Cass act 

Back in the ’70s, the grooviest night of the week was Friday. An entire generation was glued to ABC’s iconic lineup of The Brady Bunch; Love, American Style; and, yes, The Partridge Family.

David Cassidy, who played eldest son Keith Partridge, was the Justin Bieber of his day. Forty-plus years after he and his TV siblings topped the Billboard charts with “I Think I Love You,” the pop sensation hits Norman’s Riverwind Casino for a Saturday concert alongside Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits.

“Well, Keith will definitely be there in spirit,” Cassidy said with a laugh. “I am really looking forward to coming to Oklahoma. I feel very blessed to have had the support of my fans all these years. Knowing I touched someone’s life, I get so much joy out of that. The only thing that matters to me is people, and knowing I made an impact on their life. That’s why I’m on this planet.”

Looking back on his heyday, he recalled a hectic schedule.

“I had no personal life. I literally worked 18 hours a day,” he said. “In those days, I had two recording careers going on. I recorded as The Partridge Family and also as David Cassidy. Then I toured extensively when we were on hiatus. It was a crazy life.”

Although he came from a showbiz family, it took seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show when he was 13 to pursue entertainment. He immediately bought a guitar.

“Since that day, I have never stopped playing,” Cassidy said.

At age 18, he landed his first role on Broadway. After moving to Los Angeles, his musical ability led to an audition for The Partridge Family. When the show debuted in fall 1970, it kicked off a string of pop hits, including “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted,” “I’ll Meet You Halfway” and Cassidy’s solo smash, “Cherish.”

Today, he continues playing those songs, but has other projects in the works.

“I am on a path of creativity, and I feel very inspired this year,” he said. “I’m sort of superstitious about mentioning projects before they happen, but I’m working on some things I’m really excited about. One will be pretty extraordinary if we pull it off. It’s different from anything you’ve ever seen me do.”

As for his fellow Partridges, Cassidy said he keeps in touch with a few of them, including Danny Bonaduce.

“I’ve been his big brother in life and on TV. I help him stay grounded, and our relationship is very deep and meaningful,” he said. “I keep up with Shirley [Jones]; as you know, she is my brothers’ mother and we have grown very close over the years. She taught me a lot about how to handle myself.”

However, he can’t say the same about Susan Dey.

“Here’s the truth: No one has seen her in years. We did a Partridge Family reunion on the Today show a while back, and she refused to come on the air,” he said. “I will always love her and care about her. But she’s incommunicado with pretty much everyone.”

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Mark Beutler

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