Keyboardist/music producer Daryl Dragon, better known as the “Captain” of the pop music duo Captain & Tennille, died on January 2. He was 76. The cause was renal failure according to publicist Harlan Boll.
The Los Angeles-born Dragon was the son of Academy Award-winning conductor/composer Carmen Dragon and the elder brother of Dennis Dragon of the 1980’s surf band the Surf Punks. Dragon’s stage name came from his time as a keyboard player with The Beach Boys, when singer Mike Love gave him the nickname “Captain Keyboard.”
Together with wife Toni Tennille as Captain & Tennille, Dragon scored numerous hits on the pop singles charts in the ‘70’s, including “Love Will Keep Us Together,” a Grammy-winning Record of The Year in 1975, “Do That to Me One More Time” and “Muskrat Love.” They hosted their own television variety series on ABC in 1976–77.
In the early ’70’s, one of the duo’s first gigs was at the Smoke House restaurant. Toni Tennille wrote in her 2016 memoir, “When we got booked at the Smoke House, things began to look up. The Smoke House was known as the place to hear up-and-coming musical acts and as a result, drew a bustling and glamorous crowd, with actors, television and movie people and record executives making regular visits.”