Modern 'Partridge Families' Sing and Play Their Hearts out on YouTube

February 03, 2012

This post was authored by Will Goodman, managing editor of's The Feed, for a YouTube Trends series exploring viral video phenomena.

If we’ve learned anything from watching “The Partridge Family” growing up, it’s that the family that sings together, stays together. Okay, so if you’re like me you probably didn’t watch the actual show growing up and may have simply caught the occasional rerun episode on Nickelodeon. And, yes, they were actors and not a real family, but that doesn’t mean the lesson doesn’t ring true. Just look what’s happening on YouTube.

This video of Dicken Schrader and his two children, Milah and Korben, accompanying him in an amazing cover of Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts” is just the most recent example of what is becoming a hit-maker online – families coming together to perform covers on YouTube. But like any trend you have to try and hone in on where it all began. In this case, it really can be pinpointed to one major and easily recognizable moment...

Jorge and Alexa Narvaez, the father/daughter duo who captured the hearts of America back in 2010 with their hit cover of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros’ “Home” is without a doubt the defining moment. I still remember the first time I caught this endearing cover… and the second, third and fourth time because they were all within the same hour. Along with it being an actually well-rendered cover of a popular song at the time, there was just something so endearing about the father and his young daughter playing and singing their hearts out. The video spread through social media like wildfire along with a television interview on Ellen and repeat performance (which also went viral on YouTube).

And while you may be noticing a trend towards fathers and young children (and they are by far the most successful combination), some viral hit makers are more in line with The Jackson 5 (or The Jonas Brothers if you want to be a more contemporary) than The Partridge Family.

While this video was actually posted earlier than Jorge and Alexa Narvaez, the cover of the Foo Fighter’s “Everlong” by brother and sister Lauren and Dylan (or “Sandalwood”) ended up going viral about a year ago. So we’ve established that singing families may not be new exactly (See: Family, Partridge.) But there has definitely been a resurgence in family music making it big online. Why is that? Well, it could be the music. It could be the sight of a happy family playing together. But it’s probably the simplest, and most important reason for any viral success: cute kids.

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