|Captain & Tennille|
Captain and Tennille, 1976.|
Captain and Tennille, 1976.
|Genres||Soft rock, pop|
|Years active||Template:Start date–present|
|Labels||A&M, Casablanca, Mirage|
Captain & Tennille are American pop music recording artists who achieved chart success as a recording duo and were previously well known as backup musicians for Elton John and Neil Sedaka. The duo consists of husband and wife "Captain" Daryl Dragon (born August 27, 1942), and Cathryn Antoinette "Toni" Tennille (born May 8, 1940). They have five albums that are certified either gold or platinum, and are best known for their singles which topped the charts in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Do That to Me One More Time". Their television variety series appeared on the ABC network in the 1976–77 season. They continue to perform occasionally with popular appeal in the Lake Tahoe resort area and enjoy the following of large numbers of fans in North America.
Early history and collaboration Edit
In 1971 Toni Tennille was the co-writer of an ecology-themed musical called Mother Earth. At that time, Daryl Dragon (son of composer Carmen Dragon) was the keyboardist for The Beach Boys. When Tennille's show was getting ready to move from San Francisco's Marines Memorial Theatre to Southern California's South Coast Repertory, a call was put out for a replacement keyboardist for Tennille. Dragon was in between tours when he heard about the opening, went to audition and landed the gig.
Reciprocating in kind, Dragon later suggested Tennille to The Beach Boys when the band needed an additional keyboardist, and they hired her. She toured with them for a year, and Toni Tennille has since been forever known as The Beach Boys' one and only "Beach Girl".
When the tour was over, and realizing their collaborative potential, they began performing as a duo at the legendary Smokehouse Restaurant across from Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California and started to make a name for themselves in the Los Angeles area. During this time, an early version of a Tennille-penned tune they had recorded, "The Way I Want to Touch You", became a hit on a local radio station and led to a recording contract with A&M Records.
Their first hit single was a cover of Neil Sedaka's and Howard Greenfield's "Love Will Keep Us Together". The song went to number-one on the US Billboard Hot 100 nine weeks after its debut in 1975, and it went on to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It sold over one million copies, and was certified Gold by the R.I.A.A. in July 1975. A Spanish recording of the single ("Por Amor Viviremos") also charted that same year. This was the first time two versions of the same single charted at the same time.
Tennille and Dragon married on November 11, 1975.
Success and Subsequent Period Edit
Over the next few years, Captain & Tennille released a string of hit singles mostly from their first two albums entitled Love Will Keep Us Together (US #2, 1975) and Song Of Joy (US# 9, 1976). Hits included "The Way I Want to Touch You" (US #4), a million seller; "Lonely Night (Angel Face)" (US #3); "Shop Around" (US #4); and "Muskrat Love" (US #4).
Such was their level of their popularity, that they were given their own television variety show. The Captain & Tennille TV show aired from September 1976 to March 1977 on ABC-TV. The hour-long musical variety program ran opposite NBC-TV's Little House On The Prairie and CBS-TV's Rhoda and Phyllis situation comedies. The show featured musical numbers and comedy sketches performed with various guest stars and was a ratings success. However, the duo wanted to focus on their music and touring career and, after one season, asked to be released from their contract.
In July 1976, Captain & Tennille were 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 country's Bicentennial celebration.
The duo's third album Come In From The Rain (US #18, 1977) was released while their television show was still on the air, and the album's first single benefitted from that exposure. The single "Can't Stop Dancing" (US #13) became a Hot 100 hit. By the time of the release of the second single, the title track "Come In From The Rain", the duo had left the show, and the song petered out at #61. The final single, "Circles", became an Adult Contemporary hit, but didn't manage to crack the disco-infused Hot 100 chart. A&M Records later released a Greatest Hits album (1977) which peaked at #55 on the US Top 200 Album Chart. Captain and Tennille remained a popular live act, although their chart success had started to wane.
