'Love Will Keep Us Together' swept the United States in 1975. Written by Neil Sadaka and Howie Greenfield, 'Love Will Keep Us Together' went through the roof in late June and early July of that year. It was charted the No. 1 song on the land. Some 2½ million records were sold. Both the single and album eventually went platinum. Toni Tennille told the Associated Press in 1976, "When I was growing up, I said to myself, 'I know I'm going to be a star'. But when I got into my 20s and saw all the talent that was around, I said, 'How am I ever going to find the circumstances so I can make it?'" 

In March 1976, 'Love Will Keep Us Together' won the Grammy Award for record of the year, marking The Captain & Tennille "ascent to the heights of pop music." 'United Press International' recognized in 1976, "It takes just one hit song to put a star on the musical map. That's what happened to Helen Reddy with 'I Am Woman'. It worked for Roger Miller with 'King of the Road'. 'I Got You Babe' did it for Sonny and Cher. Tony Orlando and Dawn climbed from obscurity with 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree'. Now (in 1976) lightning has struck The Captain and Tennille with the smash hit 'Love Will Keep Us Together.'" 

Daryl Dragon recounted, "I always wanted to start my own group. I joined the Beach Boys because they weren't into acid rock. I can't relate to drug oriented music. They (The Beach Boys) gave me the name of Captain Keyboard. But I didn’t want to be a background musician." Daryl and Toni became a couple in 1972 and formed The Captain & Tennille in 1974. "We started out in small, non-union clubs around Los Angeles," Toni shared. "We couldn't afford a road manager so we didn't travel. They paid us $20 apiece a night, less $10 for our bongo player." 

Daryl's father, Carmen Dragon, was the conductor of symphonic music. Daryl told the Associated Press in 1975, "I think he hoped we'd be successful but he didn't think we were going to be. Each one of us – his 3 sons – was going to make it for 10 years or more. Dennis is still talking about it. He (Carmen) used to think I didn't have enough push. I was laid back." Toni remembered, "His father says it was really good he found me. When I first met Daryl it was like pieces of a puzzle fitting together. I knew he had something commercial but it was a different way of approaching pop music. I'm a singer but there are 8 million singers. He is not a projector on stage and I am. We sort of offset each other's problems and enhance each other's good points." 

Between 1972 and 1974, Daryl and Toni performed at the lounge of the Smokehouse Restaurant in Encino, San Fernando Valley. "It was a great education musically and in learning about audiences," Daryl confessed. Toni added, "During that time, we learned what people wanted to hear in pop music. And we eventually worked up to $1100 a week. Our first break was a song I wrote, ‘The Way I Want To Touch You' (released in 1973). It was a hit in Los Angeles only. And we regarded it for our own company, Butterscotch Castle Records. Four record companies heard it and came to hear us. Eventually we signed with A&M. Our very first record for them was a hit." 

It was reported Daryl and Toni paid $250 to have 'Love Will Keep Us Together' "pressed on the Butterscotch Castle label after making demo records for Morgan Cavett and being given free recording studio time in return." One critic told 'TV Compulog Services Inc.' in 1979, "When you get right down to it, it's still Toni's singing and Daryl's keyboards that make the music. Their talent is the ability to make this very basic combination sound fresh, and unique on any song they perform." 

In the 1976-77 season, 'The Captain & Tennille Show' went on air on the American Broadcasting Company. Daryl disclosed, "Originally ABC was thinking about a summer show for us. Fred Silverman told us, 'Let's do it now and see how it looks'. So we did a sample show and he liked it so much that he put it in the fall schedule." 

The variety show would feature "less comedy than 'Sonny and Cher'. We'll do some talking, of course; we had Art Carney on the first show, and he was marvelous. We also did 4 cuts from our new album (in 1976), using film to build up images of what the songs are about." Toni observed, "Daryl says that our appeal is love-oriented, and I think the show will reflect that. I think people can feel the love we have for what we do, our love for each other. And the love the audience has for us comes through, too." 

In 1995, Daryl and Toni decided to release the album 'Twenty Years of Romance'. Toni told the press, "We re-recorded from the ground up. We wanted to see what we could do 20 years later with the recording abilities and the technologies. I think I’m singing better than I've ever sung in my life right now (in November 1995). You take lessons, but you learn by experience. Like the song 'Come in from the Rain'. When I first sang it, I kind of knew what it was about, but 20 years later, I think I really understand what the song means.

"It's about old, old dear friends who stick together through anything and over all these years, I’ve come to really appreciate how important it is to have dear and close friends and how much they mean to you." Of the song, 'The Way I Want To Touch You', Toni made known, "It was the first song I wrote for Daryl, back in 1972 when he and I were with the Beach Boys. We've always believed in a healthy sensuality in a relationship and I think it's an important part of a loving relationship. Like, 'Do That To Me One More Time'. People can think whatever they want, but I wrote it about the first time that Daryl ever kissed me."

Blog Archive