picked "I Think I Love You" It was catchy (if utterly despicable)

2:46 PM, October 15, 2010  
Blogger LAGuy said...

We have invited gals to join but so far they have turned us down.

3:57 PM, October 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

big crowd.

12:36 PM, October 19, 2010  

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