The duo released their fourth studio album Dream (US #131, 1978) and first single "I'm On My Way" (US #74) failed to become a major pop hit. The second single "You Never Done It Like That" (US #10) fared much better on radio, returning the duo to the top ten. The third single "You Need A Woman Tonight" (US #40) just managed to crack the Top 40. Captain and Tennille were an Adult Contemporary act, and during this time Disco was a major force on radio, and New Wave music was cutting edge. A&M Records was embracing these sounds and some of the label's long-term acts felt it was at their expense. Toni Tennille would later recall that she, Captain, and Karen Carpenter from The Carpenters once had a conversation in the parking lot of their label A&M Records after A&M had signed the Sex Pistols. They were not pleased with the direction the top label brass were going; in their views, ignoring the label's established acts in favor of recent signings. They even commented on how the newly-signed and unproven Sex Pistol members were all given their own parking spaces, and nobody from their respective acts had ever been given parking spaces, even after all their success.
Dream would be the last Captain and Tennille studio album released by A&M. In 1979, record honcho Neil Bogart signed them to a contract with Casablanca Records. The album Make Your Move (US #23, 1979) rose much higher on the charts than the acts previous release, and the first single "Do That to Me One More Time" reached the summit in January 1980, becoming their second number-one single. However, subsequent singles "Love On A Shoestring" (US #55) and "Happy Together (Fantasy)" (US #53) only achieved minor success. Keep Our Love Warm (1980) was the duo's second Casablanca release, and sixth studio album overall, but failed to crack the Top 200 Album Chart. A few years later, Casablanca was folded by parent company Polygram Records and some of the label's acts were absorbed by sister label Mercury Records; but the Captain and Tennille were not among them. They continued to record music released by independent labels.
Toni Tennille had recorded two solo albums—one in 1984 on Mirage Records called More Than You Know, and the other in 1987 entitled All Of Me on Gaia Records.
Captain & Tennille appeared on many television talk shows of the era. In an appearance on The Mike Douglas Show in July 1981, Tennille sang "Love Will Keep Us Together" accompanied by music played by a TI 99/4A home computer.
During the duo's period of highest popularity, Tennille also worked as a session singer (most frequently partnered with The Beach Boys' Bruce Johnston), performing as a backing vocalist on three Elton John albums including Caribou, Blue Moves, and 21 at 33 (some vocally arranged by Dragon) and most notably on the hit track "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". She also appeared as a backing 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:
More recent activities Edit
Throughout the 1990s, they continued to perform various concert dates at venues around the world, frequently at Harrah's Lake Tahoe which was close to their home near Carson City, Nevada. One of their appearances in that decade occurred when they played 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 1990s, Tennille enjoyed a second career as a big band and pop standards singer, not unlike pop colleague Linda Ronstadt. She released several albums and performed with orchestras throughout the country.
Both the Captain and Tennille had a guest appearance as themselves in the television series Vega$ (Season 2, Episode 18).
Toni Tennille 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 Captain & Tennille instead put an indefinite hold on their career as a performing duo. 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.
In November 2003, Tennille performed a benefit concert for the Reno, Nevada Chamber Orchestra, where her surprise guest was 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.
In 2005, Brant Berry, the vice president of a small Portland, Oregon–based entertainment company, Respond 2 Entertainment (R2), signed an agreement with Captain & Tennille to release three separate projects. The first was the home video release of Captain & Tennille's 1976 variety series, on a three-disc DVD set containing eleven complete episodes with 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 box 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 followed by The Secret of Christmas released on Captain & Tennille's own label, Purebred Records, on November 1, 2006. This is Captain & Tennille's first complete original album produced in more than a decade, and their first-ever Christmas album.
Tennille returned to the UK airwaves and to club play when the band 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 heightened the danceability of the original ambient track.
