Captain & Tennille

"A&M was what we wanted because they were the only ones who would let us produce ourselves and because Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss had done the kind of thing I'd always wanted to do. But I was afraid because they have the Carpenters so they don't need another female singer/male keyboardist team."--Daryl Dragon( Billboard, August 16, 1975)

The Captain and Tennille came to A&M's attention after sending 500 copies of the single "The Way I Want to Touch You" to their favorite disc jockeys in Los Angeles. The song sold 10,000 copies on the Joyce label without the benefit of promotion or national distribution. Jan Basham, a top promoter for A&M heard the song and took the chance of bringing to Kip Cohen's (A&M Records' VP of a&r) attention. A&M bought the single, reissued it and signed the Captain and Tennille.

They found their second single when heard Neil Sedaka sing "Love Will Keep Us Together" then heard it again in Kip Cohen's office and decided to record the song themselves. By the end of June 1975, the single sold 1.3 million copies and was still shipping up to 200,000 copies each week. In July, Record World reported that the Captain and Tennille were "the fastest moving new group in America." In August 1975, their version of "Love Will Keep Us Together" was a hot single in Puerto Rico.

On their first tour as A&M artists, the Captain and Tennille performed as a trio with drummer Chris Albertson.

The Captain & Tennille are the only artist to have two versions of the same chart on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time, "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Por Amor Viviremos."

The Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" was used in the movie "Get Over It."

By 1977, the duo had two platinum albums in a row and four consecutive top five singles on the Billboard chart. Hamilton Radio Quarterly reported that as of December 1977, sales of Song of Joy wr at 1.6 million units and Love Will Keep Us Together at 2.35 million copies. Captain & Tennille were selling about 100,000 albums a week.

On their 1977 tour, the band included Jack Conrad on bass; Gary English on keyboards; Mike Mathis on drums, plus Helen Lowe, Louisa Tennille and Joyce Hodges on vocals.

The Captain & Tennille were the fourth pop music duo to host a television variety show.

 

Ultimate Collection press release

Sources
  1. Billboard, August 9, 1975
  2. The Dragons: They Had to Do It Alone. Bob Kirsch. Billboard, August 16, 1975.
  3. Captain & Tennille. Billboard, August 16, 1975.
  4. Captain & Tennille Dive Into TV Unafraid of Its Pitfalls. Paul Grein. Billboard, November 6, 1977.

Official autobiography:  Toni Tennille: A Memoir

Recording Years / Label
1974-1978 -  A&M Records
1978 -  Horizon Records
Name Member Years Instruments
Daryl Dragon bass, keyboards
Toni Tennille vocals, piano
Name Birth Death
Daryl Dragon 1942-08-27 2019-01-02
Toni Tennille 1943-05-08