TONI'S LAST BLOG | TONI WILL SING A LOCAL
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - CONCERT IN PRESCOTT - FEB. 2012| UPDATE
ON DARYL'S HEALTH
I want to thank all of you who regularly read my blog. When I started
writing it, I had no idea there would be that much interest in what
I had to say. Now that Facebook, Twitter, etc. have become so popular,
and since I really never wanted to share my thoughts with anyone
but our fans, I've decided to "officially" let you know
that I won't be writing it again.
As far as Facebook and Twitter, I think there is far too much blather
out there... .I don't need to add my voice to all the other noise.
As a quick snapshot of how we are now, let me just say that Daryl's
health is excellent, but his tremor has made it difficult, if not
impossible, for him to play anymore. This is a great loss for him,
as you could imagine.
I have a very full life, and I am grateful every day for my good
health, good friends, loving family and beautiful Prescott.
Smoky and I still visit the hospital weekly as part of the Pet Partners
volunteer program. He has become as beloved a therapy dog as was
his sire, Moon, and is carrying on in Moon's tradition. He loves
to go on his "rounds" and receive all the hugs, pets and
loving that is given to him by the patients, their families, and
Smoky's beautiful nieces, Bebop and Lula, are part of our family
now. They are blue merle Australian Shepherds, just like their Uncle.
They'll be ten months old this month.... so hard to believe. I watched
them being born, and they came to live with us when they were 8
Smoky and I still run agility together, and I am training the little
girls do it also. I will also train one of them to be a therapy
dog like their Uncle. Smoky finished his ASCA Championship, so now
I am starting to show Bebop and Lula in Conformation shows.
My sister, Louisa, and her husband Bob now live here in Prescott....
just about a five minute drive from our house. I can't tell you
how happy I am to have them here. Louisa and I laugh a lot.... and,
as you know, laughter keeps you healthy, happy and strong.
UPDATE ON DARYL'S HEALTH:
Keep good thoughts for Daryl. He IS very healthy, but the tremor
is really affecting his lifestyle. He's embarrassed to go out in
public... to a restaurant, to the theatre, etc. I encourage him
as much as I can, but he has to find his way. I feel certain that
Once again, thank you all for your interest. And remember to always
A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. !!!!!!!
And still, once again, remember to always Keep
A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart.
TENNILLE SINGS BIG BAND CONCERT
IN PRESCOTT COMING UP!!! | UPDATE ON DARYLS HEALTH
SINGS BIG BAND CONCERT IN PRESCOTT
My big band concert here in Prescott is less than two weeks away!
The concert has been sold out for quite a while, and I feel terrible
when people ask me about tickets and I have to tell them there are
none to be had. We did no advertising for the show. The local newspaper,
Courier, did a story about the concert a week before the tickets
went on sale in May, and all of the tickets sold rather quickly on
I have been spending the last 3 1/2 months choosing the songs, and
putting together a FANTASTIC group of musicians for the band. Those
of you who are long-time fans will remember Rusty
Higgins, who joined Captain and Tennille in 1979, and then went
on to conduct symphony orchestras and big bands for me for 20+ years.
He will be here to conduct.
Scott Lavender, who was keyboard player and pianist for Captain
and Tennille for many years, and who has been my symphony and big
band piano accompanist on many occasions, will be here also. He has
been music director and accompanist for Johnny Mathis for at least
a decade, but Johnny is not performing on the weekend of my concert,
so Scott was able to come to Prescott to accompany me on piano.
C&T fans will remember our terrific drummer, Kevin
The Kid Winard. He will be back behind the drums,
kicking the big band with his usual authority and verve.
We will have beautiful lighting, courtesy of Greg, Danny and the wonderful
staff at Yavapai College Performance Hall, and great sound thanks
to Spike, of Sound on Site here in Prescott, in collaboration with
Danny at YCPH.
I am thrilled to announce that my long-time symphony and big band
arranger, Sammy Nestico, will be in the audience for the concert with
his beautiful wife Shirley, and his grandson. He has written a brand
new opening number for me just for this occasion.... a swinging version
of Hank Williams HEY GOOD LOOKIN. Ill be singing
it for the very first time in this show.
