Dragon with wife Toni Tennille, 1976.
|Birth name||Daryl Frank Dragon|
|Also known as||
August 27, 1942 |
Los Angeles, California
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 (which included Doug Dragon) 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 in the early 1970s. Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love gave him the nickname "Captain", and it stuck; Dragon began the tradition of 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 of Captain & Tennille
In 1962, Dragon became a member of the band Charles Wright & the Wright Sounds, a group which included future Watts Band member John Raynford. On 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". He co-wrote the track "Cuddle Up" with Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson. Dragon's orchestrations on the tracks "Make It Good" and "Cuddle Up" translated the melodic ideas that Dennis Wilson was looking for. Dragon contributed vibes and melodica in the song "Wind ’n’ Sea" by the band Farm, a group put together by brothers Dennis Dragon and Doug Dragon for the soundtrack to The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun, a surf film directed by George Greenough. He also did session work with Dennis Dragon for the Go for It soundtrack. 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 that Dragon had developed a mild form of Parkinson's disease which has manifested through a familial tremor. According to Tennille, the disease will be neither debilitating nor terminal for Dragon. Rather, the disease has caused a noticeable tremor that is exacerbated by stress and anxiety; subsequently, the disease has limited most of Dragon's public appearances. As of November 2009, Dragon was under physician's care to best determine treatment for his Parkinson's.
In September 2010, Toni Tennille adjusted the announcement of Dragon's condition as "a neurological condition (not Parkinsons, but something similar) that causes him to have tremors". Tennille indicated the condition continues to be 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. Dragon contacted TMZ on January 22, 2014, stating "I don't know why she filed."
On January 23, 2014, The Washington Post reported that health insurance or health issues may 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 that Dragon's neurological condition, similar to Parkinson’s, was characterized by such extreme tremors he can no longer play keyboards.
- ""The Captain & Tennille" Home Page". Captainandtennille.net. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- Dahms, Heidi. "Tennille, 'Smoky' bring new smiles; hospital patients get visits from pop music icon, her dog - The Prescott Daily Courier - Prescott, Arizona". Dcourier.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "TONI'S TAKE - BLOG PAGES . '10". Captainandtennille.net. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- Ramisetti, Kirthana (January 22, 2014). "The Captain & Tennille to divorce: Powerhouse '70s duo split after 39 years of marriage". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
- Lovece, Frank (January 22, 2014). "Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille of Captain & Tennille to divorce after 39 years". Long Island Newsday. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
- "Captain and Tennille, musical duo of the ’70s, divorcing after 39 years of marriage". Washington Post. January 23, 2014.