Music Friday: ‘The Streets of Heaven Are Paved With Gold’ in The Partridge Family’s ‘Love Must Be the Answer’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you nostalgic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today’s edition takes us to the mythical town of San Pueblo, Calif., where the musical siblings of The Partridge Family are performing “Love Must Be the Answer.”

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Featured in a Partridge Family episode that aired on October 13, 1972, “Love Must Be the Answer” — which includes the key phrase “I don’t know but I’ve been told / The streets of heaven are paved with gold” — highlights the climactic wedding scene of biker Snake and his beloved Penny. This Season 3 episode focuses on Snake’s failed marriage proposal, but in the end the couple weds on the Partridge Family’s front lawn. (See the clip at the end of this post.)

Oldest brother Keith (played by David Cassidy) sings lead vocals, accompanied by his TV mom (and real-life stepmom) Shirley Jones. While Cassidy and Jones actually performed on The Partridge Family recordings, other cast members, including Laurie (Susan Dey), Danny (Danny Bonaduce), Tracy (Suzanne Crough) and Chris (Brian Forster, who replaced Jeremy Gelbwaks after Season 1), were simply lip-synching. The show was based loosely on The Cowsills, a real-life 1960s band composed of six siblings ages 8 to 19 and their mother, Barbara Cowsill.

“Love Must Be the Answer” was the ninth track of The Partridge Family Notebook, an album that was released less than a month after the show aired. The album met with moderate success, reaching #41 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

The Partridge Family is said to be the 1970s successor to The Monkees, a wildly popular show that ran from 1966 to 1968. Both shows treated their fans to a weekly dose of original pop music. Critics often mocked the groups for their lack of actual musical talent. Los Angeles session players, known as The Wrecking Crew, provided the magic for both The Monkees and The Partridge Family.

Nevertheless, The Partridge Family has remained a cultural icon more than 40 years after their last show aired in March of 1974. In total, the group is credited with selling more than 25 million records and building a legion of fans that spans the generations.

Please check out the clip below of David Cassidy performing “Love Must Be the Answer.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Love Must Be the Answer”
Written by Johnny Cymbal, Peggy Clinger and Wes Farrell. Performed by The Partridge Family.

La la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la,
La la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la,

I don’t know but I’ve been told,
The streets of heaven are paved with gold
Someday I may find out for myself,
So will you. But till that day,
I’ve got to say (ooh)

Love must be the answer,
I’ve searched high and low,
I know love must be the answer,
Got it (you) get it (now)
Let me be your guide, get it (ya) got it (now),
Let some love inside

Are you searchin for the key,
Just take my hand and follow me,
Bring along a little love to share,
It’ll get you there. Why be lonely,
You’ll know only (ooh)

Love must be the answer,
I’ve searched high and low,
I know love must be the answer,
Got it (you) get it (now)
Let me be your guide, get it (ya) got it (now),
Let some love inside
La la la la la la la la la, love must be the answer,
La la la la la la la la la, love must be the answer,

Love must be the answer,
I’ve searched high and low,
I know love must be the answer,
Got it (you) get it (now)
Let me be your guide, get it (ya) got it (now),
Let some love inside

La la la la la la la la la, love must be the answer,
La la la la la la la la la, love must be the answer,
La la la la la la la la la, love must be the answer,
La la la la la la la la la, love must be the answer,
La la la la la la la la la, love must be the answer.

Credits: Partridge Family image by ABC Television [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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