Well, it did for nearly 40 years – keep ’em together that is. Talk about your beginner’s luck…Captain and Tennille hit it big with their first hit single, “Love Will Keep Us Together” which hit #1 on Billboard on this day in 1975. It would stay atop the chart for a month, chart in an alternate, Spanish-language version they also did, and be a #1 in Canada and Australia as well. It was the biggest-selling single of the year in the U.S. and Canada, and so, perhaps appropriately it won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1976.
The song was written by Neil Sedaka, who also recorded it (to little acclaim) two years prior; if you listen carefully you hear her exclaim “Sedaka’s back” near the end of the song as a tip of the cap to Neil. The married couple who met when Daryl (“Captain”) was the touring keyboard player for the Beach Boys and he got Toni (Tennille) a gig as a backing singer, earning her the nickname of the “only Beach Girl.” It was also the start of a briefly-stellar career for the two keyboardists. By the end of the decade they’d racked up seven more top 20 hits including the… memorable… “Muskrat Love”, and briefly (in the tradition of that other singing couple, Sonny and Cher) their own TV variety show. That ran for the 1976-77 season on ABC, the story is they grew tired of the show before the network brass did and asked to be let out of the contract. They also got to play for President Ford who was entertaining Queen Elizabeth at the White House; Ford liked them but the Queen was said to have fallen asleep! The song helped Sedaka, as the lyrics say, come back too. Although he was an early pop star, with six top 10 hits by 1963 including “Calendar Girl,” the Beatles era hadn’t been kind to him, with him virtually disappearing from the public eye for a decade until a bit of a surprise hit in 1974, “Laughter in the Rain.” After this one though, Elton John was soon calling him and they collaborated on the #1 hit “Bad Blood.”
Unfortunately the Captain and Tennille divorced in 2014, but remained close until Daryl passed away in 2019, apparently with Toni still by his side.