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*She was one of the biggest music stars of the 1970s. As part of the duo Captain & Tennille, Grammy winner Toni Tennille‘s life as a singer and TV show personality made her one of the most well known women of the decade. From performing at the White House to having her own TV series with her now ex-husband Darryl Dragon, she shares many of those stories in her new book “Toni Tennille: A Memoir.”

One of the great moments of Toni’s career was performing with the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald on an ABC TV special. Toni shares her memories of the music legend telling Chris Yandek of CYInterview:

“She was without a doubt one of the most kind, lovely, humble women I’ve ever met in our business, in my business. I of course when I was a kid had listened to her records. Daddy played her records and so many others. He was my education in the great American songbook. But I loved her, I loved the purity of her voice, the sweetness of her voice, the fact that she gave so much attention to the lyrics and what they mean. And when we did our songbook special for ABC, Daryl and I each had our choice of who we would like to have as a special guest.

And I chose Ella hoping, hoping that she would agree to come on and she did. We did a duet together of torch songs and it was about a 10 minute duet. It was very, very complicated, but it was wonderful and I remember when we were rehearsing it. We went through it the first time in rehearsal and she looked at me and she said, ‘Was that ok?’ Like, I’m supposed to approve her. I said, ‘It was beautiful Ella. It was brilliant.’ And so we went on and we did that torch song duet which you can find on YouTube today and every time I watch it on YouTube, it brings back the memories of me as a little kid singing into my hair brush along with Ella and then to actually be there performing with her, who was such a kind and lovely woman, and it did my heart good and it still does my heart good to go back and watch that.”

You can read and listen to the more than 30 minute interview with Toni Tennille at CYInterview.

Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie 12

Ella Fitzgerald