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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 21, 1975

It's time for another installment of the Tuesday Timeline, and the only thing that I can say about this week's topic is that it is all about love!

I just hope the weather holds out long enough for me to get this all typed out.  As I write this, the sky has turned black and we're expected to get thunderstorms and quite possibly a tornado.  So, my ability to post this really depends on whether or not I still have power - or a house, for that matter.

For now, let's have a look at the events that took place on this date in history that I didn't choose.  A lot happened on June 21!

1734 - Marie-Joseph Angelique is put to death in Montreal after being convicted of setting the fire that nearly destroyed the whole city

1749 - The city of Halifax, Nova Scotia is founded

1788 - New Hampshire is admitted as the ninth U.S. state

1791 - Louis XVI begins the Flight to Varennes during the French Revolution

1854 - The first Victoria Cross is awarded

1877 - Ten Irish immigrants convicted of murder - known as the Molly Maguires - are hanged

1900 - China formally declares war on the United States, Britain, Germany, France, and Japan in the Boxer Rebellion

1919 - Two people are killed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after they fire a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans who gathered together as part of the Winnipeg General Strike

1921 - Actress/singer Judy Holliday (d. 1965) is born in New York City; also born on this date is actress Jane Russell (d. 2011)

1925 - Actress Maureen Stapleton (d. 2006) is born in Troy, New York

1944 - Director Tony Scott (d. 2012) is born in Tynemouth, England

1945 - The Battle of Okinawa ends

1954 - British soap actress Anne Kirkbride (d. 2015) is born

1964 - Members of the Ku Klux Klan murder civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner; Edgar Ray Killen is convicted of manslaughter exactly 41 years later in 2005

1970 - The largest American bankruptcy takes place on this date as Penn Central declares Section 77 bankruptcy

1982 - A not guilty verdict by reason of insanity is given to John Hinckley for his assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in March 1981

2001 - Actor Carroll O'Connor passes away at the age of 76

2006 - The newly discovered moons of Pluto are named Hydra and Nix

2008 - American puppeteer Kermit Love passes away, aged 91

2012 - A boat carrying over 200 refugees capsizes in between Christmas Island and Java, killing 17, and leaving 70 missing

And happy birthday to the following famous faces!  Turning another year older are Wally Fawkes, Bernie Kopell, Eddie Adcock, Don Black, Mariette Hartley, Joe Flaherty, Lyman Ward, Dan Henning, Marjorie Margolies, Ray Davies, Brenda Holloway, Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross, Ian McEwan, Joey Kramer, John Paul Young, Nils Lofgren, Marcella Detroit, Berkeley Breathed, Kathy Mattea, Kip Winger, David Morrissey, Doug Savant, Lana Wachowski, Gretchen Carlson, Mancow Muller, Carrie Preston, Sonique, Juliette Lewis, Pascal Rheaume, Craig Lowndes, Shelley Craft, Sarah Slean, Chris Pratt, Brandon Flowers, Edward Snowden, Kris Allen, Sharna Burgess, and Lana Del Rey.

That's a lot of June 21 birthdays!

All right.  It's time to check and see what date we'll be looking at this week.

Ah, June 21, 1975.  A good year indeed.  Or at least that's what I've heard.  I wasn't born yet.

But I suppose you could say that as far as 1975 was concerned, it was the summer of least it was on the music charts.  During the summer of 1975, everyone did a little bit of "Jive Talkin'", they did the Hustle, they were "Fallin' in Love", and they even did a little dance, made a little love, and got down tonight!

Of course, the song that kicked off the summer of romance hit the top of the charts forty-one years ago today.  And that song was also the song that had the longest chart run of the year - four whole weeks at the top!

Come on.  Let's listen to that song together.

ARTIST:  Captain & Tennille
SONG:  Love Will Keep Us Together
ALBUM:  Love Will Keep Us Together
DATE RELEASED:  April 1975

Ah, yes.  "Love Will Keep Us Together".  The debut single for Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille - otherwise known as Captain & Tennille.  This pop duo entertained people throughout most of the decade known as the 1970s, but this song will forever be known as their signature hit.

But did you know that this song was actually a cover version?

The original version was recorded two years earlier by singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka.  He's the guy that brought us "Calendar Girl", "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen", and "Laughter in the Rain".  Though the single was recorded in 1973, it was never released in the United States (which could explain why so many think that "Love Will Keep Us Together" was a brand new song when it was released in 1975).  Sedaka's version of the song was released in some parts of Europe - most notably France.

Also in 1973, the UK first got their taste of the song courtesy of singing duo Mac and Katie Kissoon - who just happened to be brother and sister.  Yeah, that's not creepy.  That's not creepy at all.

Anyway, their version also failed to make an impact on the American charts as well, though in the Netherlands, their song peaked at #12.

Enter Captain & Tennille, who released their version to much fanfare...though if the Captain was the one who was steering the ship, "Love Will Keep Us Together" would NOT have been the song that they would have preferred to have as their debut.  Instead, the Captain believed that their version of "I Write The Songs" (made famous by singer Barry Manilow later that year) would have been a better choice.  But when the single peaked at #1 on the Easy Listening charts on June 7, 1975, Captain & Tennille knew that they were on the verge of something big with that single.

Two weeks later, the song peaked at #1 in the United States.  It would also chart at the top of the Canadian and Australian charts later that year.  And it would eventually be the song that kicked off the recording careers of Captain & Tennille who would later go on to release "Muskrat Love", "Can't Stop Dancin'", and "Do That To Me One More Time".  The song was even translated into Spanish and peaked at #49 on the charts - one of the few instances in which the same song released in two different languages would chart on the Billboard 100!

It turns out that the song could have very well have been a personal statement for the duo.  Having been involved as a couple in real life when they recorded this song, Captain & Tennille would get married on November 11, 1975 - just a few months after the song peaked at the top of the charts.

Sadly, love didn't keep these two together.  After thirty-eight years of marriage, Toni Tennille filed for divorce from the Captain in January 2014 - and the Captain himself had no idea that she had even filed until he was served with the divorce papers!  Although nobody really knows why the divorce went through, it is speculated that a neurological condition that the Captain was experiencing was preventing him from performing.  Whether or not that had anything to do with the split, who can say?

But back in 1975, Captain & Tennille were very much in love.  And I'm sure that this song has been playing at wedding receptions ever since.

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