While Daryl Dragon sounds like a lesser character in a Harry Potter story, he is, in fact, one half of the renowned ’70s soft rock duo, Captain & Tennille. They’re back in the spotlight after news broke that after 39 years of marriage, they are divorcing.
As “Captain,” Dragon manned the keyboards — which he had also done for the Beach Boys — which were paired with Toni Tennille’s (née Cathryn Antionette Tennille) breathy, intimate vocals. It was that pairing, plus Tennille’s formidable songwriting talent that created some of the most well-known soft rock hits of the ’70s. Their chart-topping hits included “Muskrat Love” and the now-ironic “Love Will Keep Us Together,” which took home the Grammy for record of the year.
“Love Will Keep Us Together”
Neither the tracks nor the band were exactly cool — the Captain’s shirt was frequently unbuttoned, he used a pipe as fashion accessory and wore a yachting cap — and most of their songs came out of the gate sounding like future karaoke fodder. And yet, there’s just something about Captain & Tennille that is irresistible. The duo sold more than 23 million albums during their long career, a figure aided and abetted by their cover of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” which was the bestselling single of 1975. Similarly, their 1979 hit “Do That To Me One More Time” hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980. Plus, they hosted their own television variety series on ABC in 1976–77.
“Do That To Me One More Time”
They sang songs that sounded like the soundtrack to boudoir photo shoots, like they were meant to be played on eight-tracks in a white Camaro with fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror or under the sparkling lights of a roller rink. Their remarkably uniform sound was evocative of a time when women’s hair was large, well-appointed homes had copious amounts of wicker and ferns, and men tried to emulate Tom Selleck and his mustache.
The Captain and Tennille’s songs were so gushingly sensual that you did not want to be in the same room if your mother happened to be singing along to, say, “The Way I Want To Touch You” or “You Never Done It Like That”. Their tunes seemed crafted to be the background music for whatever it was Blanche Devereaux did to her gentlemen callers on the lanai on The Golden Girls.
“The Way I Want To Touch You”
In short, the allure of Captain & Tennille is like The Borg — resistance is futile. So put on your favorite velour pantsuit, fluff out your hair and get to know their sweet tunes:
“Lonely Night (Angel Face)”
“The Wedding Song (There Is Love)”
“You Never Done It Like That”
“Song of Joy”