Our long-time Personal Assistant, Becky Greenlaw, has done a terrific
job of handling all of the logistics for the concert.... a very, very
tough and time-consuming job, which she is accomplishing with her
usual expertise and thoroughness. I simply would never do a concert
My dear friends and neighbors here in Prescott, Kathy, Carol and Penny,
along with Angie and John, are handling many tasks for the show...
such as driving musicians to and from rehearsal and the concert, handing
out programs (the hall doesnt provide people to do that for
renters, although they DO provide ushers), dog wrangling
(youll understand when you see the concert), backstage security
Oh....and we will be offering no longer available (but timeless) CDs
for sale at very affordable prices in the lobby. There will be two
of my big band CDs and the 6-CD boxed set of C&T albums.
UPDATE ON DARYL'S HEALTH
There is only one thing that has not worked out the way I had hoped.
Daryl told me this morning that he is not up to performing the three
C&T songs I had hoped he could do. Many of you know he is dealing
with a neurological condition (not Parkinsons, but something similar)
that causes him to have tremors...pretty severe at times.... that
interfere with his ability to play keyboards. Some days he does pretty
well.... other days his playing is severely compromised. His condition
is exascerbated by any kind of stress, and worrying about his ability
to play has made his condition worse. Also, his sister, Carmen,
passed away recently, and he is trying to deal with that loss in his
own way. I hope all of you understand that he would be there if he
could, but it isnt possible this time. Maybe next year.
Until then, Keep
A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart.
11 , 2010
WHAT A HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!! | SEPTEMBER
BIG BAND CONCERT UPDATE
WHAT A HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!
On May 8th, the morning of my 70th birthday, I drifted up from a lovely
dream, cozily wrapped in the arms of my husband of 35+ years. The
day could not have been more beautiful. It was the kind of morning
where you wake up full of joy and grateful for being alive. The first
thing my dear Captain said to me was.... Are you awake?
I snuggled down even more, relishing the warmth and comfort of the
cozy bed. Huh?, I mumbled. I have a birthday card
for you, he said. Oh, how sweet, I said, still only
half awake. Then he reached over to his nightstand and handed me an
envelope . Can you see it? Do you need glasses? he asked.
NOPE!!!! I said, smiling, I can see just fine!
Daryl and I have a tradition of giving each other birthday cards the
moment we wake up. The cards are usually store-bought, but we always
write a special note inside. I must say that this was the sweetest
note he has ever written to me! I think Ill have it framed!
That was just the beginning of what would turn out to be a perfect
planned and hosted a birthday dinner for me with a few close women
friends and my youngest sister Melissa who was able to drive over
from southern California for my special day. The dinner
was held at a romantic gourmet restaurant called THE ROSE in downtown
Prescott. He wore his Captains hat and looked quite handsome.
He was the ONLY man there! At his request, the table was decorated
with beautiful pink roses, with pink and orange balloons arranged
about the room. The restaurant even printed up a special birthday
menu for me. I was so proud of Daryl! . . .
He even paid the bill, with
a limited amount of moaning and eye-rolling at the expense, with his
own credit card! That card hasnt seen the
light of day in YEARS!!!!
I want to make sure to thank all of you who took the time to email
birthday wishes to me! It was so heartwarming to read your kind words.
You know, even if I wanted to let my 70th birthday slip away unnoticed,
many of the newspapers and magazines still print it each year, so
I still receive emails and ecards from our fans, and it is a joy to
I have to say that I have never been happier in my life. I never thought
that, at 70 years of age, I would have such a happy and fulfilling
life. I dont really know what I thought it would be like, except
70 sounded pretty darned OLD. But, surprise! Other than the fact that
body occasionally reminds me Im not 30 anymore (especially
after running Smoky in agility trials), Im feeling great! I
have a wonderful husband, four beautiful and accomplished sisters
that I love, and many, many dear friends. And yes, I have gone
to the dogs. Smoky, my Australian Shepherd Therapy Dog partner,
and I visit patients and families at the local hospital every week.
He and I were also on hand at the regional Special Olympics a few
weeks ago to offer friendly support to the athletes and their families.
Starting in June, we will again visit children every other week in
Sedona at the Kids and Kritters Day Camp at the beautiful Humane Society
I am also proud of Daryl for the way he is coping with his Parkinsons.
