Toni Tennille was born to sing! Born Cathryn Antoinette Tennille in 1940 in Montgomery, Alabama, Toni is eldest daughter of Frank Tennille, a former big band singer with Bob Crosby’s band, and Cathryn Tennille, a pioneer television talk show host. Toni’s musical sisters, Jane, Louisa and Melissa, all sang on the Captain and Tennille variety show, Toni’s 1980 Talk Show, as well as on Captain & Tennille albums.
1975 Record of the Year Grammy Award winners for Love Will Keep Us Together, Toni and her husband, Daryl “The Captain” Dragon, celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary in November 2011. As Captain & Tennille, the two recorded 9 albums with 14 hits on the pop charts including Love Will Keep Us Together, Muskrat Love, Shop Around, Lonely Night Angel Face, and two million-selling songs that Toni wrote about Daryl, Do That To Me One More Time and The Way I Want To Touch You.
Known for her rich voice, sensual melodies, powerful stage presence and accessible personality, Tennille’s career is as versatile as it is successful. From 1975 through 1980, she co-starred with Daryl on the ABC television series The Captain and Tennille Variety Show, followed by three Captain and Tennille specials for the network. In 1980, Toni hosted the syndicated Toni Tennille Variety Talk Show. You can find clips from the variety show and Toni’s talk show on YouTube.
Since 1984, Tennille has had a successful “side” career singing classic jazz and pop standards and performing with top symphony orchestras and big bands across the US and Canada. Her albums of the great American standards include Incurably Romantic, More Than You Know, All of Me, Never Let Me Go, Moonglow and Tennille Sings Big Band. Toni’s renditions of songs by classic composers like George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, Har
old Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn and more have prompted reviewers to rave about her powerful voice and dramatic interpretation of lyrics. One critic’s bulls-eye remark regarding Toni’s singing: “Tennille’s voice is spicy, soothing
and intoxicating,… like hot apple cider and rum.”
In 1998 & 1999 Tennille starred in the First National Tour of the Broadway musical Victor/Victoria. In the lead role of Victoria Grant, reviewers said of her performance, “Contralto Toni Tennille makes “Victor/Victoria” her own.”… “Tennille glitters, whether she’s in a tux or in sequins.”… “Toni Tennille is a strong lead with a smoldering, velvety voice.”…
It was in the summer of 1971, while performing in a musical she wrote, “Mother Earth”, in San Francisco, that Toni met husband to be, Daryl Dragon who auditioned for her as a keyboardist. One look, a quick listen and she hired him on the spot (“because he made me laugh,” she says). Dragon reciprocated by hiring Toni to play keyboards for the next Beach Boys tour. She was, and has remained, the one and only “Beach Girl”. Music lovers also recognize Toni’s voice on Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”.
Toni studied classical piano for ten years, and sang with Auburn University’s big band, the Auburn Knights, as her father did before her. She later studied acting at the prestigious South Coast Repertory Theatre in southern California.
In 2007, Toni and Daryl bought a piece of property in Prescott, Arizona and built their “last
dream house.” Prescott is where they plan to spend the rest of their lives. Toni and her beautiful Australian Shepherd dog, Smoky, are a Delta Society registered Therapy Dog team. The two visit patients at Yavapai Regional Medical Center weekly. Toni says that Prescott, with its natural beauty and wonderful, friendly people, is a “perfect fit” for her and Daryl.
Toni says that she sings because she loves to share with others the music that has brought her so much joy and happiness over the years.
Toni Tennille can be contacted through her web site at www.ToniTennille.net