Appropriate for the first day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, it’s Two for Tuesday.
We featured Neil Sedaka a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it was appropriate to feature two people who owe their first hit record to his songwriting abilities, Daryl “Captain” Dragon and Toni Tennille. They were popular mostly during the second half of the 1970’s and early part of the 1980’s, but haven’t been heard from in a while.
Dragon played keyboards for the Beach Boys in the early ’70’s, and Mike Love gave him the nickname “the Captain” during that time. He took to wearing a nautical captain’s hat (think the Skipper in Gilligan’s Island) to go along with his nickname. In 1972, Toni Tennille, the creator of the ecology-centered show Mother Earth, was moving the show from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area, put out a call fo a replacement keyboard player. Dragon, who was between jobs with the Beach Boys, got the job. When that show ended, he recommended her to the Beach Boys, and they toured with that band for a year. Realizing they had a good thing going, they began to work as a duo, earning a recording contract with A&M Records thanks to the success of their first record together, an early version of Tennille’s “The Way I Want To Touch You.”
Their breakout hit, Sedaka’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy in 1975 for Song of the Year. Their popularity led to a TV show and an invitation from Betty Ford to play at the White House as part of the Bicentennial celebration.
Toni had a talk show of her own, named appropiately The Toni Tennille Show, and she and Daryl would regularly perform one or more of their songs on it. Our first song today, “Muskrat Love,” is taken from that show, and Toni tells a funny story about that White House appearance. “Muskrat Love” reached #1 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1976.
As Toni mentioned in the clip, their next big it was “Do It To Me One More Time,” which reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1979. Here it is, taken from a performance on The Midnight Special from 1979.
Captain and Tennille: your Two for Tuesday, July 1, 2014.