Former wife and other half of the easy listening duo, Toni Tennille, was by his side when he died of kidney failure in Arizona
Thu 3 Jan 2019 00.28 GMT
Daryl Dragon, the cap-wearing “Captain” of easy listening duo the Captain and Tennille, died Wednesday at age 76.
The singer and pianist died on Wednesday of kidney failure in Prescott, Arizona, publicist Harlan Boll said in a statement. Toni Tennille, his partner in music and wife for nearly 40 years, was by his side.
Dragon and Tennille met in the early 1970s and soon began performing together, with Tennille singing and Dragon on keyboards. Their breakthrough came in 1975 when they covered the Neil Sedaka-Howard Greenfield song Love Will Keep Us Together, for which they won a Grammy in 1976.
They had further hits with the song Muskrat Love in 1976, and Do That to Me One More Time in 1980. They also hosted their own television variety series from 1976 to 1977.
“He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly. I was at my most creative in my life, when I was with him,” Tennille said in a statement.
Dragon and Tennille divorced in 2014 after nearly 40 years of marriage but remained close. Tennille said in a 2010 blog post that Dragon was suffering from an unspecified neurological condition that gave him hand tremors, seriously affecting his ability to play keyboards. Dragon said in 2017 that his problems were a result of medication and that he was better. Tennille had moved back to Arizona to help care for him.
A Los Angeles native, Dragon was the son of Oscar-winning composer Carmen Dragon. He was a classically trained pianist but preferred to play blues and boogie music instead of Bach and Beethoven. He played with Fats Domino and BB King and was also a backup keyboard player for the Beach Boys in the mid-1960s and early 1970s. It was with the Beach Boys that Dragon got his stage name, thanks to his habit of wearing a ship captain’s hat while performing.
He met Tennille when they both toured for the Beach Boys, and they began performing together. They signed a record deal in 1974, releasing Love Will Keep Us Together, which held on to the number one spot on the charts for eight weeks in the summer of 1975. Captain and Tennille also toured England, Australia and Japan. In 1976, they sang at the White House during the bicentennial celebrations of the American Revolution.
Dragon is survived by his older brother, Doug Dragon, and two nieces, Kelly Arbout and Renee Henn.
Wednesday’s obituary notice said that at Dragon’s request there would be no services, and suggested donations to organisations conducting research into neurological conditions.
According to people who knows far more than I do (that'll be Craig Slowinski and Andrew G. Doe), Daryl probably played the 'boogie-woogie' piano on Got To Know The Woman, H.E.L.P. Is On The Way, Sound Of Free and played on several songs from Surf's Up: Don't Go Near The Water, Student Demonstration Time (bass and possibly keys), A Day In The Life Of A Tree, 'Til I Die, and two from Carl and the Passions: Cuddle Up and Make It Good. See http://endlessharmony.boards.net/thread/171/daryl-dragon-passes-away
He is profusely thanked on the sleeve of the Holland album for his earlier work. http://earcandy_mag.tripod.com/ddragon.htm
- Al Jardine on Facebook
For further indulgence about matters Beach Boys, see: http://www.beachboysarchives.com/