His attitude is wonderful and getting better all the time. He exercises
at the gym three days a week and walks every day... often with Smoky
and me. He practices his keyboards every day, and thinks he will be
ready to do a C&T song or two with me during my big band concert
SEPTEMBER BIG BAND CONCERT UPDATE
Speaking of my September Big Band concert..... tickets went on sale
yesterday, the morning of May 10th. As of 4:30 PM we had sold half
the house! I was totally surprised, but so pleased. The Yavapai College
Performing Hall is a beautiful 1100 seat theatre, and there are really
no bad seats in the house. If you are thinking of getting tickets
and havent done so yet, you should probably do so soon. Im
hoping that everyone who wants a ticket will be able to get one. Probably
the best way to order tickets is through tickets.com.
They take orders 24 hours a day. You can also order by phone through
the Yavapai College Performance Hall Box Office Monday through Friday
from 10 AM to 4 PM.... or you can go there in person on Thursdays
Once again, thank you all so much for your birthday wishes. It could
not have been
a more perfect day to turn 70! Until next time, Keep
A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. -
Birthday Photos above, courtesy of Kathy Bryan, Prescott,
WE HAVE A CONCERT DATE!!!!! | WILL
DARYL BE APPEARING?
I am very happy to officially announce that I will be performing a
Big Band concert here in Prescott this fall. The concert will
be held at 7:30 PM on Saturday night, September 25th at Yavapai
College Performance Hall. Tickets will go on sale Monday, May
As many of you already know, for the past two years I have donated
my performance to the Prescott
Jazz Summit to help raise money for young musicians. I did this
to help out the brilliant musician who created the Jazz Summit, Mike
Vax. Mike was lead trumpet with the legendary Stan Kenton Orchestra
and is a music educator. He now leads the Kenton Alumni band, which
tours all over the country.
However, I was never really comfortable in a pure Jazz setting, since
I am definitely NOT a "jazz
singer" or "jazz
singer-II". If I had to categorize myself, I'd
say I am a "pop" singer who is comfortable in several pop
genres. Most of you also know that I have had a "side career"
singing the great American standards of the '30s and '40s with symphonies
and big bands and have recorded several CDs in that mode.
Last year's big band concert for the Jazz Summit was so much fun for
me, and the audience seemed to love it.... especially when Daryl strolled
out on stage at the end and said, "Prescott" ('Press-kitt').
brought the house down with just that word (after
I had been singing for at least 75 minutes!!!).
Although last year's concert at the 700 seat Ruth Street Theatre here
in Prescott was wonderfully well received, I was very uncomfortable
with several technical aspects of the concert over which I had absolutely
no control..... things like sound, lighting, ticket sales and audience
seating. Reportedly, the concert was oversold by about 200 seats.
My friends had to go into classrooms to find seats for people, and
some people had to listen to the concert in the lobby since there
was no room in the theatre. There were no assigned seats so it was
first come first served. Frankly, if the Fire
Marshall had been there, I believe he would have shut us down.
I really can't stand this kind of situation for my audiences. Daryl
and I discussed last year's concert over the next several months.
I so wanted to do it again, but I didn't want to go through the same
kind of situation for another concert.
I started to talk to Daryl about whether or not it would be possible
for us to produce a concert this year by ourselves. That would mean
that we would be able to control all aspects of the presentation.
It would also mean that we would be "gambling"
with a great deal of money. The expenses involved in the show of this
type, with 16 top flight musicians (salary, travel, hotel, etc), sound,
lighting, rental of Yavapai College Performance Hall and all of its
facilities, event insurance, ticket and program printing, advertising,
would all fall on us.
Our wonderful Personal Assistant, Becky Greenlaw, crunched
all the numbers for us, factoring in all of the expenses that
we would and might encounter. One of my main requirements was that
ticket prices MUST be as low as possible so people in this economy
could afford it. Once again, I will NOT receive any payment for my
performance. This will be our gift to the Prescott community, and
it will be flat out fun for me! I love to sing, and don't get to do
it very often any more.
Becky determined that if we sold out the Yavapai College Performance
Hall (1100 seats at ticket prices of $40 for the front row and $35/$30
for the remaining seats) we would be able to cover all of our expenses.
Daryl and I decided to go for it!
The show will consist of wonderful songs written by legendary American
composers such as Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, George
Gershwin, Sammy Cahn.... and many more, with arrangements
by the GREAT Sammy Nestico and terrific Matt Catingub.
WILL DARYL BE APPEARING?
