Hailing from a family of actors, mother Evelyn Ward and father Jack Cassidy, his fate as a performer was essentially seeded at a young age. It was by coincidence that he wound up starring with stepmother Shirley Jones in the astonishing success "The Partridge Family."
Before the end of 1970, the year the show premiered, David graced every teen magazine cover in the world, had the #1 selling single of the year, and garnered multiple Grammy nominations and won a Golden Apple Award. Over the next five years, his official fan club grew to become the largest in history, exceeding those of Elvis Presley and the Beatles.
Those were only the first of many records David broke in his long and constantly evolving career. He became the first personality to be merchandised globally. His likeness appeared on everything from posters to lunch boxes and cereal boxes. His concerts sold out in the largest arenas and stadiums in the world which led him to be the worldís highest paid performer at the age of 21. He broke box office records at Melbourneís Cricket Grounds, Londonís White City Stadium, Houstonís Astrodome and New Yorkís Madison Square Garden. To date, his records have sold over 25 million copies worldwide and have been recognized with eighteen gold and platinum recordings including four consecutive multi-platinum LPís.
As lead vocalist with" The Partridge Family," David was responsible for seven chart-topping singles including "Doesnít somebody Want To Be Wanted," "I Woke Up In Love This Morning," "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" and of course, "I Think I Love You", the best selling record of 1971. As a solo artist, David had five hit singles Ė "Cherish," "Could It Be Forever," "How Can I Be Sure," "Rock Me Baby" and "Lying to Myself."
All of the fame and adulation did not deter David from his acting career as evidenced in the telefilm "A Chance to Live", the highest rated "Police Story" in its seven year history, which earned him an Emmy nomination as Best Dramatic Actor. He then went to Broadway where he starred in the original production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," to London Ďs prestigious West End in "Time" with Sir Laurence Olivier, and in 1994 he once again broke box office records in the stunning production of "Blood Brothers", which he then starred in on a sold out road tour of the United States and Canada.
In 1996, David opened at the MGM Grand in the $75 million extravaganza "EFX." Under Davidís creative direction and by entirely re-vamping the show, it became the most successful production in Las Vegas. The MGM acknowledged that he was singularly responsible for bringing over 1 million paid customers to see EFX. Within four months of opening, the show was voted "Best Production Show" in Las Vegas, and David was voted "Best All Around Performer" and "Best Singer."
In 1999, David was again named "Best All Around Performer" in the Review Journalís Best of Las Vegas. He was also chosen City Lifeís "Entertainer of the Year" and was dubbed "Show Star of the Year" by Gaming Today.
Always seeking new creative avenues, in 1999 David partnered with writer-producer Don Reo to create "The Rat Pack Is Back!" which has been playing to sold-out audiences at the Sahara Hotel & Casino with both critical and popular acclaim.
"At the Copa," which David co-created with Don Reo, and wrote, produced and starred in, opened in 2000 at the Rio. Another first, David incorporated a Broadway musical production with that of a starís headlining concert. The result was a non-stop, high-energy 90-minute thrill ride with music spanning the last half of the twentieth century, as well as new tunes written by David and performed by the largest big-band orchestra in Las Vegas. In 2001, he chose to go back to his first love. He closed this show to return to concert stages across the country and the world.
Although David is enjoying tremendous success today, there were many rough spots in his personal and professional life over the years, but he has always succeeded in keeping his perspective and acute sense of humor. "Iím an optimist. I mean, you have to be with my career," he laughs. "Iíve never gone out and changed my style to suit the times. I have always stayed true to myself by trying to sing about the human experience. Itís important to reveal your own fragility, faults, and mistakes. That honesty is naturally compelling and, in general, itís what people want to see. Without that, all the flash in a show is merely empty effects. Bringing that human element to my work is the most important thing I can do as an entertainer."
Off stage, David is equally committed. He and his wife, songwriter Sue Shifrin-Cassidy, were instrumental in the 1994 Rebuild LA campaign, composing the effortís anthem, "Stand and Be Proud." Recently they donated another song, "Message to the World", to WarChild USA. This fundraising effort led to Sueís formation of KidsCharities.org, in which David plays a very active role.
On the horizon for David is a new record deal, international tour dates in addition to his extensive schedule in the United States, and continued attention to his passion and avocation Ė David owns several thoroughbred horses that race at tracks throughout the country.
David currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Sue, and their 10 year old son Beau.
The Third Degree with ... David Cassidy By Justin Cord Hayes
David Cassidy has been wowing audiences onstage in the MGM's multimillion dollar stage show EFX for the last two years. All naysayers who believed that he could never fill the shoes of EFX's former lead Michael Crawford (the erstwhile Phantom of the Opera) have been proved wrong. The show is a great success, in no small part to the charisma and charm of Cassidy, who has been in the public eye since he first appeared as Keith Partridge on the immortal 1970s classic The Partridge Family. As of December, Cassidy will leave EFX in order to support his newest album, Old Trick New Dog. He's a busy man, but he still took time to be subjected to The Third Degree.
