"I never met another man I thought could measure up," Tennille tells PEOPLE about her famous ex Daryl Dragon

By Michelle Tauber
Updated March 16, 2016 02:50 PM
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She won a Grammy alongside her husband, Daryl “the Captain” Dragon, for their 1976 smash “Love Will Keep Us Together” – but for the first time, ’70s superstar Toni Tennille is opening up about their 39-year marriage – and why love wasn’t enough.

Now 75, living in Florida and single since her split from Dragon in 2014, the female half of the pop duo Captain and Tennille details their famous musical partnership and often-difficult union in a new self-titled memoir co-written with her niece, Caroline Tennille St. Clair, and exclusively excerpted in this week’s PEOPLE.

“I never met another man I thought could measure up to him,” she tells PEOPLE of Dragon, the son of Hollywood composer Carmen Dragon and a former keyboardist for the Beach Boys whom she first met in 1971.

For much more on Toni Tennille’s hidden life with the Captain and her days as a ’70s pop icon, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE

But life with Dragon, who she says suffered from anxiety and had difficulty connecting with others, was far different from the cheery persona they projected on their albums and hit variety show. (Now 73 and living out of the spotlight in Arizona, Dragon declined to comment to PEOPLE.)

Candid about their intimate life, she says, “It was never tender, it was never emotional, it was never a joining of two hearts. Sex is not love. That’s why I eventually said, ‘To heck with this.’ ”

Still, she calls their divorce “amicable,” and says, “He was the one.”