Tony Orlando and Dawn (originally known as Dawn, and later as Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando) was a pop music group from New York City, NY, USA that was very popular in the 1970s. Their signature hits were “Candida”, “Knock Three Times”,”Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree”, and “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)”.
In 1970, Tony Orlando was a retired cover singer. He had two Top 40 hits in 1961 and another in the later half of the decade as the lead singer for the studio group Wind, but he had not had any further success for the rest of the decade. He stopped singing entirely, publishing music for Columbia Records instead.
Orlando discovered a song, “Candida,” which he decided to pass on recording. After an insistence that he dub his voice over the male vocals in the original track, he had the single released on Bell Records as performed by “Dawn”, so if the record did not succeed, he would not be known as the lead vocalist. The background singers were Sharon Greane, Jay Siegel, and Toni Wine, who co-wrote the song. After single hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Orlando decided to change career tracks.
While “Candida” climbed the record charts, Orlando discovered that there were six touring groups that called themselves “Dawn”. As he assembled his new group, the name “Dawn featuring Tony Orlando” was chosen to be their new name.
He chose singers Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson to sing with him after he recorded “Knock Three Times” which hit #1 in early 1971. The group waited until 1973 for their next #1 single, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree.” In terms of sales, this single was the most successful in the group’s career.
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, 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. A remake of the Sam Cooke song “Cupid”, was the group’s last Top 40 single on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. “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)”.
Orlando is still a popular appearance performer. Hopkins made a very successful acting career for herself in series like “Gimme a Break”, “Family Matters”, and “Half and Half”. A DVD compilation from the variety series was released in 2005 along with the group’s catalog of albums on CD. Tony Orlando & Dawn released “A Christmas Reunion” that same year. Show all...