When pop recording artists The Captain & Tennille headline the 16th annual Fourth of July Ex travaganza at the North Campus of Cal State Northridge on Monday, it will be a homecoming of sorts for the husband-and-wife team.
Toni Tennille and Daryl Dragon are no strangers to the San Fernando Valley. They played regularly at the old Smokehouse Restaurant in Encino from 1972 to 1974, almost up until the time when their first major hit, "Love Will Keep Us Together," was climbing up the charts.
"We had a big Valley following," Tennille remembers. "No matter where I go these days, I find someone from the old Smokehouse days--they're all over."
Also, Dragon, son of the longtime director of the Glendale Symphony, the late Carmen Dragon, once attended CSUN. And although the pair have lived in Nevada since 1984, they still own Rumbo Recording Studios in Canoga Park, which they built in 1979.
The initial success of the Grammy-winning "Love Will Keep Us Together" was followed by five gold albums and six gold singles, plus an ABC-TV network variety show.
They haven't had a record in the pop charts for several years but remain busy. Tennille has just released a new album, "Things are Swingin'," a musical tribute to the style of the big bands of the 1930s and '40s.
Tennille comes to the big band style by way of her father, Frank Tennille, who was a singer with orchestras led by Bob Crosby and Ben Pollack in the 1930s. Although she performed with Matt Catingub's Big Band at the Moonlight Tango Cafe last summer, Tennille could not remember the last time The Captain & Tennille performed in the Valley.
In addition to an hourlong Captain & Tennille set on Monday, Tennille also will perform tunes from her new album with Catingub and full orchestra.
Entertainment at the 16th annual Fourth of July Extravaganza at the North Campus of Cal State Northridge includes the country band Gary Hartman & the Weed in the Road Gang and the New Age artists The Freeway Philharmonic. The concert begins at 4:30 p.m. and is followed by a fireworks display at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 general, $7 children and seniors. Parking is $3. Call (818) 341-2428.
Really the Blues: The 75-member Los Angeles Police Concert Band will perform in a free concert at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Warner Park. The band was established in 1914 and originally was composed entirely of active police personnel. Following the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, active police officers were no longer able to participate during duty hours, and the band was disbanded. It was soon replaced by the all-volunteer band, which operates without public funds and is made up of mostly professional musicians plus some retired and current LAPD officers and those from other law enforcement agencies. The manager of the band is Sgt. Jim Starr.
"They all donate their time in order to promote better community relations throughout the Los Angeles area," Starr said. "Music is a universal language, and it's good for the soul." The band, which rehearses Wednesday evenings at the Police Academy, plays at city and county ceremonial events and celebrations. Additionally, the ensemble serves as ambassadors of goodwill for the city throughout the United States and abroad.
The Valley Cultural Center will present the Los Angeles Police Concert Band at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Warner Center Park, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., near the corner of Topanga and Califa Street, Woodland Hills. The concert is free, and parking is $1 in the lot on the east side of Owensmouth Avenue between Oxnard and Califa streets. Janet & Judy & the Hotbilly Boys will present a children's program at 4 p.m. Bring a blanket or a folding chair. Call (818) 704-1358 . * MORE CELEBRATIONS
For additional Fourth of July celebrations, see accompanying story.