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Captain & Tennille Biography

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Genres: Pop

Captain & Tennille is an American pop music duo that consists of former husband and wife pair Daryl Dragon and Cathryn Antoinette “Toni” Tennille. In 1972 Tennille was the co-writer of an ecology-themed musical called “Mother Earth.” At that time, 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. Dragon was in between tours when he heard about the opening, met Tennille in San Francisco 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 Tennille has since been forever known as The Beach Boys' one and only “Beach Girl.”

The duo’s first hit single was a cover of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield's “Love Will Keep Us Together.” The song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart nine weeks after its debut in 1975, and it went on to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. The duo successfully mined the Sedaka songbook a number of times over their chart making career, including “Lonely Night (Angel Face)” and “You Never Done It Like That.”

Over the next few years, Captain & Tennille released a string of hit singles mostly from their first two albums 1975’s Billboard 200 Albums chart #2 peaking “Love Will Keep Us Together” and 1976’s #9 peaking “Song Of Joy” including “The Way I Want to Touch You” which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Lonely Night (Angel Face)” which peaked at #3, “Shop Around” which peaked at #4 and “Muskrat Love” which also peaked at #4.

Such was the level of their popularity that they were given their own television variety show. “The Captain and Tennille” TV show aired from September 1976 to March 1977 on ABC. The show featured musical numbers and comedy sketches performed with various guest stars. However, despite solid ratings success, the duo wanted to focus on their music and touring career and, after one season, asked to be released from their contract.

The duo's third album 1977’s “Come in from the Rain” reached #18 on the Billboard 200. It produced three singles, "Can't Stop Dancing” which reached #13, the title track which reached #61 and "Circles," which did not impact the Hot 100 chart.

The duo released their fourth studio album “Dream,” peaking at #131 in 1978. The album’s first single “I'm on My Way” failed to become a major pop hit. However, their second single, and third Sedaka title, "You Never Done It Like That," fared much better at #10. “Dream” would be the last Captain and Tennille studio album released by A&M.

In 1979, Neil Bogart signed them to a contract on his Casablanca Records label. Their 1979 album “Make Your Move” rose much higher on the charts than the act's previous release, reaching the Top 25. The first single “Do That to Me One More Time” reached #1 in 1980, becoming their second #1 hit single. However, subsequent singles “Love on a Shoestring” and “Happy Together (A Fantasy)” only achieved moderate success. 1980’s “Keeping Our Love Warm” was the duo's second Casablanca release, and sixth studio album overall, but failed to crack the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

As the 1990s began, the duo continued to perform live around the world, in addition to Tennille maintaining a second career as a big band singer. Tennille continued to release solo albums, performed with orchestras throughout the country, and starred in the Broadway show, “Victor/Victoria.”

In 2005, Captain & Tennille signed a three-project deal with Respond 2 Entertainment, including the home video release of Captain & Tennille's 1976 variety series on a three-disc DVD set, reissued versions all six of their albums from the original A&M and Casablanca labels and a three-song Christmas release entitled “Saving Up Christmas.” The then duo released their first studio album in over ten years, “The Secret of Christmas,” on their label, Purebred Records, in 2006.

Tennille filed for divorce from Dragon in the State of Arizona in January 2014, after 39 years of marriage. Dragon was unaware of this until he was served with the divorce papers.