Captain and Tennille’s Daryl Dragon Dead at 76

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Daryl Dragon, the “Captain” of the husband-and-wife duo Captain and Tennille, died Jan. 2, 2019, of renal failure while in a hospice in Prescott, Ariz. He was 76.

The couple’s hits included the #1 singles “Love Will Keep Us Together” (1975) and “Do That to Me One More Time” (1979), as well as the top 10 hits “The Way I Want to Touch You” (1975), “Lonely Night (Angel Face),” “Shop Around” and “Muskrat Love” (all 1976), and “You Never Done It Like That” (1978). They also scored two top 10 albums, Love Will Keep Us Together, which reached #2 in 1975, and Song of Joy in 1976.

They were divorced in 2014 after 39 years of marriage. Tennille was reportedly with him at the time of his death.

Related: Surprising hits of the 1970s, including “Muskrat Love”

Daryl Frank Dragon was born in Los Angeles on Aug. 27, 1942. His father, Carmen Dragon, was a respected conductor, arranger and composer. Daryl Dragon’s “Captain” nickname was given to him by the Beach Boys’ Mike Love during Dragon’s stint as a keyboardist for the band (1967-72). Dragon was rarely seen publicly without his captain’s cap henceforth.

His musical career began in the early 1960s as a member of the band Charles Wright and the Wright Sounds. In 1968, Dragon and his brother Dennis formed a band called the Mission. With the Beach Boys, Dragon contributed keyboards on the group’s album Carl and the Passions—“So Tough,for which he also co-wrote material and provided orchestrations and arrangements.

Dragon met his wife-to-be, Tennille, in 1971 and she also played keyboards for the Beach Boys for a brief time. They formed Captain and Tennille in 1973 and signed with A&M Records. “Love Will Keep Us Together,” written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, became their first hit (several other Sedaka compositions were recorded by the pair).

Captain and Tennille stayed together professionally for nearly four decades. In 2009, Tennille announced that Dragon had developed a neurological condition called familial tremor, which affected his ability to perform.

Watch the official Captain and Tennille video for “Love Will Keep Us Together”

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