The Partridge Family Episode #14
Welcome to my critique of The Partridge Family Episode #14. This episode originally aired on January 1, 1971. Really? They aired first shown episodes on New Year’s Day back then? This episode is called The Red Woodloe Story and is about a groovy old folk singer who has stage fright. I can totally relate. I was a pretty decent jazz trumpet player but the stage fright got to me. It’s much easier to be brave behind a computer screen.
This show opens with my baby Jeremy Gelbwaks having the first line. Yay! The Partridges stayed at some crap bag motel because they were too tired to drive home the night before. They’re all dressed in their Sunday best (which was pretty freakin’ awful) because they’re on their way to church. I guess the plan was to get a good night’s sleep, go to church in a strange town, and then head home.
Church and the Ghost
The next scene is in the church where this old folk singer dude is singing. He actually has a really nice voice. When the cameras pan the audience or whatever it’s called in church (the congregation), it looks like something from Little House on the Prairie. Those people do not look like they’re from the 70’s. I wonder if that was really filmed for this show or if they just stole some old footage from another show. Anyway, Shirley recognizes this old dude as a legendary folk singer who’s allegedly been dead for years. Chris and Tracy hear this and assume the man singing is a ghost. They’re pretty cute in delivering their lines.
The Partridges take the folk singer (Red Woodloe) out for breakfast and they enjoy each other’s company. They find out that Red no longer sings but instead does odd jobs around town. The family convinces him to come and spend some time with them in their home.
I love the scene (and remember this as a little girl) of when Red tells Tracy not to be afraid of the dark. The dark is just a nothing and you can’t be afraid of a nothing, right? Tracy said “You wouldn’t lie to a little girl, would you”? That was cute. The relationship between Tracy and Red is very sweet.
Keith is talking to Red about how cool it would have been to perform at Woodstock with over 300,000 people there. Red acted like that would have been great, but it turns out that he’s fibbing. After Keith suggests it, Reuben gets Red on their next gig. Just before Shirley announces him at the concert, he sneaks out the stage door onto the street. Sissy! Quite embarrassing for The Partridge Family.
His reason for running out on the gig was: “Well, I always been a bum with a guitar and a hat and people paid me if they liked me. The idea of having people pay and then decide if they like me – that ain’t my style.” That makes perfect sense to me.
Tracy & Red
The Partridges book Red on another gig and hope he won’t chicken out. He actually did try to sneak out but Tracy was waiting for him! She caught him red handed walking out that stage door. Tracy tells Red to close his eyes the second he gets on stage. “When you get onstage, close your eyes right away and you won’t see nothing. And you know you can’t be afraid of a nothing. That’s what you told me.” Red actually tries to sneak out one more time and Tracy catches him again. He goes onstage and is a success.
The tag is of The Partridge Family singing Keith’s new song in Red’s church. I like the song. It’s a gospel funky thing called Find Peace in Your Soul. The band is singing, Laurie is fake playing some groovy piano stuff, all the kids are offbeat, and they pan to Reuben snapping on one and three. White boy.
I liked this episode mainly because of William Schallert (Red) and his interaction with the young kids. It was cute. I was impressed with his guitar chops as he “fake” played very well. He must have really known how to play guitar. William Schallert died in 2016 at the age of 93. He had been married to his wife for 66 years when she died in 2015. That’s incredible for an actor. My parents have been married almost as long (63 years), but they didn’t grow up in Hollywood. They grew up in North Dakota which is the antithesis of Hollywood.
Thank you for reading my review of The Partridge Family Episode #14. Click here if you want to read my previous PF reviews. Hope to see you again soon!