Captain & Tennille – Do That To Me One More Time

18th January 2023 · 1970s, 1979, Music

Returning to Seventies schmaltz, here’s another oldie from another husband-and-wife duo, Captain & Tennille. It’s not their debut single, Love Will Keep Us Together, and not the peculiar Muskrat Love, but their comeback song after a stint hosting their own TV show.

Do That To Me One More Time was their biggest UK hit, reaching No.7 in 1980, by which time the fragrant Tennille’s hair had gone blonde, and her skin startlingly orange.

Then again, she was ahead of her time from the start: the group’s foundations lay in an ecology-themed musical called Mother Earth that Toni Tennille wrote way back in 1972.

At the time Daryl Dragon was playing the keyboards for The Beach Boys, whose Mike Love nicknamed him “Captain” for his stage wear of a yachting cap.

During a break between tours and recording sessions, Dragon joined the musical as a keyboard player when it moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Not long after, when The Beach Boys needed an additional piano player of their own, he recommended Tennille to them and they hired her as a temporary “Beach Girl” for a year-long tour.

By the end of the tour romance had blossomed and a musical partnership had begun.

Tennille and Dragon – aka Captain – began performing as a duo in the Los Angeles area after recording an independent one-off single, The Way I Want To Touch You, they earned a deal with A&M Records, who saw them as “a slightly sexier Carpenters.”

Their first single, a cover of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield’s Love Will Keep Us Together, reached No.1 in America. It was followed by the deeply weird Muskrat Love.

This song came later, for a new label, Casablanca, and gave them their second US chart-topper after their debut. I’m not sure how autobiographical it is, though – in her autobiography Tennille suggested that Captain didn’t “do that” much at all during their 39-year marriage.

She was, however, with him at the end when he died from renal failure in 2019, five years after their divorce, having suffered for years from Parkinson’s Disease that prevented him playing his beloved keyboards.

I’m not sure what Elton John is doing in this video, which seems to be for an awards show of some sort, but Tennille sang backing vocals as a session singer – even during her own most successful period with Captain (never “the” Captain, he always insisted) – on three of his albums, and the hit single Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

She also sang backing tracks on Pink Floyd’s album The Wall.