Toni Tennille

Captain and Tennille

More Songs and Stories from The Secret Of Christmas

Toni Tennille6 Comments

Dear friends … all of a sudden Christmas Day is only four days away, and I am, as usual, way behind and unprepared! But I do want to leave you with these songs from the Captain & Tennille Christmas CD, THE SECRET OF CHRISTMAS.

When Daryl and I created our one and only Christmas CD back in 2006, we decided that I would arrange and produce the more 'traditional' Christmas songs, and Daryl would do his wonderfully odd, witty and sometimes rather strange versions of Christmas songs that appealed to him. When I finished one of my arrangements, I would hand it over to Daryl, and he would create his special keyboard sounds to help make the song 'come alive'. Often you can hear his signature quirky style in one of my more conventional arrangements … for example, in the background vocals of "Boogie Baby Christmas" (which I wrote for him) … not to mention his fabulous boogie solo.

But in "Daryl of the Bells", Daryl was completely unleashed! I just listened to it again for the first time in a couple of years, and was struck by the absolute genius of his work. It is certainly not a 'traditional' version of the song. And about two or three minutes in, you hear the sound of a train approaching, and suddenly you are on that train, going through all sorts of weird musical scenery … until you finally end up in what sounds to me like a disco/rock nightclub kind of thing. I know … it sounds really 'out there' … and it IS! Listen to it and see what comes into your mind.

SPECIAL NOTE: All of the voices you hear are mine … even the ones that sound like a man … or a mouse! Daryl ran my voice through his synthesizers to change the sound of my vocals to suit his musical vision.

By the way, I just talked to Daryl a couple of days ago, and he sounded GREAT! That makes me very happy. I am HOPING he will find his way back to his keyboards again.

"The Secret of Christmas" … this is my favorite Christmas song. Written by the great Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, the lyrics express exactly how I feel about the Christmas holiday. "The secret of Christmas is not the things you do at Christmas time, but the Christmas things you do all year through."

And remember, as we approach the New Year, KEEP A SONG OF JOY INSIDE YOUR HEART!

You can listen to the full THE SECRET OF CHRISTMAS album on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube. You can also purchase it on compact disc from Amazon.

"Can't Stop Dancing" On Dancing With The Stars

Toni Tennille4 Comments

As soon as Daryl and I had our first #1 hit record and platinum album, we began to be deluged with submissions of songs from songwriters and publishing companies. There was no way we could spend the time to listen to them all and still keep up with everything else we had to do. So we enlisted the talented "ears" of my sisters, Louisa and Jane. Louisa would listen to every single song that was offered, and then would make a tape for us of the first 20 or 30 seconds of each song she thought would work for us. Then we would choose the ones that caught OUR ears and listen to the entire demo. Jane lived in Nashville at the time, and would go down to the publishing offices on Music Row to find songs we might like. One of the songs Jane found for us was "Can't Stop Dancing" by Ray Stevens. When we recorded it, I always thought Daryl pushed the tempo a bit too much, and that it was really too fast to dance to … but people seemed to really like the song as much as we did.

Several months ago Dancing with the Stars asked permission to use the song on one of their shows, and we signed off and forgot about it. But I was THRILLED when I found out they used it last Monday evening for the first dance of the season, and was amazed by the fantastic dancing of Marilu Henner and Derek Hough! It is always really fun to hear one of our songs pop up in a film or on a TV series.

And here I am performing "Can't Stop Dancing" with Daryl on The Toni Tennille Show in 1980: