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Tony Orlando and Dawn Biography
Tony Orlando and Dawn was a pop music group that was popular in the 1970s. Their signature hits include "Candida", "Knock Three Times", "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree", and "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)".
Tony Orlando was born Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis in April 1944.After almost a decade of singing and with only three Top 40 hits, two in 1961 and another in 1969 as the lead singer for the studio group Wind, he had not had any further successes. He stopped singing entirely, and by 1970 he was a retired cover singer. He began publishing music for April-Blackwood Music, a division of Columbia Records, instead.
A song was given to Orlando titled "Candida," and was brought to him after being turned down by other producers and singers. Orlando was not able to originally lend his name to the song as he was working for April-Blackwood, and recording under his own name would be a professional conflict of interest. After an insistence by producer Hank Medress that he dub his voice over the male vocals on the original track, the single was released on Bell Records as being performed by the band "Dawn" in order to protect his position.
The background singers on the track were Sharon Greane, Linda November, Jay Siegel, and Toni Wine, who co-wrote the song. Phil Margo played drums on the original session and the arranger was Norman Bergen. After the single hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (#1 on the Cashbox Top 100), Orlando wanted to start performing again. Together as the new band they then recorded the follow-up song "Knock Three Times" which also became to a major hit . Read more in early history
The group's next single, "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" (from their concept album Dawn's New Ragtime Follies) went to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. CBS gave the group a television variety show in the summer of 1974, after The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour ended its run. The show was in the same vein as its predecessor (with sketches featuring sarcastic back-and-forth banter between Orlando with Hopkins and Wilson, similar to the sarcastic dialogue between Sonny and Cher), and became a Top 20 hit. It ran until December 1976.
With a new name ("Tony Orlando and Dawn") and a new record label (Elektra), the group continued their string of hit singles during the show's run hitting the Top 10 on the Hot 100 and/or adult contemporary charts including "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" (a reworking of Jerry Butler's "He Will Break Your Heart") which went to #1. In 1976 a remake of the Sam Cooke song "Cupid" became the group's last Top 40 single on the Billboard Hot 100. "Sing" reached #7 on the Adult Contemporary Chart in 1977 and was the last Tony Orlando & Dawn single until 1991's "With Ev'ry Yellow Ribbon (That's Why We Tie 'Em)". The group went their separate ways later in 1977. Read more.
Tony Orlando & Dawn - Knock Three Times 1970
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