‘The Partridge Family’: Did Show Ever Produce a No. 1 Hit Song?

by Joe Rutland

“The Partridge Family” put its mark on 1970s TV culture. While doing so, the music-making family put a No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100.

No, that’s not a typo. “I Think I Love You” reached the top spot in November 1970, catapulting actor and lead singer David Cassidy into superstardom. Cassidy, who plays Keith Partridge on the show, is the band’s lead singer.

Besides Cassidy, actress Shirley Jones, who plays Shirley Partridge, also sings backup on the record.

If you ever wondered if “The Partridge Family” cast actually plays their instruments on the show, then no, they don’t.

But on the recording of “I Think I Love You,” there is a famous group of backup musicians called “The Wrecking Crew” that actually play the song. Backup singers also provide their voices to the record.

Tony Romeo Writes Words For ‘Partridge Family’ No. 1 Hit

Songwriter Tony Romeo put pen to paper for the lyrics of “I Think I Love You.” Romeo also wrote songs for The Everly Brothers, The Seekers, and actor-singer Richard Harris.

“The Partridge Family” also ended up having two more Top 10 songs, “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” and “I’ll Meet You Halfway.”

The show had a successful run on ABC between 1970-74 but ended up not being renewed for another season.

Let’s take a look at “The Partridge Family” singing their No. 1 hit song from the show itself.

Shirley Jones Almost Didn’t Join ‘Partridge Family’ Cast

Having a No. 1 hit song as part of a hit TV show brings Jones’ incredible career into the spotlight. Jones already had quite a resume’ built up from Broadway and movie roles, including that of Marian the Librarian from Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.”

As hard as this might be to believe, though, Jones almost did not pick being Shirley Partridge for a TV series role. Would you believe that she almost became Carol Brady?

It’s true. Jones was in line to play Carol Brady, the mother role, on ABC’s “The Brady Bunch.” Obviously, actress Florence Henderson took on the role and gained fame herself.

Jones thought about the role after having it pitched, or offered, her way. She recalls the opportunity in her 2013 book, “Shirley Jones: A Memoir.”

“While the idea of playing the mother in ‘The Brady Bunch’ was initially attractive to me,” Jones said, “I turned it down because I didn’t want to be the mother taking the roast out of the oven and not doing much else.”

Inevitably, both actresses found themselves as part of iconic TV shows. Jones and Henderson have fans who are devoted to “The Partridge Family” and “The Brady Bunch” together.