Wednesday, November 22, 2017


David Cassidy has died.  I'm old enough to remember when all the girls in my class were wild about him.  (I'm not old enough to recall pre-pubescent girls going crazy over the Beatles or the Monkees, but once you get a bit past that era, I've lived through more than one mania.)

I watched The Partridge Family when I was a kid. (I rewatched some episodes a few years ago--boy was it awful.) I identified more with Danny Partridge at the time, but Cassidy as Keith Partridge became the surprise star.  The show is about a family that becomes a big music act (how big was never clear, just like how big was Seinfeld on Seinfeld).  It was based on the story of the Cowsills--in fact, if that group had been better actors, it might have been their show.

Like The Monkees, The Partridge Family showed--a decade before MTV--that having millions watch you on the tube gets you enough promotion to generate hits.  Not that any show can do it.  The Brady Bunch tried and failed.

The first single from the Partridge Family, "I Think I Love You," went to #1.  They followed with two more top ten hits and several more top forty hits.  They also had three top ten albums.

But though the girls I knew thought it would be David 4ever, I'm sure Cassidy (who came from a show biz family--in fact, father Jack Cassidy was the former husband of his TV mom played by Shirley Jones) knew if you want to have longevity, and be taken seriously, get away from the 10-12 crowd as soon as possible.

But he was never able to escape that image.  By the time the show reached its fourth and final season, you couldn't give away their records, and Cassidy would be forever tainted by the association.  He did a bunch more TV, as well as recordings and live performances, but was mostly forgotten.  (I did hear his band on the radio once and thought they rocked pretty well.)

He kept plugging away.  What else could he do?  But it was never the same.  Which leads to the question--is it better to be blindingly famous for a short time when you're young, or to never make it?

He had problems with alcohol, and in recent years suffered from dementia. He had organ failure a few days ago and is now gone.  But if there's a hall of pre-teen idols, he'll have a place of honor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby Sherman, Donny Osmond, Leif Garrett, there's nothing like your first crush.

10:46 AM, November 22, 2017  

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