David Cassidy Biography

David Bruce Cassidy, 12 April 1950, New York City, New York, USA. A singer and actor, the son of Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward, who achieved worldwide fame as a pop star after appearing with his stepmother, Shirley Jones, in the US television sitcom The Partridge Family (1970-74). In the show, Cassidy, along with Susan Dey and Danny Bonaduce, was part of a singing group based on the Cowsills. Almost immediately, The Partridge Family began registering hits in their own right. Cassidy was lead singer, with Jones on backing vocals, for the US chart-topper ‘I Think I Love You’ (1970), which was followed by two more Top 10 entries, ‘Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted’ and ‘I’ll Meet You Halfway’, along with a few other minor releases.

Launched in 1971 as a solo artist, late in the year Cassidy went to US number 9 with a revival of the Association’s ‘Cherish’. Cassidy was classic teen-idol material, but was ambivalent about the superficiality of his image. He attempted to create a more adult sexual persona by appearing semi-naked in the pages of Rolling Stone. The publicity did not help his career at home, but by mid-1972 he was finding even greater acclaim in the UK, where adolescent adoration for pop stars was suddenly in the ascendant. Early in that year he climbed to number 2 in Britain with ‘Could It Be Forever’/‘Cherish’, and topped the chart with his reworking of the Young Rascals’ ‘How Can I Be Sure’. The more R&B-style ‘Rock Me Baby’ just failed to reach the UK Top 10, and peaked at number 38 in the US. It was nearly 20 years before Cassidy had another Top 30 hit, ‘Lyin’ To Myself’ (1990), in his home country. By 1973, he was concentrating on the UK market, and his efforts were rewarded with the Top 3 ‘I’m A Clown’/‘Some Kind Of Summer’, and his second UK number 1, ‘Daydreamer’/‘The Puppy Song’. His ability to raid old catalogues and recycle well-known songs and standards to teenage audiences was reflected through further successful reworkings of ‘If I Didn’t Care’ - an Ink Spots hit from the 30s - the Beatles’ ‘Please Please Me’, and the Beach Boys’ ‘Darlin’’. After switching from Bell Records to RCA Records, in 1975 he just failed to reach the UK Top 10 with ‘I Write The Songs’/‘Get It Up For Love’.

There followed a period of alcohol and drugs abuse which led to Cassidy retiring to Los Angeles for about three ‘dark’ years, but in 1978 he won an Emmy nomination for a leading part on television, and four years later he was on Broadway playing the title role in a long-running revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In 1985, he made a surprise return to the UK Top 10 with ‘The Last Kiss’, which featured backing vocals by George Michael, and was followed later in the year by ‘Romance (Let Your Heart Go)’. Two years on, he took over the leading role from Cliff Richard in Dave Clark’s lavish stage musical, Time. At this point, the recording career of one of his step-brothers, Shaun Cassidy, was declining, and in 1993 British theatrical producer Bill Kenwright had the brilliant idea of casting the duo, along with veteran singer Petula Clark, in his ailing New York production of Willy Russell’s gritty musical, Blood Brothers. The trio’s presence averted the show’s imminent closure, and David Cassidy recreated the role of Mickey in subsequent productions of Blood Brothers in the West End, and on US and UK regional tours. In 1996 Cassidy’s next major assignment was on a somewhat larger scale, taking over the lead from Michael Crawford in the multi-million high-tech musical EFX at the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas. Cassidy himself was replaced early in 1999 by Broadway song-and-dance man Tommy Tune. His 1998 album contained several remakes of such 70s hits as ‘I Can Feel Your Heartbeat’ and ‘I Woke Up In Love This Morning’, as well as a re-recording of ‘I Think I Love You’, a song which turned up in the movie Scream 2 and a Levi’s television commercial.

In 1999, Cassidy directedThe Rat Pack Is Back: A Legendary Era Returns. The story is based on one imaginary evening in the life of four of the Rat Pack members; Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr. , Dean Martin and Joey Bishop. Cassidy co-wrote the book with Don Reo and the show opened in Las Vegas on 18 July 1999 and moved to The Supper Club, New York in 2005. The cast included Michael Civisca (Sinatra), Julian Rebolledo (Martin), Eric Jordan Young (Davis), Mark Cohen (Bishop) and Cassidy (Bobby Darin). The music was provided by the Supper Club Big Band.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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