Oct 092013

In this episode of the Wait Wait… Shirley Jones starred in some of the great movie musicals of the 1950s — Oklahoma, Carousel, The Music Man — won an Oscar for her role in the film Elmer Gantry and then went on to be the mother in the classic sitcom The Partridge Family. She’s just written a new memoir about her life onstage, on-screen and behind the scenes.

We’ve invited Jones to play a game called “Look, it’s the partridge family! GET THEM!” Three questions about the sport of partridge shooting.

Listen to the Story

PETER SAGAL, HOST: And now the game where people who’ve done amazing things for a long time do something very bizarre for a short while. It’s called Not My Job.

Shirley Jones starred in some of the great movie musicals of the 1950s, “Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” “The Music Man.” She won an Oscar along the way. And then she went on to be the mother in the classic sitcom “The Partridge Family.” She’s written a new memoir; she joins us now. Shirley Jones, welcome to WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME!



SAGAL: Your story – you had one of – and I’m not going to say you didn’t deserve it – but you had one of the easiest rises to fame I’ve ever heard of.

SHIRLEY JONES: Boy, did I ever.

SAGAL: Yeah, so tell me what happened.

JONES: Well, you know, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I was an only child in a small town of Smithton, Pennsylvania, adored animals, raised everything in the world, you know, and decided that was going to be what I was going to do. But I could sing. It was given to me. It was a gift. And I thought everybody could sing.

And so I would sing everywhere and, the – you know, went to Pittsburgh Playhouse and did some drama and dancing and so forth, still wanted to be a vet, went to New York on my way to college and went to an audition for Rodgers and Hammerstein.

I sang for the casting director, and he said, I’d like you to sing for Mr. Rodgers. And I didn’t even know who Richard Rodgers was then.

SAGAL: Right.

JONES: I was 18. And he came down the aisle, and he said, Ms. Jones. And I said: What did you say your name was again?



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