In October 2006, Cartoon Network's animated special Casper's Scare School was aired. The duo recorded two songs for the film, and voiced the dialog 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. Captain & Tennille's co-stars on the show included Phyllis Diller, James Belushi, Dan Castellaneta, and Bob Saget.
In 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.
Dragon & Tennille spent most of the 1990s and 2000s in the Lake Tahoe area in Nevada, where they had lived for more than a dozen years, and where, during that time, Tennille served as Ambassador for the Arts for the state. In the mid-2000s, they temporarily took year-round residence at their second home, located in the Palm Springs area of Southern California, until 2008, when they built a house and settled down in Prescott, Arizona, where Tennille participates in the annual Prescott Jazz Summit.
|Year||Album||RIAA Certification||US 200||Label|
|1975||Love Will Keep Us Together||Gold||2||A&M|
|1976||Por Amor Viviremos D||A&M|
|1976||Song of Joy||Platinum||9||A&M|
|1977||Come in from the Rain||Gold||18||A&M|
|1979||Make Your Move A||Gold||23||Casablanca|
|1980||Keeping Our Love Warm||—||Casablanca|
|1980||20 Greatest Hits||—||Music for Pleasure|
|1982||More Than Dancing B||—||Wizard|
|1993||A&M Gold Series: Captain & Tennille||—||A&M|
|1995||Twenty Years of Romance||—||Nouveau|
|1997||Captain & Tennille||—||Arcade|
|1998||A&M Digitally Remastered Best||—||A&M|
|2002||More Than Dancing … Much More C||—||Raven|
|2005||20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Captain & Tennille||—||Universal|
|2005||Songs of Joy: The Complete Captain & Tennille Collection||—||R2 Entertainment|
|2007||The Secret of Christmas||2012||Steven Skelton - On A Boat||—||RetroActive|
(A) Also charted at No. 33 UK
(B) Australian release only
(C) Worldwide re-release of 1982 Australian album with bonus tracks
(D) Spanish Version of Love Will Keep Us Together (1975 LP)
|Year||Single||RIAA Certification||Hot 100||AC||Country||R&B||UK Pop|
|1975||"Love Will Keep Us Together"||Gold||1||1||—||—||32|
|1975||"Por Amor Viviremos"||49||—||—||—||—|
|1975||"The Way I Want to Touch You"||Gold||4||1||—||—||28|
|1976||"Lonely Night (Angel Face)"||Gold||3||1||—||—||—|
|1977||"Can't Stop DancinTemplate:'-"||13||12||—||—||—|
|1977||"Come in From the Rain"||61||8||—||—||—|
|1978||"I'm on My Way"||74||6||97||—||—|
|1978||"You Never Done It Like That"||10||14||—||—||63|
|1978||"You Need a Woman Tonight"||40||17||—||—||—|
|1979||"Do That to Me One More Time"||Gold||1||4||—||58||7|
|1980||"Love on a Shoestring"||55||—||—||—||—|
|1980||"Happy Together (Fantasy)"||53||27||—||—||—|
|1980||"This Is Not the First Time"||—||—||—||—||—|
|1981||"Keeping Our Love Warm"||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007||"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007||"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"||—||—||—||—||—|
- The Ultimate Collection (2005)
- The Christmas Show (2007)
- Captain & Tennille in New Orleans (2007)
- Captain & Tennille in Hawaii (2007)
- Songbook (2007)
- ↑ Fuqua 131
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Fuqua 132
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Bronson 408
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 355. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- ↑ "Tunnels of Doom: An Interview with Hank Mishkoff". Ridingthecrest.com. http://ridingthecrest.com/edburns/classic-gaming/tunnels/hank_mishkoff_interview.html. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- ↑ IMDb.com
- Fuqua, Christopher S. (2004). Music Fell on Alabama: The Muscle Shoals Sound That Shook the World. Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books. p. 159. ISBN 1-58838-157-9.
- Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard book of number 1 hits. New York: Billboard Books. p. 980. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6.
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