Dragon with wife Toni Tennille, 1976.
|Birth name||Daryl Frank Dragon|
|Also known as||
|Born||(1942-08-27) August 27, 1942
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Dragon was born into a musical family, and is the son of conductor, composer, and arranger Carmen Dragon, and the elder brother of Dennis Dragon, a member of the 1960s pop combo The Dragons and the 1980s surf band the Surf Punks. His godfather was actor and comedian Danny Thomas.
Dragon’s familiar image and stage name came from his time as a keyboard player with The Beach Boys from 1967 to 1972. Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love gave him the nickname “Captain”, and it stuck; Dragon began wearing a nautical captain‘s hat to go along with the name. As Captain in Captain & Tennille, Dragon was frequently silent and a man of very few words, playing a foil to his outgoing, vivacious wife, Toni Tennille.
Music work outside Captain & Tennille
In 1962, Dragon became a member of the band Charles Wright and the Wright Sounds, a group which included future Watts Band member John Raynford.
In 1968, Dragon and his brother Dennis formed a studio band called The Mission, which produced a one-off single on the small Bet Records label: “Calmilly”/”Galing Made It”. The songs later appeared on a joint album in 1971 titled Me and My Brother (aided by another brother, Doug, who sang the vocals), which was released on CD in 2005.
On the double LP “The Visit” by Bob Smith, released in 1970, Dragon is credited as Captain Keyboard. Dragon also made significant contributions with keyboarding and musical scoring on the Beach Boys’ 1972 release Carl and the Passions – “So Tough”, co-writing the track “Cuddle Up” with Dennis Wilson; also, Dragon’s orchestrations on the tracks “Make It Good” and “Cuddle Up” translated the melodic ideas that Dennis Wilson was seeking. Dragon also arranged the coda on “Don’t Go Near The Water” from The Beach Boys’ 1971 release Surf’s Up.
Dragon contributed vibes and melodica in the song “Wind ’n’ Sea” by the band Farm, a group put together by Dennis and Doug for the soundtrack to The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun, a surf film directed by George Greenough. He also did session work with Dennis for the Go for It soundtrack and, in the early 1980s, with the rock band Survivor. In 1981, Dragon contributed to Carpenters‘ Made In America album, programming synthesizers on “(Want You) Back In My Life Again”. In 1996, Dragon played keyboard on a number of tracks on the self-titled album by pop punk band Size 14.
In late 2009, Toni Tennille announced her husband had developed familial tremor. According to Tennille, his condition was neither debilitating nor terminal. Rather, his noticeable tremor was exacerbated by stress and anxiety. Subsequently, the tremor condition limited most of Dragon’s public appearances. As of November 2009, Dragon was under a physician’s care to determine the best method of treatment.
In September 2010, Tennille publicly clarified her husband’s condition as “a neurological condition (later confirmed to be Essential tremor), which causes him to have tremors”. Tennille indicated the condition was debilitating to Dragon’s abilities as a musician.
Tennille filed for divorce from Dragon in the State of Arizona on January 16, 2014, after 39 years of marriage. Dragon stated he was unaware of this until he was served with the divorce papers.
On January 23, 2014, The Washington Post reported health insurance related to health issues might be the reason for the divorce, as both issues had been referenced in divorce documents filed with the courts. Tennille had reported on her blog in 2010 her husband’s neurological condition was characterized by such extreme tremors he could no longer play keyboards.
The divorce was finalized in July 2014. Regarding his ex-wife’s new memoirs, Dragon stated “No, I haven’t read it.” In an exclusive interview with Radar in his Arizona home on March 17, 2016, Dragon, responding to the book by his ex-wife, would comment only “I was drugged (at the time of his divorce), that’s all I can tell you.”
On a segment on the April 12, 2016 broadcast of the American television program Today, Tennille confirmed her divorce from Dragon was finalized, and stated that the reason for the divorce was Dragon’s “inability to be affectionate”. Tennille later said that Dragon had reacted positively to the Today segment and told her; “I saw you on The Today Show. I was proud of you.”
In an interview published in a February 2017 issue of People, Dragon stated he was making great progress and feeling like himself again, after corrections were made in the dosage of medications he was taking, which were causing side effects. Dragon stated his ex-wife had flown to Arizona and had been a help in his improvement.
Dragon died on January 2, 2019 from renal failure.[14
|Year||Album||RIAA Certification||US 200||Label|
|1975||Love Will Keep Us Together||Gold||2||A&M|
|1976||Por Amor Viviremos D||A&M|
|Song of Joy||Platinum||9||A&M|
|1977||Come In from the Rain||Gold||18||A&M|
|1979||Make Your Move A||Gold||23||Casablanca|
|1980||Keeping Our Love Warm||—||Casablanca|
|20 Greatest Hits||—||Music for Pleasure|
|1982||More Than Dancing B||—||Wizard|
|1993||A&M Gold Series: Captain & Tennille||—||A&M|
|1995||Twenty Years of Romance E||—||Nouveau|
|1997||Captain & Tennille E||—||Arcade|
|1998||A&M Digitally Remastered Best||—||A&M|
|2002||More Than Dancing … Much More C||—||Raven|
|2005||20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Captain & Tennille||—||Universal|
|Songs of Joy: The Complete Captain & Tennille Collection||—||R2 Entertainment|
|Saving Up Christmas – Tahoe Snow (CD Single)||—||R2 Entertainment|
|2007||The Secret of Christmas||—||RetroActive|
(A) Also charted at No. 33 UK
(B) Australian release only
(C) Worldwide re-release of 1982 Australian album with bonus tracks
(D) Spanish Version of Love Will Keep Us Together (1975 LP)
(E) Re-Recorded Songs and Cover Versions
|Canada RPM 100||Canada AC||UK||AU||RIAA Certification|
|1975||“Love Will Keep Us Together“||1||1||—||—||1||1||32||1||Gold|
|“Por Amor Viviremos”||49||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“The Way I Want to Touch You“||4||1||—||—||4||1||28||9||Gold|
|1976||“Lonely Night (Angel Face)“||3||1||—||—||1||1||—||9||Gold|
|1977||“Can’t Stop Dancin’“||13||12||—||—||11||10||—||67|
|“Come in From the Rain”||61||8||—||—||—||6||—||—|
|1978||“I’m on My Way“||74||6||97||—||—||13||—||—|
|“You Never Done It Like That”||10||14||—||—||17||36||63||51|
|“You Need a Woman Tonight”||40||17||—||—||—||9||87|
|1979||“Do That to Me One More Time“||1||4||—||58||4||1||7||3||Gold|
|“Love On A Shoestring”||55||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“Happy Together (A Fantasy)”||53||27||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1980||“This Is Not The First Time”||106||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“Keeping Our Love Warm”||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007||“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas“||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year“||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- The Ultimate Collection (2005)
- The Christmas Show (2007)
- Captain & Tennille in New Orleans (2007)
- Captain & Tennille in Hawaii (2007)
- Songbook (2007)