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Daryl Dragon, of The Captain and Tennille, dead at 76

Dragon and his former wife, Toni Tennille, were the musicians behind hits such as "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Muskrat Love."
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Daryl Dragon, best known as Captain from the group The Captain and Tennille, died Wednesday at a hospice in Prescott, Arizona, his publicist said. He was 76. Dragon teamed with then-wife Toni Tennille on such hits as "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Muskrat Love."

Love may not have been able to keep them together — as the duo divorced several years ago — but Tennille was with the Captain "as he took his last breath," according to spokesman Harlan Boll.

Dragon died of renal failure.

"He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly," Tennille said in a statement. "I was at my most creative in my life, when I was with him."

Image: Photo of Captain & Tennille
Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille of "The Captain and Tennille," in the 1970s. Michael Ochs Archives

Dragon was born into a musical family. His father was an Academy Award-winning composer and conductor and his mother was a singer who worked with Bing Crosby.

Dragon, a classically trained pianist, earned his stage name "Captain" from Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love because he would wear a captain's hat onstage. He played keyboard for The Beach Boys from 1967-1972.

Dragon and Tennille married in 1975 and were together until their divorce was finalized in 2014. They remained close and Tennille had moved back to Arizona to help care for him.

The two met in the early 1970s and soon began performing together, with Tennille singing and Dragon on keyboards.

Their breakthrough came in 1975 when they covered the Neil Sedaka-Howard Greenfield song "Love Will Keep Us Together," which Sedaka himself recorded in 1973. Captain and Tennille's version went on to win the Grammy for record of the year.