Captain & Tennille


Captain & Tennille

Captain & Tennille are U.S. pop music recording artists who achieved recording chart success from 1976-80 with a repertoire of romance and novelty hit songs. The duo consists of "Captain" Daryl Dragon (born August 27, 1942), and Toni Tennille (born May 8, 1940). According to their TV variety series' pilot, the duo were married on February 14, 1974, though official records indicate November 11, 1975. They are probably best known for their single, "Love Will Keep Us Together."

Early history and collaboration

In 1971 Tennille was performing in an ecology-themed musical called "Mother Earth" when the show changed venues from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Dragon had been playing in a backing band for The Beach Boys, but was between tours when Tennille called him in to audition as a replacement keyboardist for "Mother Earth". Tennille later joined Dragon in the next tour with the Beach Boys' backing band. [Fuqua 131] When the tour was over, they began performing as a duo at the Smoke House Restaurant in Encino, California, where an early version of their single "The Way I Want To Touch You" led to a contract with A&M Records.Fuqua 132]

Their first hit single was a cover of Neil Sedaka's "Love Will Keep Us Together". The song went to number-one on the pop charts nine weeks after its debut in 1975, and it went on to win the Grammy Award for "Record of the Year".Bronson 408] A Spanish recording of the single also charted that same year. This was the first time two versions of the same single charted at the same time.

Toni and Daryl married on 11 November 1975, [cite news | last = Futch | first = Michael | title = THE CAPTAIN AND TENNILE: ONE MORE TIME | publisher = Fayetteville Observer | date = 1996-10-18 | accessdate = 2008-02-10] - on Veterans' Day, not Valentine's Day as is sometimes purported.

Popular success

Over the next few years Captain & Tennille released a string of hit singles including "The Way I Want To Touch You" (U.S. #4), "Lonely Night (Angel Face)" (U.S. #3), "Shop Around" (U.S. #4), "Muskrat Love" (U.S. #4), and "You Never Done It Like That" (U.S. #10). Such was their level of success that they were given their own television show, but they were not happy with its format, and they asked to be released from their contract. They also left A&M when it began to turn its attentions to the newly signed punk rock act Sex Pistols at the expense of acts such as the Carpenters and themselves.

In July 1976, Captain & Tennille was invited by First Lady Betty Ford to perform in the East Room of the White House in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II and President Gerald Ford during the Bicentennial celebration.

Neil Bogart signed them to a contract with Casablanca Records, and they reached number-one with their first single "Do That to Me One More Time" in January 1980. Subsequent singles achieved only moderate success, and when Bogart died in 1982, the Cassblanca company went bankrupt, and the duo was left without a record company. They signed with CBS Records but, not being able to find a niche there, they were released from their contract.

Captain & Tennille appeared on many television talk shows of the era; one memorable appearance as guest hosts of "The Mike Douglas Show" in July 1981 had them hear "Do That to Me One More Time" being "sung" by a TI 99/4A home computer. [http://www.99er.net/hist2.html]

During the duo's period of highest popularity, Tennille also worked as a session singer (most frequently partnered with Beach Boy Bruce Johnston), performing backup on no fewer than three Elton John albums including "Caribou", "Blue Moves", and "21 at 33" (some vocally arranged by Dragon) and most notably (and prominently) on the powerful rock song "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". She also appeared as a backup vocalist on tracks by Art Garfunkel and The Beach Boys, as well as Pink Floyd for whom she performed backing tracks on "The Wall" album.

In the liner notes of the Captain & Tennille anthology "Ultimate Collection: The Complete Greatest Hits", Tennille explains how her work on Pink Floyd's album gained her at least one new fan:

"I went to see the [Pink Floyd] concert at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. There was a 15-year-old boy sitting in front of me who recognized me. He turned around and snottily said, "What are YOU doing here?" So I told him I sang on the album. He ran off to find a friend who had brought the LP to the show, and looked at the back to see if my name was really on there. A few minutes later, he came back and apologetically said, "Can I have your autograph?"

