Tony Orlando and Dawn
|Tony Orlando and Dawn|
The group at the premiere of their television show, 1974.
|Also known as||Dawn
Dawn featuring Tony Orlando
|Origin||New York City, New York, United States|
|Years active||1970–1977, 1988–1993|
|Past members||Tony Orlando
Joyce Vincent Wilson
Tony Orlando and Dawn was an American 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 No. 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 a major hit.
Bell Records, who distributed the single, was desperate to have a real-life act to promote Dawn's records. Orlando asked former Motown/Stax backing vocalists Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson to become Dawn. They then went on the road after "Candida" climbed the charts and "Knock Three Times" followed, eventually hitting No. 1 in early 1971. After a tour of Europe, Hopkins and Wilson assumed background vocal duties in the studio as well. They were joined in the studio by Wilson's sister Pamela Vincent, who in addition to singing, arranged all the backing vocals. Prior touring commitments with Aretha Franklin prevented Vincent from appearing with Dawn on tour. The first single with their voices in the background was "Runaway/Happy Together" in 1972.
The group (now billed as 'Dawn featuring Tony Orlando') released another single in 1973 and it almost immediately became their next No. 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.
Period of group's variety show
The group's next single, "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" (from their concept album Dawn's New Ragtime Follies), went to No. 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 No. 1. In 1975 a remake of the Sam Cooke song "Cupid" became the group's last Top 40 single on the Billboard Hot 100. "Sing" reached No. 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.
They re-formed in 1988 for a five-week tour that wound up lasting into 1993, with Pam Vincent,Joyce sister, finally becoming a visible Dawn member, stepping in whenever Hopkins was fulfilling her acting/television obligations.
Orlando is still a popular appearance performer on tour regularly with the Lefty Brothers and Toni Wine. Hopkins made a very successful acting career for herself in series such as Bosom Buddies, Gimme a Break, Family Matters, and Half and Half. Wilson and Vincent continue a prolific career as session singers. 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. Publicity events for those releases marked the first time Hopkins, Wilson, and Vincent appeared onstage together. Toni Wine also participated in those shows. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2008. Tony Orlando & Dawn occasionally reunites for television and benefit performances. In 2009 Wilson joined Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence's Former Ladies of the Supremes' group. She continues to tour and perform to audiences all over the world.
- Candida (1970)
- Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando (1971)
- Tuneweaving (1973)
- Dawn's New Ragtime Follies (1973)
- Prime Time (1974)
- Candida & Knock Three Times (1974)
- Tony Orlando & Dawn II (1974)
- Golden Ribbons (1974)
- Greatest Hits (1975)
- He Don't Love You (Like I Love You) (1975)
- Skybird (1975)
- To Be With You (1976)
- The World of Tony Orlando & Dawn (1976)
- Christmas Reunion (2005)
- 1970 "Candida" No. 3 US (Gold); No. 9 UK; No. 8 AC
- 1970 "Knock Three Times" b/w "Home" No. 1 US (Gold); No. 1 UK; No. 2 AC
- 1971 "I Play and Sing" No. 25 US; No. 15 AC
- 1971 "Summer Sand" No. 33 US; No. 9 AC
- 1971 "What Are You Doing Sunday" No. 39 US; No. 3 UK; No. 23 AC
- 1972 "Runaway/Happy Together" No. 79 US
- 1972 "Vaya con Dios" No. 95 US; No. 37 AC
- 1972 "You're a Lady" No. 70 US
- 1973 "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" No. 1 US (Gold); No. 1 UK; No. 1 AC
- 1973 "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" No. 3 US (Gold); No. 12 UK (1974 release); No. 1 AC
- 1973 "Who's in the Strawberry Patch with Sally" No. 27 US; No. 37 UK; No. 3 AC
- 1974 "It Only Hurts When I Try to Smile" b/w She Can't Hold A Candle To You" No. 81 US; No. 36 AC
- 1974 "Steppin' Out (Gonna Boogie Tonight)" No. 7 US; No. 4 AC
- 1975 "Look in My Eyes Pretty Woman" No. 11 US; No. 6 AC
- 1975 "Gimme A Good Old Mammy Song"
- 1975 "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" b/w "Pick It Up" No. 1 US; No. 1 AC
- 1975 "Mornin' Beautiful" b/w "Dance Rosie Dance" No. 14 US; No. 2 AC
- 1975 "You're All I Need to Get By" b/w "I Know You Like A Book" (non-LP track) No. 34 US; No. 13 AC
- 1975 "Skybird" b/w "That's The Way A Wallflower Grows" No. 49 US; No. 7 AC
- 1976 "Cupid" b/w "You're Growing on Me" No. 22 US; No. 2 AC
- 1976 "Midnight Love Affair" b/w "Selfish One" No. 15 AC
- 1977 "Sing" b/w "Sweet As Candy" (non-LP track) No. 58 US; No. 7 AC
- Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of No. 1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 127.
- "Linda November and Artie Schroeck (contains clips of singing)" (audio). Ronnie Allen Show. December 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 472.