Now....as to Daryl's possible participation. I have asked him (actually
he volunteered) to join me towards the end of the show to do two or
three C&T songs with me. However, most of you know that he is
dealing with Parkinsons Disease, and we'll have to just see how he
feels on September 25th. Although the disease is causing hand tremors,
some rigidity in his left hand, and some difficulty walking, he tells
me he can still play, and practices every day. So.... I cannot PROMISE
that you will see Daryl onstage.... BUT, I'd say is it a good possibility.
What I hope those of you who come to the concert will experience is
an evening of musical joy... some nostalgia perhaps.... a few songs
about the folly of love, the sadness love can occasionally bring,
the true joy of real love... and some SWINGING big band charts! I
hope you leave the concert hall with great big smiles on your faces!
Hope to see you there! Here is ticket information.
College Performance Hall
1100 East Sheldon St.
Prescott, AZ 86301
Even MORE DETAILED INFO..
- SEE TT-NEWS-GAZETTE PAGE HERE
Tickets will go on sale Monday, May 10th, '10
Ticket prices: $40 (front row), $35, $30
Box Office Info
Local phone (928) 776-2000
Toll free phone 877-928-4253
Phone orders taken Monday - Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00
Lobby hours are Thursday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00
Online Ticket Sales
Convenience and service fees apply and are non-refundable
Until next time....
A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart.
RACING TOWARDS SEVENTY | WHAT MY PRESCOTT
FRIENDS HAVE TAUGHT ME | UPDATE ON DARYL | POSSIBLE FALL CONCERT IN
RACING TOWARDS SEVENTY
I am fast approaching seventy years of age. On May 8, 2010 I land
smack into elderliness. I simply cannot believe it. I don't FEEL
elderly, but nevertheless the physical signs are there. I notice
more wrinkles on my face and elsewhere, more "age" spots,
skin more easily bruised or broken by even slight trauma. I recently
got my first "floater"...a piece of vitreous
humor in the eye that breaks off and forms little black spots
or blobs one's vision., but it seems they crop up often when you
are "70 or older." It is annoying, but Daryl has had them
for years and thinks I am a wimp for even mentioning it.
I am noticing hair where there never was hair (chinny chin chin
mostly), and much less hair where there used to be plenty (head,
and nether regions). The only good thing about that is that I no
longer have to shave under my arms. Whoopee.
My body is not as flexible or strong as I used to be..... muscles
are flabbier despite my active life style. I have developed "love
handles".... may have to resort to Spanx for special occasions....
not that we have that many such formal-type events here in Prescott..
My brain seems to function about as well as ever..... not too many
senior moments... although I notice that I occasionally lose my
train of thought in conversation. I have decided to cut way down
on my attempt to multitask. Too much info..... most of it, in my
opinion, useless, superficial and a waste of time.
My feet have been majorly traumatized by 30+ years of tromping around
onstage in 3 1/2 inch heels. Now I wear mostly sneakers or Merrell
Chili Stitch slides.... my very favorites.
I wear dressy flats the rare times I appear onstage. My dress shoes
here in Prescott are western-style boots, which are amazingly comfortable.
I have given away or donated all of my high heels..... just can't
wear them anymore.
( See ANDY ROONEY's comment on 'aging'... HERE
In spite of all this, I do worry a bit about what people think when
they meet me in person around town. I hate to disappoint everyone
who remembers me as that tall vibrant gal who danced and sang on
TV, when they see instead a
much older version of myself. Just about every day
I think how blessed I am that Daryl and I decided to move to Prescott
and to get out of the Hollywood/Show Biz pressure to be thin, glamorous,
and ageless. When we were still in the public eye, I would get Botox
treatments every six months or so...... especially if I had a TV
appearance or photo shoot coming up. But now.... why bother? Except
for my own vanity of course. I have even toyed with letting my hair
go gray. It certainly wants to do that and it is quite expensive
to keep up the color.
WHAT MY PRESCOTT FRIENDS HAVE TAUGHT ME
But here is the good news.....I am happier than I have ever been
in my life! Daryl and I are closer than we have ever been. I have
made wonderful friends in my neighborhood who have taught me many
useful things, such as.....
you have people over for dinner, don't worry if your wine glasses,
chairs, place mats, etc. don't match. Don't worry if there is
dog hair on the floor.
