Horsham author celebrates memories of the late, great David Cassidy

A Horsham writer’s homage to the late, great David Cassidy was an award-winning finalist in the prestigious American Book Fest Best Book Awards.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 12:00 pm
Louise Poynton by Stuart Douglas

Former sports editor Louise Poynton, who started her career at the Eastbourne Herald and Gazette, returned to her first love of music to compile a book of memories and tributes about what it means to be a David Cassidy fan.

Cherish: David Cassidy – A Legacy of Love came out last April. Louise followed it up with the launch of a podcast series, The David Cassidy Connections interviewing fans and celebrity fans, people who worked with David.

“It is proving hugely popular. It has been in the top four in the UK Apple Podcast listings, top ten in the United States and number one in New Zealand.”

In her book, Louise gives fans a grandstand seat for a journey from the 1970s when teenagers all over the world first fell in love with the teen idol, through to his unexpected death in 2017.

“David Cassidy was one of the biggest superstars in the 1970s. Selling millions of records and playing to record sell-out crowds around the world, he was more than just an idol for teenagers; he was for many their saviour.”

Louise, an award-winning journalist, invited fans to share their memories of falling in love with his good looks and unique singing voice and explain why he has been so important in their lives. She was overwhelmed with heartfelt stories from around the world, which not only celebrate his life but paint a picture of the personal journey fans have been through over the past 50 years.

2020 would have been his 70th birthday – April 12 – and also 50 years since The Partridge Family was aired on television.

“As teenagers in the early 1970s when David Cassidy sang, you felt he was singing to you. Sitting in your poster-covered bedroom, you would pour out to him all your dreams and ambitions, your troubles and concerns. He brought considerable happiness to millions. You knew he was listening and in many ways, he really helped many pre-teens and teenagers get through difficult times,” Louise explained.

“Every page is full of love, beautiful memories which bring smiles, laughter, happiness and a few tears. These memories, which echo across time, have been written by his fans in their own words. There is also a collection of beautiful poems composed over the past 50 years. In other ways he was an inspiration in terms of his image – the clean-cut looks, the shag-style haircut, the music he made both with The Partridge Family and as a hugely successful solo artist. He helped give teenagers an identity, he was someone you could relate to, someone you wanted to be like. Girls wanted to walk along the beach with him, boys wanted to be him.”

The first star to be mass-merchandised, Cassidy became a magnificent obsession in the 1970s for millions whose loyalty and devotion to him remains to this day, Louise says.

“Every story in Cherish is a singular experience, a thematic journey but when brought together they provide stops on the adventure with David at the heart of everything his fans have ever done,” she added.

Louise, who first saw him in concert in March 1973 at Wembley’s Empire Pool, started her career at the Eastbourne Herald and Gazette. “Originally, I wanted to work for Melody Maker or one of the other leading music papers which would publish a lot of my letters and concert reviews about David, but I had to do the hard graft first in the newsroom. Strangely my path led me to my other love sport, so now I feel I have come full circle.”

For 14 years she was group sports editor for the Surrey Mirror Series which included a stable of nine titles across Sussex and Surrey.