1. What's next for David Cassidy?
CASSIDY: Some casino and tour dates. My new single ("No Bridge I Wouldn't Cross") is about to chart, and it's only been out for four weeks--it, and the new album--are really, really building. So I felt it was the time to leave EFX; I told them earlier in the year that I'd let them know by the end of the summer if I'd be continuing with the show (or not). I need more time to do all the things that I'd like to do. But first, I'm going to take a couple of weeks' vacation, since I haven't had more than four days off at a time in the last five years. Ultimately, by the third quarter of 1999, I intend to open another show for another property in town, but I can't really give any details about that yet. I'd like to start a show from scratch instead of coming in to save an existing one.
2. Why did you decide to rerecord "I Think I Love You"?
CASSIDY: It's the record that I'm most associated with and the one that people play and play and play--it's had an influence on a couple of generations now. So it's an integral part of my recording career and belonged to my first triple platinum album. I love that people associate me with it. It's nothing all that different from Elton John re-recording "Candle in the Wind" or Eric Clapton releasing a new version of "Layla"--those are their signature songs, and ("I Think I Love You") is mine. I also released it to show that I've embraced all of it: the past, present and future.
3. What do you feel is the best time of your lengthy career in show business?
CASSIDY: I can honestly say that this is the best time of my career because now I'm doing more stuff that I've always wanted to do, and throughout, my fans have proven loyal over the decades--they pay to see me, buy my records, see my shows. I'm constantly proving to people that I'm not a fluke.
4. Isn't it a drag to feel that you still have to prove that?
CASSIDY: No, because in the 1970s I moved on (from my early wave of success) at a time when I was on top. John Lennon did the same thing, and I'd talk to him about it. I don't know...maybe if I'd had three other guys to share the success with I would have stayed in it longer. But I felt that I needed to "demystify" myself. I mean, you have to keep in mind that the world's very different now. In the '70s there was no video no MTV. We were considered superstars then and made into figures that weren't really who we were at all. Besides, for me the emphasis has always been on the work--not the fame or money. If you focus on the work, everything else comes along.
5. Is it hazardous to achieve fame at an early age?
CASSIDY: No question about it; it's a double-edged sword. We all want to be successful, but, and I swear this is true, I never had any designs for becoming a "superstar." I just wanted to act, like my father (Broadway actor Jack Cassidy), and have him appreciate me for my talents. Both my parents were actors/singers who never made it really big, but they both starred in numerous Broadway plays. So, from my first memories, my frame of reference in this business has been the work itself--not fame, not money. I survived a remarkable experience at a young age--during my last concert appearances in the '70s, I was playing to audiences of 40-60,000 people, and then I left. I wanted to see what else David Cassidy could do. I didn't want to compete with my fame, so I took a few years to decide on a new course. So I did regional theater, created shows, produced music, wrote music that others recorded, played Broadway. The opportunities for good work weren't around as much in the '80s, but I've always worked. Forget about money and being a superstar...do the work that makes you happy.
6. What makes you happy?
CASSIDY: Many things: being able to appreciate all of the things that I have in my life--especially my wife and son, being able to have such loyal support from the community and from my fans. That's why I've done a lot of charity work in Las Vegas, so that I could give something back to the community.
7. Would you support your son if he decided to go into show business?
CASSIDY: As long as it's in his best interest, anything he decides to do I will support. I mean, if he were to decide to have a high wire act I'd think twice--like me, he's afraid of heights. I even had to go to a hypnotist to overcome that fear of heights so that I could be in EFX. My son sings well and wants to be an actor. It would make sense, since he's always seen me working on TV, EFX, Broadway. He's seen me both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. I think we associate strongly with our male role models, and I'm certainly my son's. I've tried to make him aware of how lucky and fortunate I am and to make sure he understands that going into this business (with a well-known name) doesn't give you any guarantees.
8. What are the best and worst things about Las Vegas?
CASSIDY: The best: quality of life and community--I really, truly love it. My son goes to public school; my wife and I are involved in it. She wrote songs for them to use when they walk into school in the morning. Many people here have chosen Las Vegas as an alternative to really large cities like L.A. or Chicago because the quality of life really is better here. The worst: The roads are dangerous here due to 24-hour liquor licenses and tourists staring at all of these wonderful buildings we have instead of the roads. I believe that we have more fender benders than any other city, so we all need to be very cautious and pay close attention.
9. What acting role would you most love to perform?
CASSIDY: I don't know how to answer that. There are things I'd love to do that I'm not right for physically or because of people's perception of me. I'd love the Zero Mostel role in The Producers, for instance.
10. Any thoughts on those infamous nude photos by Annie Liebowitz that appeared in Rolling Stone?
CASSIDY: I've always had great thoughts about that shoot and about Annie. I thought the photos were beautiful, not lewd. After all, it WAS the 1970s, a time of personal freedom, a very different time. The success of the pictures and the story helped elevate both Annie and myself. At that time, Rolling Stone wasn't a mainstream showbiz magazine; it had covers featuring Hendrix and the Velvet Underground. And then, there I was on the cover...Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone editor) laughed all the way to the bank. At the time I did the shoot speaking as a 24-year-old guy and not as the 17 year old I played on The Partridge Family.
11. Partridge Family vs. The Brady Bunch.
CASSIDY: No idea. Don't even ask me. I've never even watched The Brady Bunch, and I haven't even seen all of The Partridge Family episodes--I was too busy working on them to see them.