Love Will Keep Us Together
The Captain & Tennille are a husband and wife US pop music duo who achieved success during the 1970s with a string of bright, catchy pop songs. The duo consists of "The Captain", Daryl Dragon (born August 27, 1942), and "Tennille", Toni Tennille (born May 8, 1940) (for years her birth year was erroneously publicized as being 1943).
Early history and collaboration
Dragon and Tennille met in 1971 in San Francisco, Dragon had been performing for a few years as a keyboardist for The Beach Boys, and Tennille was staging a musical she had written called Mother Earth at the Marines Memorial Theatre. Tennille hired Dragon as a musician for the production after which, in turn, Dragon helped Tennille land a gig as a touring keyboardist with The Beach Boys.
They soon discovered they made a great team on their own and began performing on a regular basis at The Smokehouse club in Encino, California (Los Angeles), initially billed as The Dragons. Their popularity as a musical duo reached unprecedented heights for The Smokehouse which, after Dragon & Tennille released an early version of The Way I Want To Touch You on their own label (Butterscotch Castle Records) as Captain & Tennille, eventually led to a recording contract with A&M Records.
Their first single and above video was a cover version of Neil Sedaka's "Love Will Keep Us Together." The song contained a verbal acknowledgment to its composer, as The Captain & Tennille worked the line "Sedaka is back" into the fadeout. The song spent four weeks at number one in the US in the summer of 1975 and became the top selling single of the year. They also received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year for this recording, which also gave Sedaka his first Grammy.
They married on November 11, 1975 (As with Toni's age, their publicist encouraged another public relations "lie" in saying they were married on Valentine's Day of 1974.).
Over the next few years Captain & Tennille released a string of hit singles including The Way I Want To Touch You, Lonely Night (Angel Face), Shop Around, Muskrat Love, and You Never Done It Like That. Such was their level of success that they were given their own television show, but they were not happy with its format and 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 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 Ford during the Bicentennial celebration. One of their songs was "Muskrat Love."
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 company went bankrupt, and the duo were left without a record company. They signed with CBS Records but, not being able to find a niche there, 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 home computer.
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 classic "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.
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 20th 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, mimicking the success of pop colleague Linda Ronstadt. She released several albums and performed with orchestras throughout the country, which she still does to this day.
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 25th 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.
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 disk. 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 and, as a result, a live recording (their first), An Intimate Evening with Toni Tennille, was released to commemorate the event.
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 (mostly having been born a generation too late to catch the Captain and Tenille on top 40 radio).
A brand-new path for the Captain & Tennille took place in October 2006 with the release of Cartoon Network's new 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 star Ralph Fiennes. The Captain & Tennille's co-stars on the show included Phyllis Diller, Jim Belushi, Dan Castellaneta, and Bob Saget.
Popular uses and parodies in the media
On the TV show MXC, the character "Captain Tenneal" is a spoof of the name of their act.
The singing duo have been referenced several times on the popular show The Simpsons. In Episode 7 Season 16, 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 Episode 19 Season 9, Homer is assigned to a nuclear submarine under the command of "Captain Tennille." Also, in Episode 22 Season 9, 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."
The song 'Love Will Keep Us Together' was used in a breakup scene in the 2001 film Get Over It.
The song 'Love Will Keep Us Together' played during the final credits of the 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
The song 'Do That To Me One More Time' is used in the 2003 'What's Love Got to Do With It?' episode of The Drew Carey Show. In a very humorous and somewhat disturbing scene, the Drew Carey character and an 11 year-old girl, Madison (portrayed by actress Emma Hunton), sing a karaoke duet of the song.
In the TV sitcom Will & Grace, Will Truman sang "Love Will Keep Us Together" in the season 3 episode "An Old-Fashioned Piano Party."
They appeared in a Sprint PCS commercial in 2001.
In the TV sitcom Frasier, Frasier Crane wrote a letter to his ex-wife Lilith that includes the phrase "love will keep us together" in the season 1 episode "The Show Where Lilith Comes Back." Several characters pointed out that his letter plagiarizes the song by Captain & Tennille.
In the 2006 South Park episode "Cartoon Wars Part I", Family Guy's Peter Griffin dressed up as Tennille to Captain Kirk's Captain.
In the Season 4 Episode "Academic Decathlon" of Malcolm in the Middle, the song 'Love Will Keep Us Together' is playing as Lois pulls up to drive Malcolm home.
In the pilot of That 70s Show, "Love Will Keep Us Together" plays in the background of the Forman's party; Kitty Forman sings along for part of the song.
In the pilot of Arrested Development, "Love Will Keep Us Together" plays when, during a yacht party, George Bluth Sr. announces that his wife, Lucille Bluth will be taking over his company following his retirement.
In Series 3 of the anime and manga Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, the protagonists face a deadly assassin Known as Captain Tennille.
In Nip/Tuck Series 2, When Christian parks his car outside and enters a garage, whilst his blind girlfriend is sitting inside the car, thieves decide to rob the car of its wheels and the spoiler (by jacking up the car) , the song playing is Love Will Keep Us Together.
On Mystery Science Theater 3000, In the episode Attack of the Giant Leeches The Mads are called Captain and Tennille.
In the second season of Scrubs, Dr. Cox refers to Dr. Kelso and Julie as the Captain and Tennille of the underworld.
In The Powerpuff Girls, in the episode "Jewel of the Aisle", an inept bank robber, posing as a cereal advertising mascot named "Lucky Captain Rabbit King" in order to infiltrate the Powerpuff Girls' house and recover a diamond from their cereal box, accidentally misidentifies himself as "The Captain N. Tennille".
Used to be introduced by Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 as "Captain and Toenail".
In the season 2 episode "Ted" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow and Xander discuss whether The Captain or Tennille were the head of the relationship.
The song "Love Will Keep Us Together" played in the movie "Click" when Michael Newman(Adam Sandler) travel to the past to his infancy.
In episode 8 of Yacht Rock the smooth musical duo is seen changing their name from "Dragon and Tennille" to "Captain and Tennille" with a corresponding change in headwear.
Albums (Non-Greatest Hits):
1975: Love Will Keep Us Together - US #2
1976: Song Of Joy - US #9
1977: Come In From The Rain - US #18
1978: Dream - US #131
1979: Make Your Move - US #23
1980: Keeping Our Love Warm
1982: More Than Dancing [Australia only]
1995: Twenty Years Of Romance
2002: More Than Dancing...Much More [released worldwide, with additional tracks added to the original 1982 release]
2006: The Secret Of Christmas
Chart positions are from the US Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts.
April 1975: Love Will Keep Us Together
August 1975: Por Amor Viviremos - #49 Pop (Spanish version of "Love Will Keep Us Together")
September 1975: The Way I Want To Touch You
January 1976: Lonely Night (Angel Face)
May 1976: Shop Around
September 1976: Muskrat Love
March 1977: Can't Stop Dancin'- #13 Pop/#12 AC
June 1977: Come In From The Rain - #61 Pop/#8 AC
September 1977: Circles - #9 AC
April 1978: I'm On My Way - #74 Pop/#6 AC (also #97 Country)
August 1978: You Never Done It Like That - #10 Pop/#14 AC (also made UK #63)
December 1978: You Need A Woman Tonight - #40 Pop/#17 AC
October 1979: Do That to Me One More Time
March 1980: Love On A Shoestring - #55 Pop
May 1980: Happy Together (A Fantasy) - #53 Pop/#27 AC