It is as easy to host 14 people for dinner as it is to host 4
people when everybody brings a side dish or a dessert.
can find great deals on chicken or vegies at certain local markets
at certain times.
can find terrific jackets or suits at Good Will to wear when showing
your dog. My friend Myste just found a perfect little sleeveless
jacket for me to wear while showing Smoky in the summer....cost
six bucks and is in perfect condition.
can get cheap dark glasses at Tuesday Morning.
can do your own hair color, and go to a nice barber when you need
a trim (my hair is very short.....easier to take care of). I still
go to an excellent hair stylist in town, but she's so busy she
can only see me once every four or five weeks and my hair grows
faster than that. I can save money and time by doing it myself,
and I am getting ready to make that change.
lived in the rarified and often superficial air of show biz and
fairly wealthy people for many years. My new friends have reminded
me how "regular" people live..... how they budget and
deal with health care issues... how they share what they have with
each other..... how they come to each other's aid in tough times.
These are the people who make up the majority of our great country.
I was one of them until Daryl and I had our first hit. We were lucky
enough to have success in the music business, which was very good
for us financially. But is very truly wonderful to be reminded of
the reality most people experience.
In our neighborhood I have friends who are younger than I am, and
those who are older. The younger ones set the bar pretty high to
keep all of us active and engaged, The older ones set a fantastic
example for me, showing me all that is still possible in the later
years. You wake up in the morning. Something aches. You get up and
keep going anyway. You do what needs to be done to the best of your
ability, and you live life to the fullest. You laugh as much as
you can....... you comfort and help when needed..... you try to
live "straight ahead" ....no games in your relationships.
You do your best to contribute to your community in some way.....
and I are a Delta-certified
Therapy Dog Team at our local hospital, and I receive such satisfaction
from our work there.
I have especially enjoyed the friends I have made through the Northern
Arizona Australian Shepherd Association and our local canine agility
club, Top Dog. Competing in trials and going to conformation shows
is fun... as long as you don't take it too seriously!
UPDATE ON DARYL
Incidently, you might check out my friend Kathy Bryan's website,
Kathy is Smoky's breeder, and Daryl is her webmaster. Most of you
will recognize Daryl's sense of humor in various elements of her
site. Bless Kathy's heart, she goes along with just about anything
Daryl wants to add to her site. He definitely has his own style!
Speaking of Daryl...... he is dealing fairly well with his Parkinson's
Disease. It is a slow-moving variety, and he received a definitive
diagnosis only a year ago. He still goes through various stages
of acceptance..... I don't have Parkinson's... maybe I do.... but
he is doing his best.
POSSIBLE FALL CONCERT IN PRESCOTT
There is possibility that I will be doing another big band concert
in Prescott this coming fall. This time it will not be associated
with the Jazz Summit. I was uncomfortable in that format since I
am not a jazz singer. If I must be categorized, I'd call myself
a Pop Singer. Daryl and I will be producing the concert ourselves
as our gift to the Prescott community. I will not take a fee for
my performance so we can keep ticket prices as low as possible.
We will just be trying to cover our expenses..... performance hall,
ticket and program printing, musicians, lighting, sound, etc. Although
the show will be my Big Band show (remember.... I don't do C&T
without The Captain), Daryl has been implying that he might come
onstage and do two or three C&T songs with me. I am not pushing
him.... I only hope that he will do it. It will be his decision,
and it will depend on the stage of his health at that time.
Anyhow, I do love to sing, and my voice still seems to be there
regardless of what is happening to the rest of me! We will let you
know if we are able to put the concert together. Our long-time Personal
Assistant, Becky Greenlaw, is working on the details right now.
We are waiting to hear if we can get the date we want at the Prescott
venue we prefer. I will let you know if it all works out. Prescott
is beautiful in the fall!!!!
ONE MORE THING
One more thing.... I often get email notices that someone is trying
to add me as a "Friend" on Facebook. Daryl and I don't
do Facebook, Twitter, or other social-networking sites. I barely
have the time to do everything I want to do in my Real life....
much less a Virtual life. If you see a presence for us on Facebook,
I can assure it is isn't Daryl and me.
Well...that is all for now. I've been sitting at the computer for
almost three hours, and I have many things to do on this rainy day
in Prescott. Until next time....
A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. -
NOTICE: Please click on the 'ARCHIVES' Link
above. No new 'Toni's Takes' have been added since November, 2009.
Toni DOES plan to add some new 'T-Takes' soon.
Repeat: No recent 'TONI's TAKES' text have been added since 2009.
Daryl's tremor HAS been diagnosed as PARKINSON'S
DISEASE. - - Read
but in any case - - always continue to ..... Keep
A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. -