Written by Harry Winkler and Harry Dolan
Produced by Paul Junger Witt
Directed by Paul Junger Witt
Original Air Date: January 29, 1971

Booked for a weekend stint in Detroit, the Partridge Family and manager Reuben Kincaid get quite a surprise when they see the club where they are supposed to perform. Called "The Fire House," the club is just that -- an old fire house in the ghetto. Owners Sam and A. E. Simon started the club as an inexpensive place of entertainment for the people living in the black neighborhood -- but they are in debt to a loan shark named Heavy, who can't wait to take the club away from them and will use any gangster-tactic to do it. When Shirley learns that "The Temptations" were supposed to appear at "The Fire House" -- and not the family -- and after discussing it with the Simons, it's apparent that Heavy deliberately had the bookings mixed up so that Sam and A. E. wouldn't be able to make their last payment. In an effort to help, Shirley and the kids give a free performance, but Heavy and his boys see to it that there is no audience.

The next day, A.E. and Sam are without hope. Then Shirley comes up with the idea of having a block party and asking for donations to save the club. Sam gets the local businessmen to donate refreshments . . . Shirley takes care of the legal permits . . . Keith works up a new song ("kind of an Afro thing") with A.E. . . . even Reuben pitches in by getting the disc jockeys to announce the event . . . and Danny charms a group of rough-looking karate experts known as the Afro American Cultural Arts Society, into getting an orchestra together. The block party is a complete success and the donations give the Simon brothers more than enough money to take care of Heavy.

"Bandala," music and lyrics by Wes Farrell (on The Partridge Family Album)

Guest Cast:
A. E. Simon ------------------------------------- Richard Pryor
Sam Simon -------------------------------------- Lou Gossett, Jr.
Heavy ------------------------------------------- Charles Lampkin
Black Leader ------------------------------------ Herbert Jefferson, Jr.
Baker -------------------------------------------- Morris Buchanan
Policeman ---------------------------------------- Ben Frank

Tube Trivia:
- Comedian Richard Pryor has starred in countless motion pictures including "Lady Sings The Blues," "Silver Streak," "Car Wash," "The Wiz," "The Muppet Movie," "Superman III," and "Blazing Saddles."
- Lou Gossett, Jr. won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role in "An Officer and an Gentleman." He has appeared in numerous motion pictures and guest starred on countless television series, including "The Rookies," "Mod Squad," "Love American Style," "McCloud," "Daktari," and "Little House On The Prairie."
- Herbert Jefferson, Jr. played Boomer on "Battlestar Galactica."
- Producer Paul Junger Witt joined Screen Gems in 1965 as an associate producer and director on "Farmer's Daughter and "Occasional Wife." In 1971 he co-produced the highly acclaimed telefilm, "Brian's Song." He later went on to co-create and produce such shows as "Soap," "Benson," "The Golden Girls," "Empty Nest," "Beauty and the Beast," "Blossom," "The John Larroquette Show," and many others. His feature credits include "Dead Poet's Society," "Final Analysis," "Three Kings" and "Insomnia."
- Initially, Wes Farrell intended to use the song, "Warm My Soul" for this episode, but producers opted to use "Bandala" instead. He replaced "Warm My Soul" on the Up To Date album with "Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted," -- a smart move, as that song rose to #6 on the Billboard singles charts.

Return to Episode Guide

Return to Season 1

Back to Episode 17

 On to Episode 19