More recent activities

Throughout the '90s, they continued to perform various concert dates at venues around the world, frequently at Harrah's Lake Tahoe which was close to their home in northwestern Nevada. One of the most lauded of their appearances in this decade occurred when they played a one-time-only date at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in 1995 as part of their twentieth anniversary as an act.

At the same time throughout the 1980s and '90s, Tennille enjoyed a second career as a big band and pop standards singer, not unlike pop colleague Linda Ronstadt. She released several albums and performs with orchestras throughout the country.

She also enjoyed a year as the star of the Broadway tour of "Victor/Victoria". At the end of that project, she and Dragon were to have embarked on a twenty-fifth anniversary tour; however, the stresses of the road proved too demanding and the Captain & Tennille instead put an indefinite hold on their career as a performing duo. During their run through the mid 70's into the early 80's Captain And Tennille have been said to have sold close to 25 million records, enough to lock them in as one of pop music's most successful acts.

Nevertheless, Captain & Tennille's popularity remained evident in the release of their "Ultimate Collection: The Complete Hits" on Hip-O Records (a subsidiary of Universal Records) in 2001 and "More Than Dancing...Much More", a 2002 compact disc. The latter contains what was originally their final album in 1982, "More Than Dancing", which at that time was released only in Australia, and is combined with selected tracks from their 1995 "20 Years of Romance", originally on K-Tel (re-recordings of their songs, and cover versions of others), as well as five tracks never-before-released on vinyl or CD.

In November 2003, Tennille performed a benefit concert for the Reno, Nevada Chamber Orchestra, where her surprise guest was none other than Daryl Dragon. This was the first time they had publicly performed as Captain & Tennille in many years. As a result, their first live recording, "An Intimate Evening with Toni Tennille", was released to commemorate the event.

2005 marked a resurgence for Captain & Tennille when Brant Berry, the vice president of a small Portland, Oregon-based entertainment company, Respond 2 Entertainment (R2), an avowed fan, signed an agreement with Dragon & Tennille to release three separate projects featuring the duo.

The first — and most anticipated — was the home video release of Captain & Tennille's 1976 variety series, on a three-disc DVD set containing eleven complete episodes with lots of bonus musical tracks.

Second, R2 re-released all six of their albums — both from the original A&M and Casablanca labels — on newly-remastered CDs. Several of the CDs were previously only available in Japan. The new CDs, packaged both as individual CDs and in a boxed set, contain new liner notes written by Toni Tennille.

Third, a new recording by Captain & Tennille was released — a three-song Christmas CD entitled "Saving Up Christmas". This effort was in anticipation of a full-length Christmas CD originally to be released in the fall of 2006 by R2 Entertainment, but which was released instead on Dragon & Tennille's own label, Purebred Records. The brand-new Christmas CD entitled "The Secret of Christmas" was officially released on November 1, 2006. This is the Captain & Tennille's first complete original album produced in more than a decade, and their first-ever Christmas album.

Toni Tennille returned to British airwaves and to club play when the mischievous electro-kitsch duo Bent sampled a small portion of her vocals from Captain & Tennille's 1979 track, "Love on a Shoestring" (from the album "Make Your Move"), into their "Magic Love" single in 2003. An Ashley Beedle remix of the single considerably heightened the danceability of the originally ambient track. Many in Great Britain knew the voice was vaguely familiar but couldn't place it (most having been born a generation too late to catch Captain & Tennille on top 40 radio).

A new direction for Captain & Tennille began in October 2006 with the release of Cartoon Network's animated special "Casper's Scare School". Not only did the duo record two songs for the movie, they voiced the dialogue for the characters who sang the songs. Tennille portrayed Aunt Belle and Dragon was Uncle Murray, who together formed a two-head-on-one-body being known as the Ankle. The two songs they performed, "Why Does Love Make Me Feel So Good" and "World Without Fear", were written by Magnus Fiennes, younger brother of popular motion-picture stars Ralph and Joseph Fiennes. Captain & Tennille's co-stars on the show included Phyllis Diller, Jim Belushi, Dan Castellaneta, and Bob Saget.

