Toni Tennille in 1976
|Birth name||Cathryn Antoinette Tennille|
May 8, 1940 |
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
|Associated acts||Captain & Tennille|
Cathryn Antoinette "Toni" Tennille (born May 8, 1940) is an American singer-songwriter and keyboardist, best known as one-half of the 1970s duo Captain & Tennille with her former husband Daryl Dragon; their signature song being "Love Will Keep Us Together". Tennille has also done musical work independently of her husband, including solo albums and session work. Tennille has a contralto vocal range, spanning over 2 and a half octaves.
Tennille was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. Her father Frank was a former singer with Bob Crosby's Bob-Cats who owned a furniture store and also served in the Alabama Legislature, while her mother Cathryn hosted a local television show.
Tennille graduated from Sidney Lanier High School then attended Auburn University in Alabama for two years where she studied classical piano and sung with the university's big band, the Auburn Knights.
While living in Corona del Mar in Newport Beach, California during the late 1960s, Tenille was a member of the South Coast Repertory. Ron Thronsen, one of the directors of the reporatory, asked Tenille in 1969 to write the music for a new rock musical he was working on called Mother Earth. The musical was a success locally, went on the road to San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1971 and eventually made it to Broadway for a few dates at the the Belasco Theatre in October 1972. Although Tenille was no longer associated with the musical by the time it reached Broadway, she was credited as the composer under her married name Shearer.
It was in 1971 where Tenille met her future husband Dragon for the first time during auditions in San Francisco for band members for the muscial. Dragon had previously toured with The Beach Boys and had appeared on a couple of their albums as a back up musician. After Mother Earth ended, Dragon returned to The Beach Boys and introduced to Tenille to the band, and Tenille played electric piano with the band during their 1972 tour. In 1973, Tenille and Dragon left to form Captain & Tenille and began perfoming at local clubs. The two released their self-financed debut single "The Way I Want to Touch You" in September 1973 which was a success locally and helped them to get a record contract from A&M records. The dual recorded was a cover version of the Neil Sedaka song "Love Will Keep Us Together" in 1975 which became a huge success and eventually went on to win the 1975 Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Tennille is 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) tall. She married her first husband Kenneth Shearer in June 1962 at the age of 22. They divorced in late 1972. She then married Daryl Dragon on November 11, 1975. The couple moved from Reno, Nevada to Prescott, Arizona in 2007. Tennille filed for divorce after 39 years of marriage on January 16, 2014. Dragon said he was unaware of any discontent until being served with the divorce papers. The divorce was finalized in July, 2014.
In 2015, Tennille moved to Florida at the suggestion of her sister, Jane. During the promotion of her autobiography, on The Today Show in the spring of 2016, Tennille said the reason for their divorce was Dragon's "inability to be affectionate". However, she later inferred that Daryl reacted positively to her memoir and the reveal; he said "I saw you on The Today Show. I was proud of you".
- More Than You Know (1984)
- All Of Me (1987)
- Never Let Me Go (1991)
- Things Are Swingin' (1994)
- Incurably Romantic (2001)
- Tennille, Toni; Tennille-St. Clair, Caroline (2016). Toni Tennille: A Memoir. Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-6307-6174-5.
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- Tennille, Toni (23 October 2015). "Toni Tennille: A Memoir". tonitennille.net. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- "Behind the Scenes with Toni Tennille, Author and Narrator of "Toni Tennille: A Memoir"". youtube.com. Audible. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
Go into the studio with Toni Tennille as she performs her memoir and shares stories of her life in music. Learn more at http://www.audible.com/ToniTennille
- "Captain & Tennille Divorce -- Love WON'T Keep Us Together". TMZ.com. January 22, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
- Blog, Toni Tennille, http://www.tonitennille.net/blog/ Accessed October 7, 2015.
- "Toni Tennille Reveals Personal Reason Why She Divorced Daryl Dragon", 24 April 2016.
- Tennille, Toni (7 May 2016). "TONI TENNILLE! Love Will Keep Us Together! Creative Arts Emmys 2016". YouTube.com. LGBT Hollywood. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
But I do know this... He said "I saw you on The Today Show. I was proud of you". And Caroline was with me in the back of the car and we both kinda teared up a bit. He is proud of me, and he's proud of the music
- Herman, Jan (April 10, 1988). "Toni Tennille: No Hits but 'Always Sold Out'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
In fact, her two latest albums--"More Than You Know" (1984) and "All of Me" (1987)--feature jazz-oriented renditions of Tin Pan Alley tunes from the '30s and '40s.