Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille dead at 76

Toni Tennille, left, and Daryl Dragon in 1995. Dragon died Wednesday at 76.
Toni Tennille, left, and Daryl Dragon in 1995. Dragon died Wednesday at 76.
(David B. Parker / Associated Press)

Daryl Dragon, a classically trained pianist who gained a share of fame as the “Captain” of Captain & Tennille, has died.

Dragon died early Wednesday at a hospice in Prescott, Ariz. Spokesman Harlan Boll said he was 76 and suffered from renal failure. His former wife and musical partner, Toni Tennille, was by his side, Boll said.

“He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly,” Tennille said in a statement. “I was at my most creative in my life when I was with him.”


Daryl Frank Dragon was born Aug. 27, 1942, in Los Angeles, the son of Academy Award-winning composer and arranger Carmen Dragon.

He landed one of his first entertainment gigs as a backup musician for the Beach Boys in the mid-60s and was later hired by Tennille to help work on a musical called “Mother Earth,” which she’d written while at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa.

The two later formed Captain & Tennille — and married.

The duo had a run of easy listening hits in the 1970s, notably the chart-topping “Love Will Keep Us Together.” Their other songs included “Muskrat Love,” “Shop Around” and “Do That to Me One More Time.”

The couple separated in 2013 and divorced the following year. But they remained close, according to Boll, and Tennille even moved to Arizona to help care for Dragon when his health declined.

Dragon is survived by an older brother, Doug.

A Times staff writer contributed to this report.