Today is the birthday of Toni Tennille. Those who are familiar with the Captain and Tennille’s long string of hit records from the mid to late 70s may not remember, know, or care that for one season (1976-1977) they had their own television variety series. I was a devotee, I liked most of their songs, but they were ill-suited to the format. Tennille came across as, uh, very nice. And “the Captain” (former Beach Boys backup musician Daryl Dragon) usually said little or nothing — they made a gag of his taciturnity. At any rate, I thought I’d save this appalling spectacle for the end of the day where it could do the least damage. I find it mind-boggling that this was presented to the American public as entertainment. It could only lead to nightmares, and possibly shooting sprees.
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc