OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Song duo Captain and Tennille divorcing after 39 years

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-01-24T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Song duo Captain and Tennille divorcing after 39 yearsBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Captain and Tennille, the popular 1970s married pop duo that sang of sharing forever and of "love keeping them together," are splitting, according to wire reports from the Associated Press.

Cathryn Antoinette Tennille, better known as "Toni," filed in an Arizona court near their home in Prescott, to end her 38-year marriage to Daryl Dragon, or "The Captain," according to an AP story by writer Felicia Fonseca sent out Thursday. The two already are listed as ex-husband and ex-wife on their website, which says while their marriage appeared to be rock-solid, "almost all people naturally evolve over time, (and) sometimes hidden feelings start to be uncovered."

The divorce petition says the couple's marriage is irretrievably broken. They were married the same year their hit song, "Love Will Keep Us Together," earned a Grammy award for record of the year in 1975. Tennille's attorney declined comment Thursday, and a call to Dragon's number in Prescott where the couple retired in 2008 went unanswered. The two have no children.

The divorce petition asks that any community property, debt and obligations be equitably divided. It also states that neither Tennille, 73, nor Dragon, 71, is entitled to or in need of spousal support. The couple met while to the two both perform back-up instrumentals for The Beach Boys. Dragon is the son of famed concert conductor Carmen Dragon.

While Tennille has been active in Prescott, voicing over a promotional tourism video for the city in 2011, singing at local spots and training Australian shepherd dogs, Dragon's health kept him wanting to stay home. Tennille wrote in a blog in 2011 that tremors due to a neurological condition had made it difficult, if not impossible, for Dragon to play the keyboards and that he was embarrassed to go out in public.

The Captain and Tennille had 14 songs on the pop singles chart, with half of them in the Top 10. Their songs also included "Muskrat Love," ''Do That To Me One More Time," and "Shop Around." The duo also briefly hosted a variety show for one season for ABC, intended to be ratings competition for Sonny and Cher's TV show on CBS. When I interviewed Toni Tennille and hubby Daryl Dragon in 1996 backstage at the old Drury Lane Theatre in Evergreen Park, Ill. I asked them about their time on television and why they asked to be let out of their TV contract after just one season, despite high ratings.

"TV was fun, but a lot of work keeping up with the schedule required for taping a TV show," Toni said. The couple's only "regular weekly guests" on the show were they pair of English bulldogs, Elizabeth and Broderick.

In 1976, the couple fielded countless media criticism after they were invited by President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford to entertain at a state dinner with visiting guest of honor Queen Elizabeth II and the duo opted to sing their hit "Muskrat Love," later dubbed in news headlines as "a tacky song choice."

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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