‘The Partridge Family’ Star David Cassidy Once Revealed Greatest Influences, From Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles

by Keeli Parkey

With “The Partridge Family,” actor and musician David Cassidy rose to a level of fame that is almost unimaginable. That role gave him a chance to do what he loved – play music and entertain people.

And, the charismatic star used some pretty impressive influences to inspire him. These influences helped him to be at his best on the popular television show. Seriously, those influences were iconic! So, what were they?

According to an interview Cassidy gave to PopEntertainment.com during 2010, the musicians who influenced him were some of the most important names of the 20th century. That lists includes The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Cream, and The Rolling Stones. That’s a pretty great list of influences!

According to the website, Cassidy was the only actor who was cast as one of the Partridge children who actually played an instrument and sang. Actress Shirley Jones, who played the matriarch of the family, did sing. But, that was pretty much it.

David Cassidy Showcased Musical Influences During Screen Test for ‘The Partridge Family’

According to Cassidy’s interview, he showcased his musical abilities while he filmed the screen test for “The Partridge Family.”

“I was an actor, although everybody at the studio and the network knew that I could sing and play guitar, which I did in the actual filmed screen test,” Cassidy reportedly said during the interview. “I didn’t sing, but there was an old Stratocaster there and I asked them to plug it in.”

It was then that David Cassidy let his musical influences shine through.

“Right before the first line of dialogue, as they were rolling the cameras, I played a little bit of (Jimi) Hendrix, only so that they knew that I could actually play,” Cassidy said. “I had played in blues bands, very different from ‘Partridge Family’ music. I had seen Hendrix four or five times. … saw (Eric) Clapton and Cream. … was an enormous Beatles fan. … had seen the (Rolling) Stones at the Forum in ’68. … was a big BB King and blues fan. That was the music that was in my generation as a teenager.”

Cassidy Worked with Other Talented Musicians

In addition to loving the work of these famous performers, David Cassidy also knew to respect the less famous musicians he worked with.

“The guys who played with me, if I told you their names and gave you a list of their hits … it’s a remarkable thing to have had that education. I came out playing in garage bands, blues bands and college kind of bands, just messing around,” he said. “Then I go and play and record with the likes of Gerry Goffin and Paul Anka and Wes Farrell and Tony Romeo. I got to know Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

“All of those writers were signed to Screen Gems (the studio that produced show). These were the greatest pop songwriters, and they also had a great influence on Lennon and McCartney.”

According to IMDb.com, “The Partridge Family” star David Cassidy died on Nov. 21, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 67 years old.