Knock Three Times

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"Knock Three Times"
Knock Three Times - Tony Orlando & Dawn.jpg
The persons appearing on this sleeve are NOT the actual group who recorded the record.
Single by Tony Orlando and Dawn
from the album Candida
B-side "Home"
Released 1970
Format 7"
Genre Pop
Length 2:57
Label Bell
Songwriter(s) Irwin Levine
L. Russell Brown
Producer(s) Hank Medress
Dave Appel
Tony Orlando and Dawn singles chronology
"Knock Three Times"
"What Are You Doing Sunday"

"Knock Three Times" is a popular song credited to Tony Orlando and Dawn. The actual singers were Tony Orlando, Toni Wine, and Linda November, prior to the creation of "Dawn" with Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson.[citation needed] The song was released as a single, paired with Orlando's other hit song, "Candida" (also written by Toni Wine). The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1971 and eventually sold six million copies. The song registered well at Adult Contemporary stations, reaching #2 on Billboard's "Easy Listening" survey.[1] Outside the US, "Knock Three Times" also claimed the number-one spot on the UK Singles Chart.[2][3]

The composers of this song, L. Russell Brown and Irwin Levine, were thinking of the song Up on the Roof and they wanted to write a song with that kind of lyrical flavor, about tenement living. In the song, the singer has fallen in love with a woman who lives in the apartment directly below him but has no clue as to her interest, so he asks her to respond by either knocking three times on the ceiling (yes) or banging twice on the pipe (no), and the chorus includes sound effects of the two choices.

Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis was, at the time of the recording, working as a producer/singer for a rival record label, and first heard the tune recorded by another artist and immediately knew the song could be a hit if produced as he envisioned. Cassavitis cut the track discreetly under the name "Tony Orlando", hoping that his current record label would not find out. Upon release, the song became a great success.[4]

"Knock Three Times" appears in several motion pictures including Now and Then.

The song was covered by Billy "Crash" Craddock in 1971 and became a number three country hit.[5]

Manny de Leon of the Philippines sold out in the market when he made his version under Alpha Records.

Several Larry Craig-themed parodies (all titled "Tap Three Times") were recorded by various artists such as Paul and Storm and the Capitol Steps in 2007 following the senator's sex scandal in which he was arrested for tapping his foot (to allegedly solicit sex) in a public airport restroom.[6][7][8][9]

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 73.
  2. ^ Warner, Jay (2006-05-31). American singing groups: a history from 1940 to today. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 734. ISBN 9780634099786. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  3. ^ "Dawn featuring Tony Orlando". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  4. ^ "Behind The Music | Season 1 Episodes (TV Series)". 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 91.
  6. ^ "Larry Craig: Tap 3 Times (Parody)". YouTube. 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  7. ^ "Sen. Larry Craig "TapThree Times"". YouTube. 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  8. ^ "Tap Three Times". Paul and Storm. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  9. ^ "Tap Three Times: Capitol Steps: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  10. ^ Billboard. p. 83. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  11. ^ " – Dawn – Knock Three Times" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  12. ^ "knock three times - dawn". VRT (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2013. Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1
  13. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 42, No. 22, August 10, 1979". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  14. ^ " – Dawn – Knock Three Times". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  15. ^ "Chart Track: Week 9, 1971". Irish Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Dawn" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ " – Dawn – Knock Three Times". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  18. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  19. ^ " – Dawn – Knock Three Times". Swiss Singles Chart.
  20. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 143. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  21. ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992" Archived 2016-03-05 at
  22. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  23. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1971
  24. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1971/Top 100 Songs of 1971". Retrieved 2016-10-03.

External links[edit]