R.I.P. Singer, Actor David Cassidy

David Cassidy, ‘Partridge Family’ Star, Dies at 67

David Cassidy, pop culture idol of the 1970s, died Tuesday in a Florida hospital. The musician and actor was 67.

[. . .]

He had been hospitalized for several days with organ failure. Cassidy announced his diagnosis with dementia in early 2017. He performed at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York in March, talking about his dementia, and said his arthritis made playing guitar an ordeal.

The world has changed so much it’s nearly impossible to explain the impact The Partridge Family and David Cassidy had in their day. When Bing Crosby died, I had no idea of his original fame and didn’t understand the impact he made until I read a biography of him decades later.

There is hardly any TV today. It’s now all just video. People don’t congregate around what ABC TV exec Bob Shanks called “the cool fire.” Back in Cassidy’s day, to see his show you had to be there when it aired. And if you missed it, you had to hope for a repeat months later. And then be there for that.

The Partridge Family and Cassidy were huge in a way that’s just not possible today. It was a world with singles and albums on vinyl. And like millions of others, I owned all of them. I even wound up buying those magazines aimed at teenaged fan girls, such as Tiger Beat, to learn more about him, the cast, and the show.

The Partridge Family is probably seen as camp today, like The Brady Bunch. But that’s not what those shows were. The shows never changed. The new people who saw them later had changed. I’m beginning to sound like Norma Desmond here, so I should stop.

Rest in peace, David Cassidy. You made many of us happy when we were young.

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