Born: May 8, 1943 Montgomery, AL

Pop Vocals Captain & Tennille

In 1984, singer Toni Tennille took a big chance with her career. As she expresses it, she was simply "going back to her roots." Those musical roots came from her father, Frank Tennille, who sang and recorded (often under the name, "Clark Randall") with Ben Pollack's legendary big band, and with its successor, led by Bob Crosby. In the years 1984-1986, Toni recorded two big band albums which contained some of the most famous, classic jazz standards ever written. (At Auburn University in Alabama, she earned her way through college by singing the great standards of the '30's and '40's backed by Auburn University's big band). This "chance" that Toni took with her career has definitely paid off. Radio stations around the country continue to play her beautiful renditions of these timeless songs, and Toni travels the country singing the great standards with symphony orchestras and big bands. Since 1984, Toni has become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed symphony guest artists in the U.S. and Canada. She performs with 8 to 10 symphony orchestras a year, including those of Cincinnati, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Edmonton, Alberta, Can. She is also a favorite guest artist of the United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra and Airmen of Note.

Her first two masterful albums, MORE THAN YOU KNOW and ALL OF ME, were conceived by Toni and then finely tuned with the invaluable assistance of Count Basie's musical arranger/orchestrator, Mr. Sammy Nestico. Both albums were critically praised by Billboard, The Los Angeles Times, Cashbox, The Chicago Tribune, People and Us magazine, which noted, "Tennille sings these classics in a beautifully breathy style reminiscent of jazz divas Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, her idols."

toni tennille 1976

Photo of Toni Tennille from the premiere of the television program Captain & Tennille 1976.

In 1991 she released a third album, a sampling of classic jazz ballads entitled NEVER LET ME GO, which Billboard Magazine noted, "She exudes vocal confidence and proves that her rich alto was made for this material." Her latest release is a collection of upbeat swinging standards called THINGS ARE SWINGIN', which she recorded with an exciting young big band led by arranger / musician Matt Catingub. Toni says, "Matt Catingub is one of the most brilliant and exciting young musicians I have ever met. My husband, Daryl (The Captain), first brought him to my attention, and we've worked together ever since. We did this album, live, with Matt's big band, and I don't think I've ever had more fun in a recording studio."

Tennille, who studied classical piano for ten years (and continues to study today) is also a gifted pop songwriter, penning the million selling hit songs, DO THAT TO ME ONE MORE TIME and THE WAY I WANT TO TOUCH YOU. Her writing, in conjunction with her dynamic stage presence, has established her as a pop legend, landing her on the pop charts 14 times as half of the husband and wife duo, Captain & Tennille. The twosome remain one of the top 5 duos in the past 15 years, as music expert Casey Kasem recently noted. Toni and her husband, Daryl, also starred in the CAPTAIN & TENNILLE VARIETY SHOW on ABC television, as well as a series of highly rated television specials for the same network. In 1980, Toni hosted the syndicated TONI TENNILLE VARIETY TALK SHOW. In 1995, the Captain & Tennille released a collection of their hit singles along with other romantic ballads from the last two decades. The release of "Captain & Tennille - 20 Years of Romance" also happened to coincide with their 20th wedding anniversary.

In recent years, Toni has become an even more versatile performer. In 1992 she starred in the Los Angeles production of the musical, STARDUST, for which she received outstanding reviews from virtually every major publication and trade magazine.

Toni Tennille and Daryl Dragon, happily married since 1975, have been living quietly in northern Nevada since they moved there from Los Angeles in 1984. Always a supporter of the performing arts, Tennille was recently named AMBASSADOR FOR THE ARTS for the state of Nevada by Governor Bob Miller.

Whether touring with her husband as Captain & Tennille, singing with a 40's style big band, or performing with some of the finest symphony orchestras in North America, her undisputed versatility confirms TONI TENNILLE as the "complete singer/entertainer".

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Photo source: Wikipedia

Cathryn Antoinette "Toni" Tennille (born May 8, 1940) is an American singer-songwriter and keyboardist, best known as one-half of the 1970s Grammy Award-winning duo Captain & Tennille, the other half being her husband Daryl Dragon.[1] Tennille has also done musical work independently of her husband, including solo albums and session work. Tennille has a contralto vocal range.[2]

captian and tennille cdBiography

Tennille was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, as part of a family of entertainers. Her father, Frank Tennille, who used the pseudonym Clark Randall, was a big band singer with Bob Crosby and the Bobcats and her mother, Cathryn Tennille, was a local television pioneer, being the hostess of Montgomery’s first daytime TV talk show. Tennille's musical sisters, Jane, Louisa, and Melissa, all sang on her variety TV shows, as well as on the Captain & Tennille albums. Tennille began her career studying classical piano at Auburn University and singing with the university's big band, the Auburn Knights. Her sister, Louisa Tennille, is the background singer in her band.

Tennille sang backup vocals on Pink Floyd's The Wall as well as Art Garfunkel's Breakaway. She also did backup singing for Elton John's recordings: performing on at least three John albums, including Caribou, Blue Moves, 21 at 33 and most notably on the song, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".

On July 8, 1980, Tennille sang the national anthem at the Major League Baseball All-Star game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.[3]

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 11 November 1975; they now live in Prescott, Arizona.

Tennille toured with The Beach Boys during the 1970s with Daryl Dragon, both playing keyboards for the group.


Tennille graduated from Sidney Lanier High School and Auburn University in Alabama.


MDB (2008-02-07). "Biography for Toni Tennille". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
"Captain & Tennille - News / Latest & Archived". Retrieved 2012-02-10.
World's Strangest Baseball Stories. Watermill Press. 1993. p. 42. ISBN 0-8167-2933-6.


Official Website:


Amazon: Toni Tennille
toni tennille albums

Amazon: Captain and Tennille
captian and tennille albums

Subscribe to Newsletter

Rick Carter Radio - All Alabama Music

Accepting submissions and adding them daily. Artists can send their songs in MP3's to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. One song per email. Graphics and song and artist info should be included of course.

This space
for rent!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.