Daryl Dragon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Daryl Dragon
Captain & Tennille
Dragon with wife Toni Tennille, 1976.
Background information
Birth name Daryl Frank Dragon
Also known as
  • Captain
Born (1942-08-27) August 27, 1942 (age 74)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active 1959–2013
Labels A&M, Casablanca
Associated acts

Daryl Frank Dragon (born August 27, 1942) is a retired American musician and songwriter, known as Captain from the pop musical duo Captain & Tennille, with his former wife, Toni Tennille.[1]


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[edit]

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 seeking. He 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 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 and, in the early 1980s, with the rock band Survivor. In 1981, Dragon contributed to Carpenters' Made In America album, programming synthesisers on "(Want You) Back In My Life Again".[2] In 1996, Dragon played keyboard on a number of tracks on the self-titled album by pop punk band Size 14.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Neurological condition[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

In September 2010, Tennille adjusted the announcement of Dragon's condition as "a neurological condition (not Parkinson's, but something similar, later confirmed to be Essential tremor) that causes him to have tremors".[5][6] Tennille indicated the condition continues to be debilitating to Dragon's abilities as a musician.[citation needed]


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.[7]

Dragon contacted TMZ on January 22, 2014, stating "I don't know why she filed."[8]

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.[9]

In an April 12, 2016, Today story, Tennille confirmed the divorce was finalized.[10]


  1. ^ Profile, Music-enthusiast.com; accessed August 24, 2016.
  2. ^ "Made In America The Carpenters Complete Recording Resource". amcorner.com. Retrieved May 19, 2016. Synthesizer Programming: Daryl Dragon, Ian Underwood 
  3. ^ ""The Captain & Tennille" Home Page". Captainandtennille.net. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  4. ^ Dahms, Heidi. "Tennille, 'Smoky' bring new smiles; hospital patients get visits from pop music icon, her dog". Dcourier.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  5. ^ "TONI'S TAKE". Captainandtennille.net. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  6. ^ Tennille, Toni (19 April 2011). "Parker & Parker: April 19, 2011". YouTube.com. Retrieved 8 May 2016. Daryl has a condition called Essential tremor, which has really wrecked his keyboard playing... 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Lovece, Frank (January 22, 2014). "Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille of Captain & Tennille to divorce after 39 years". Long Island Newsday. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Captain and Tennille, musical duo of the '70s, divorcing after 39 years of marriage". Washington Post. January 23, 2014. 
  10. ^ Dawn, Randee. "Toni Tennille reveals the personal reason why she divorced Daryl Dragon". Today.