Darryl and Toni recently sold their home in northwestern Nevada, where they had lived for more than a dozen years. During that time, Toni had the honor of serving as Ambassador for the Arts for the state. They now have homes in Southern California and in Arizona.On October 9th, 2007, three new DVDs were released of Captain & Tennille's ABC TV specials: "Captain & Tennille In Hawaii", "Captain & Tennille in New Orleans", and "Captain & Tennille Songbook". These are for sale either singly or as a boxed set.The first week of November 2008 will bring the release of Captain & Tennille's first Christmas album and first newly recorded studio album in over ten years.

Trivia

*The Captain & Tennille are long-time vegetarians.

*They were one of the few artists to re-record an entire English language LP into a Spanish version. Their debut LP, "Love Will Keep Us Together", was re-recorded entirely in Spanish and released as a separate LP titled "Por Amor Viviremos". It contained the exact same track listing as the English language LP. The only single released from the Spanish version was, "Por Amor Viviremos", a Spanish version of "Love Will Keep Us Together", reaching number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in August of 1975.

*In 1980, a Spanish version of "Do That to Me One More Time" was released as a single. It was translated to "Ámame Una Vez Más".

*The Captain & Tenille were referred to on That 70's Show in the episode, "No Quarter" , in which Jackie replaces Donna's Led Zeppelin poster with a poster of the duo.

*The Captain & Tenille were referred to on Friends in an episode where Joey buys a boat and enters Central Park in a captains outfit. He askes Rachel if she's seen Chandler, and Rachel answers "no, but Tenille was looking for you". Also in an episode when they played touch football in a park, when Joey said "All Right we have to pick captains" and then Chandler quipped "And Then Tennilles!"

* The duo's name has at times been referred to as "The" Captain & Tennille, which Daryl Dragon has verified to be incorrect [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:kifexqw5ldfe~T1] .

* Toni Tennille's year of birth had been previously and erroneously publicized as 1943 [http://captainandtennille.net/tonis-take_blog_06.htm] . (See citation at "Toni's Take" June 17, 2006 entry.)

* Singer/songwriter/musician/comedian Ray Stevens wrote the duo's Top-20 pop hit "Can't Stop Dancing"

* The singing duo have been referenced several times on the popular show "The Simpsons". In "Mommie Beerest", Homer and Marge appear dressed as Captain and Tennille, respectively. Homer, in a captain costume, plays the piano to a lyrically different version of "Love Will Keep Us Together". In "Simpson Tide", Homer is assigned to a nuclear submarine under the command of "Captain Tennille". Also, in "Trash of the Titans", the Simpsons celebrate the made-up holiday of "Love Day" by decorating their front yard with a mechanized string quartet (made to look like the Care Bears) that played "Love Will Keep Us Together".

* Captain & Tennille appeared in a Sprint PCS commercial in 2001.

* Captain and Tennille guest starred the 77th episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, "Sequel".

* In a blooper from Star Trek Enterprise, Connor Trinneer was supposed to tell guest star Gregory Itzin, "Your actions could get the Captain and T'Pol killed" but he flubbed the name T'Pol. He then confessed "I wanted to say Tennille". Itzin laughed and replied "Now that you've said that, it's all I can think of".

*During an episode of Will and Grace, they sing Love Will Keep Us Together while Will plays the piano.

* In the episode, 'Cartoon Wars' from "South Park", South Park mocks "Family Guy" by showing random situations. One of which features Peter going up to the school soccer captain, who is Captain Kirk and saying, "You be the Captain, and I'll be Tennille" which cuts to a scene where Peter is wearing a dress and Kirk as the Captain singing, "Love Will Keep Us Together".

Discography

Albums

(A) Also charted at No. 33 UK

(B) Australian release only

(C) Worldwide re-release of 1982 Australian album with bonus tracks

ingles

References

*
*

Notes

External links

* [http://www.captainandtennille.net Official site]
* [http://tonitennille.net Toni Tennille's site]
* [http://www.onamrecords.com/gallery/view/Captain%20%26%20Tennille Captain & Tennille's career on A&M Records with gallery, international discography]
* [http://www.superseventies.com/1975_1singles.html 1975 singles]
* [http://www.tv.com/the-captain-and-tennille/show/25462/summary.html?tag=login;dropdown/ Captain & Tennille Variety Show at TV.com]


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